Do you like to constantly explore the random nature of a deep, claustrophobic and disturbing underground dungeon?
Do you like watching your team die in horrible, soul crushing ways. To be lost in the depths of madness?
Do you enjoy the constant state of tension from living on the brink of despair. A single moment away from losing it all?
Well Darkest Dungeon might be the game for you.
If you don’t like those things well, you probably will after delving into the darkest dungeon and seeing the depth and strategy within.
Darkest dungeon reminds me of playing pen and paper games, but with a sadistic dungeon master that delights in throwing the absolute worse scenarios at you to watch you fail. At first you mind is awash with this failure and the scenario becomes a routine kind of death march. You welcome the death and an absolute ending. But after coming to terms with it you begin to grow. You learn the systems and how to gain them. Your mind starts working with purpose and strategy, constantly enacting best possible plans for success. You are also the ever removed leader in this position, you learn from your errors and accept your loses but make them count.
That is the core of the experience within Darkest Dungeon. Depressing but also Rewarding.
As for the actual Mechanics it involves the control of a team of adventurers after glory and fame.. or whatever else really. It is this individuals you basically use as a tool to cleanse the depths below your family’s estate.
There are a number of adventurer classes you’ll get to choose from following the tank, damage, support archetype although each have a certain take on that. You end up balancing this too for maximum impact, enough heals and control skills to minimize harm and then the big damage skills to finish the job.
Of course that’s how it should work but remember, sadistic dungeon master who likes throwing the absolute worse things at you imaginable. You will fail… often. People will die… often. The entire dungeon exploration experience is just trying to minimize this damage and working with it when you can. Health will drop, traps will snare and those little items you can’t help touch will continue to add their psychological toll on your characters.
Their will be dungeons where everyone just cracks from the pressure and it becomes a hilarious account of constant abuse and paranoia. The damage from which often can’t even be healed before the next time they entire the next abusive encounter.
Through all this though is an element of growth. Your characters grow in experience and skills. Traits continue with them both bad and good and the estate grows as well giving further benefits to these adventurers. You continue to take down bosses and explore harder spaces that reward far more, but take their toll as well.It is a meagre existence even in that state but one you worked towards and be proud you accomplished it.
hmm… basically it’s the 2d party based version of Dark Souls.
Now it is in early access, like just about every other game I seem to be playing at the moment but it is remarkably polished in this state with a lot of the depth already developed and put in place. All that seems to be left is adding encounters, diversity to these and the two locked areas before I would call it complete.
Definitely worth a purchase in my mind.