“There is a great horror beneath the manor. A crawling chaos that must be destroyed. The task ahead is terrible, and weakness can not be tolerated. My obsession caused this great foulness. Now, like me, you are a part of this place.“
Darkest Dungeon celebrates its full release today! Above is the official release trailer, and it gives a good idea of what the Darkest Dungeon is about. It’s a tactical, rogue-like dungeon crawler, where you form a party of four adventures (each with various abilities and skills) to cleanse the evil lurking beneath the manor. The unique mechanic in this game though is that, not only do your heroes suffer normal damage that can kill them, but they also get continuously hit by stress. Being hit by certain attacks, being on the receiving end of a critical strike, or even letting the torch burn low, all contribute to stress. Suffer too much, and you gain afflictions that will most likely hamper your ability to fight, but can, occasionally, make you heroic. The stress mechanic provides a unique insight into your own psyche. How far will you push your heroes? Over at Paste Magazine, they have a really interesting article on just this topic, about Darkest Dungeon, mental health, and Lovecraftian horror.
It’s a brutally hard game that auto-saves continuously, so death is permanent. You have to decide if you want to push on to just one more room to gain some more treasure, or if you decide discretion is the better part of valour, and flee that accursed place. Despite being tough, it’s supremely rewarding when you pull off a crit that wins the fight, or your heroes dodge that powerful blow aimed for their heads.
The thing I like the most about the game though is the art style and the narrator’s voice. Check out the intro cinematic and campaign opening video below the break, and you’ll see what I mean. How can you not be intrigued by it? To love and fear it at the same time?
I look forward to venturing once more into that damnable portal of antediluvian evil, where together, we will find our redemption. Go To Hell. Onwards!