Darkest Dungeon – Early Access Review

Darkest Dungeon is a turn based RPG with rogue like elements. This is one of the harder games that I’ve played this year. If you’re not careful you’ll end up throwing your keyboard out of a window because of how difficult this game can be if you’re not paying attention.

You start the game off with two heroes. The beginning of the game is pretty straight forward. You kill a few brigands and advance to town. One you get to town the game will really begin. You won’t have access to all of the features right away, but you’ll eventually be able to let your heroes relax by having a drink or by letting them pass time in a brothel or church.

54d946e8d2823ab4613771c309b872ec_largeIf you refuse to tend to your heroes needs they won’t be as effective in battle when you take them with you because their stress levels will be too high. I honestly think the stress system is a little broken right now. After one dungeon run my stress levels was really high. It could use some tweaking, but this game is only in early access right now so I expect that to at least see some attention in future updates.

Once you take your party to a dungeon you’ll have to be really careful because if one of your party members die they’ll be gone for good. You’ll have a chance to replace them with a brand new member once you get back to town, but they won’t have any of the perks or weakness that your previous dude had.

Every character in the game has their own personality, but it could use some work. Dialogue bubbles pop up and take forever to go away, if your character takes too much damage or if someone dies than there is a good chance that your other party members will freak out and start talking random bullshit or attacking without you giving the order to attack.

Some heroes will actually fight harder and inspire their friends instead of lose their minds and will to fight. You can upgrade your characters equipment at a blacksmith, but you’ll need to use valuable resources in order to do so.

maxresdefaultThe combat in Darkest Dungeon is simple. It’s turn based, meaning every character will have a chance to perform an action, but it’s also really random. You can go from having a great fight to losing every single party member in an instant. This game can seem unfair at times, but I just think it has a steep learning curve. Don’t send your party out into a dungeon that is beyond their, or your, skill level and you should be just fine.

There isn’t much in the exploration department. You’re basically going from the left side of the screen to the right until the reach the end and go through a door in front of you. It’s not really that simple because you’ll usually have to fight a mob of enemies or disarm some traps. You’ll find books that will either give you a cool new trait or a bad negative one. You’ll find loot, and many other things scattered across the dungeons as you fight to reclaim your lost land.

Darkest Dungeon is surprisingly stable for an early access game. It has great gameplay, a beautiful soundtrack, and has a morbid feeling to it. This game is not for casual gamers. You will lose many heroes on your journey and will probably go through a mouse or two, but once you learn how to play it’s a really satisfying experience and I for one can’t wait to see what it will be like once it’s completed.

Darkest Dungeon has earned our recommendation. If you’re into difficult games you should definitely give this game a shot. You won’t regret it.

The Verdict: 7/10

The verdict is not final. This is only an early access review and I will come back to this once the game is finished.

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