Quantcast
The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Darkest Dungeon  




The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me photo
The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me

4:00 PM on 04.18.2014

I didn't panic, and neither did my crew


Hot off its huge Kickstarter success, Darkest Dungeon is already in a playable-enough state to have a demo at PAX East 2014. Although the demo was only a short snippet of what's to come, it was easy to get a sense of the themes Red Hook is shooting for with this roguelike RPG. 

It looks great, it plays like a strategy-RPG, and its structure was likened to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This game is brilliant.

Darkest Dungeon plays like a positional turn-based RPG. Everything happens on a 2D plane, which forces characters to line up one behind another. The characters for this demo were, in the order from front to back, Crusader, Highwayman, Plague Doctor, and Vestal.  The Crusader was akin to a Knight class, the Highwayman used firearms, the Plague Doctor inflicts status ailments, and the Vestal fits the healer role. 

Certain moves are only available if a character is in a certain position. The Crusader really thrives in the first position, but if he switches out with the Highwayman, the Highwayman can then use his Point Blank Shot ability to deal some serious damage. There are certain moves that will push your characters around, however, so it’s best not to get too comfortable with a single arrangement.

Characters will also have certain personality traits that affect their stats and behaviors. They begin simple enough, with things like +10 Protection or -20% Critical Chance, but as players traverse the dungeons they will gain more. The traits in the PAX demo were random, and luckily I didn't get a Crusader with minus accuracy or protection or anything just as bad. As I explored, my Highwayman encountered a strange artifact, and after inspecting it, got a new personality trait that made him more prone to inspecting future ones. He just couldn’t resist the temptation...

This is easily one of the coolest aspects of Darkest Dungeon. Characters will gain more and more traits as the player uses them, and this allows them to develop and evolve, even if it is for the worse. When characters enter the titular "darkest dungeon," the game's last dungeon, they gain a trait that prevents them from ever entering that dungeon again. They've just seen too much and refuse to go back.

Other than health, characters also have a Stress bar. If their stress bar maxes out, they will become afflicted with something. Luckily, I avoided this during my playthrough, but the player before me had all of their party members afflicted by the end. Their Crusader, for example, became a Masochist and no longer accepted heals in any form. They aren’t all terrible, but they are unpredictable and not exactly ideal. Critical hits can increase stress if your team is on the receiving end, or reduce it if you’re the one dishing it out.

Darkest Dungeon even has strategic camping mechanics! While exploring an area, the party has the option to camp in an empty room with some firewood. During this time, the party is allocated a certain amount of camping points to use camping spells. These spell can reduce stress and increase health, but the better the skill is the more points it will use up. It adds a lot compared to the typical “rest button” in most other games that just heals everyone up.

While it wasn’t in this demo, I was briefed on the town aspects of the game as well, which will function similar to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. While at the town, players can recruit more characters, especially if theirs have died since death is permanent. This is also where players will access the various areas, which they may go to at any time. The exception to this is the last dungeon, which is the titular Darkest Dungeon. Spoooooky!

The art is amazing and does a lot to add to the dark and morose tone that the game sets up. Attack animations aren't fluid swipes and movements, but rather a quick frame change with a smash cut that really add impact to attacks and spells. The art is clean, yet grimy. I loved looking at it because of how grimy the characters looked. The atmosphere is absolutely perfect, which adds a lot to Darkest Dungeon

I came away from Darkest Dungeon with nothing but a lust to play more. I really enjoyed what the team at Red Hook Studios has put together so far and am eagerly awaiting the full game's release. If you're interested in Darkest Dungeon but missed out on the Kickstarter, you can still buy/pre-order the game from their website.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Darkest Dungeon



4:45 PM on 04.14.2014
Darkest Dungeon is an RPG with STDs and PTSD

If you saw the Darkest Dungeon Kickstarter, you are probably excited for the game. Seriously. Go watch the video. And then watch the above video of Holmes interviewing Lady Melissa at PAX about how your four characters' psyc...more



9:00 PM on 02.10.2014
This week's impressive Kickstarter is Darkest Dungeon

I must've missed hearing about Darkest Dungeon originally as there's no way I would've seen that footage (embedded again above) and gone on with my day like nothing had happened. Now, months later, this turn-based dungeon cr...more



11:00 AM on 10.21.2013
Do you dare delve deep down into the Darkest Dungeon?

I will admit: I very nearly skipped over looking into this game after seeing its unappealingly generic title. However, I urge you to not do the same. Darkest Dungeon intends to look at the idea of dungeon crawling from a mor...more





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

Role-Playing Games

5:00 PM on 07.24.2014
Atlus didn't let failed crowd funding sink EarthBound-like Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth didn't meet its Kickstarter goals, but Persona developer Atlus swooped in and saved the day. Lead designer and Eden Industries co-founder Ryan Vandendyck, who you might have seen on Sup Holmes?, talked...more



4:00 PM on 07.24.2014
Memory spared: Freedom Wars gets retail release in Europe

The Monster Hunter x headphones Vita game Freedom Wars was originally only coming to Europe digitally. This upset some people. Maybe their internet access is limited. Maybe they don't want to spend money on over-pri...more



3:15 PM on 07.24.2014
Lords of the Fallen trailer: Lustful women and a moody CCR cover

Lords of the Fallen sits somewhere between Darksiders (#darksiders2) and Dark Souls. The trailer, with the God of War-styled heavy petting foursome, leans toward the former.  With the trailer comes the announcement that those who pre-order get bumped up to a Limited Edition, which just means some weapons, The Monk's Decipher DLC, and a soundtrack.more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more