“Darkest Dungeon is about making the most of a bad situation. Quests will fail or must be abandoned. Heroes will die. When they die, they stay dead. Progress saves constantly, so actions are permanent.
The game expects a lot of you. How far will you push your adventurers? How much are you willing to risk in your quest to restore the hamlet? What will you sacrifice to save the life of your favourite hero?
Thankfully, there are always fresh souls arriving on the stage coach, seeking both adventure and fame in the shadow of the… Darkest Dungeon!”
Darkest Dungeon is a 2D rogue like dungeon crawler from indie dev’s Red Hook Studios that is currently on Early Access. Darkest Dungeon started life on Kickstarter and smashed its funding goal of $75,000 ending up at $313,337.
You had a rich relative, what the relation was is unclear but he was rich and that’s what’s important. He lived lavishly in a big house where much drinking and partying was to be had. But, as is such with rich relatives he became bored and wanted more. After hearing rumours of an unknown power buried deep beneath the mansion, he decided to find it for himself. Unfortunately the power was more than he expected, driven mad by what he found, he wrote you a letter asking you to come home and sort out the mess he had made, and in his final act of madness took his life.
You have returned to the mansion to reclaim your ancestral home from the unspoken evil let loose by your relative.
As you play through Darkest Dungeon you will gather a band of heroes to take dungeon crawling, these range from Bounty Hunters, Crusaders, Grave Robbers, Highwaymen, Occultists and Plague Doctors. Each class comes complete with their own selection of powers, skills and abilities. Healers, Tanks, Ranged ,Combat Specialists… the usual RPG stalwarts.
While not adventuring you will spend your time in the village, here you can upgrade your heroes, and various buildings to help your team relax. Yes, relaxing is an important part of your team management. Whilst in the dungeons you will need to keep an eye on your health and on your stress bar, the stress bar indicates your team’s stress level in Darkest Dungeon. Unlike the health bar which will go down as you take damage, the stress bar goes up as you play and travel further into the darkness, when it is full your characters resolve is tested, this will give your character’s an affliction such as Paranoid, Selfish, Fearful, Abusive and Masochistic. Obviously these are bad.
Occasionally you may get a positive affliction such as Powerful, Vigorous or Focused.. but I’ve seen more abusive crusaders who refused to listen to orders thus getting an entire team wiped out than I’ve seen focused ones.
Combat is turn-based and easy to learn. Squad placement is essential, certain skills can only hit certain opponents stood in specific places, and certain skills will change the positioning of either your opponent or yourself. If you get knocked into a space where you can’t use a skill, you best pray you don’t die before getting back into position.
In Darkest Dungeon, death comes fast and comes often, it will lure you in with a false sense of security, and then beat you down until you’re begging for mercy, and then it will laugh in your face and continue beating you. When a hero dies, he is gone forever. You will need to try and train up a replacement to take his or her place and hope they last longer than the last one. The Enemies vary from traditional human bandits, spiders, ooze’s to the more Lovecraftian themed gothic horror creatures, unspeakable monsters that penetrate the minds of men and create madness and insanity
In its early access form, there are currently 10 class’s available to hire and 3 areas to do your quests in, with more planned for a later date.
Darkest Dungeon looks gorgeous, it reminds me of a graphic novel coming to life on screen with its amazing hand-drawn art style, Darkest Dungeon is a very enjoyable game and has a LOT of promise. But it may just be a little too hard for some people, the difficulty is both its biggest strength and its biggest weakness, if you play games for fun and relaxation, this may not be the game for you.
I look forward to seeing how Darkest Dungeon progresses.
Darkest Dungeon is available on Steam Here