Last year I reviewed the early access version of Darkest Dungeon. A lot has changed since then and I’m here to, finally, give the full game a review.
Darkest Dungeon is a turn based RPG with Roguelike elements. It’s known for it’s punishing difficulty and permadeath. It’s changed a lot since I last played it and while I like some of the changes in the game I also dislike some too.
Before each dungeon I had to make sure I was properly prepared for every type of enemy I could possibly run into. I had to pack bandages, potions, shovels, etc. I did this because there are certain obstacles that I would run into that required them. Bringing torches is probably the most important tool of all. Torches keep the are around you bright and reduces the chance that you’ll be ambushed by enemies.
The game itself is quite simple. There are no branching paths for you to discover. You’ll begin every room on the left and walk over to the right while discovering treasure, traps, enemies, books, and even secret rooms. It’s important to make sure your party is not only well equipped, but mentally prepared for the path ahead. If someone is to stressed out it would be best to leave them in town and let them drink, gamble, pray, meditate, and even the sleep their sorrows away with a partner.
You can have up to 25 party members and it’s best to try and have two of each class just in case something happens to one of them. Training them can be time consuming and even a little repetitive because of the way the game itself plays, but the positives outweigh the negatives and that’s why the gameplay is in my great section.
Every Character Has Their Own Unique Personality:
If you can’t manage stress levels and one of your companions stress reaches 100 they can do a wide variety of different things. Some companions will become abusive and start saying some pretty nasty things to the rest of party. This will stress them out. Some companions will become really paranoid and ramble about everything while some will even show valor and rally their party together for one final push. Everyone that you get is different and learning their personality traits is important.
Everything looks really good in Darkest Dungeon. Darkest Dungeon won’t win graphics of the year or wow anyone with it’s gorgeous environments, but nothing looked bad either. I actually really loved the art style and I stopped every now and then to take in some of the scenic routes that I passed.
This is one area where Darkest Dungeon shines in my opinion. Once I unlocked the artifact shop I was able to equip my party with all sorts of neat artifacts that increased, and decreased, certain stats. Some artifacts have really good passive bonuses, but really bad negative ones too. It’s up to you to decide what’s good a fit for your character.
You can’t find and equip new pieces of weapons or armor for your group. Instead you upgrade what they have throughout the course of the game. In order to do so you’ll have to make sure that your group is a high enough level to get to the next tier in their equipment.
Some of the sounds are really great while others aren’t. The main reason why this is in the good section is because there isn’t enough sounds to justify placing it higher. The music is the same for every encounter and while it does help immerse me in the world I also wish we would have had more of a variety. The swords, and spells sound fantastic.
It’s A Grindfest:
If you don’t like grinding you’ll hate this game by the time you reach the end. It is a grindfest and this is coming from a guy that’s put over 300 hours in Warframe. The reason why this is a problem is because of the turn based gameplay. I mentioned earlier that it got repetitive after awhile and this plays into it.
Since the difficulty of the game was raised I found myself grinding a lot more then I did last year when I last played it. The enemies get unfair advantages later in the game and if you don’t have a top tier team you’re going to get destroyed.
I never once cared about why I was clearing out dungeons and killing bosses. The story was dumb from the very beginning of the game and it didn’t change as I progressed through the game. I knew it wouldn’t have a good story and it really didn’t impact the fun I had in the game, but it should be mentioned since this game does try and tell one.
You’ll be doing the exact same thing from the time you start Darkest Dungeon until you finish it. There is no innovation here and it’s going to put off a lot of people. I enjoyed Darkest Dungeon for the most part, but I did have to take frequent breaks because of the heavy grind.
Darkest Dungeon is a fun game that I can see myself playing through a few more times before I’m done with it. It has some replay value if you can ignore the heavy grinding that you’ll be doing later in the game. It makes the game feel repetitive, but I’m in the love with the world and can’t wait to jump back in. If you’re looking for a difficult game to sink your teeth into try this game out. Just tailor your expectations because this game does have some flaws that’ll get in the way of your fun.