Can You Survive The Darkest Dungeon?
The party bard has quite literally stopped caring about...well, everything. All he'll ever speak about is the futility of living, and the pointlessness of the party's efforts. Not that the Man At Arms cares - he's drunk, and has been since last Tuesday. The Plague Doctor, meanwhile, is gleefully experimenting on anyone with an injury, while the Vestal is ready to cut and run at the first sign of trouble.
To make matters worse, your torches are guttering, you're low on food, and there's more or less guaranteed to be some eldritch horror nearby, ready to jump at you from the shadows. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Darkest Dungeon, and it's not your traditional role playing game. It's considerably more intriguing.
See, a lot of us just sort of accept that adventurers are made of tougher stuff than us. Sure, they regularly dig down into crypts hundreds of feet below the ground; sure, they watch their friends dismembered by traps and turned into soulless husks, but...that's just part of the job, right?
Uh, wrong. That sort of stuff strains even the stoutest mind. Few - if any - are capable of the adventurer's lifestyle without suffering an emotional toll of some kind. "Darkest Dungeon is not a game where every hero wins the day with shiny armor and a smile," reads the official website. "It is a game about hard trade-offs, nearly certain demise, and heroic acts. Prepare to experience an RPG like nothing you have played before."
The characters in your party are neither unwavering nor unshakeable. They will respond emotionally and psychologically to whatever horrors they encounter. Maybe your Highwayman becomes a neurotic mess after nearly dying to a horrific monster. Maybe your bard has, after seeing his friends die over and over, become a nihilist. Whatever the cause, your characters are going to be coming out of the dungeon with baggage, and that baggage will impact how you play the game.
In addition to keeping an eye on the physical and emotional well-being of your heroes, you're also going to need to manage both resources and food. Run out and, well...
Pretty sure you can figure out what happens next.
Although these survival elements are what truly makes Darkest Dungeons unique, it looks like there's going to be a deep and rewarding combat and character management system beneath everything, as well. The turn-based, side-scrolling role playing game will allow you to customize your party however you see fit, picking and choosing heroes based on what suits your needs and then leveling them up and modifying their loadouts however you'd like.
'course, that's all made a bit more complex by the fact that, as I've already mentioned, you're going to be juggling the mental state of your party members on top of everything else.I should also mention that the developers have openly stated the game's design was at least partially inspired by Roguelikes - those one-death-only, procedurally-generated slashfests. That should give you at least a partial idea of what to expect here.
Now, it's worth mentioning at this point that Darkest Dungeon still has a ways to go before it releases - a solid date hasn't even been set yet, after all.That said, there is a Kickstarter campaign, and it looks awesome. You should donate to it.
Adventurers are only human - and a lot of dungeon crawlers seem to forget that in favor of gold and glory. Darkest Dungeon, on the other hand, dares to ask a very simple question: is all that treasure really worth the price your party will pay?
Probably not - but that won't stop them, will it?
Note: The writer and/or the site may have received free samples or some other type of remuneration or benefit for trying out, reviewing, recommending or writing about the items covered in this article.