Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Darkest Dungeon (Early Release)

Normally I would not recommend spending money to get early access to a game. I've been burned by doing so more than once. But this time, after some careful research, I made an exception. And I am glad that I did.

Darkest Dungeon is currently available in Early Release on Steam. In this game, you take on the role of the heir of an ancient estate that has been overrun by unspeakable horror. Your job is to recruit heroes and lead them into the depths to combat the growing evil that has overtaken your ancestral home. As they battle against the darkness, your heroes will face unimaginable horror, psychological stress, plague, famine, and death. Similar to classic games such as Wizardry or XCOM, your heroes, if they survive, will gain in experience and skill, but also may be permanently corrupted by their experiences. Death is also an ever-looming threat, and with the game state saved in real time, death is permanent. To aid you in your task, you can spend your recovered gold and resources to upgrade your manor, giving your heroes access to better equipment and skills as well as providing means to combat the stress and psychological ailments that are an inevitable result of facing the monsters in the dark.

Although the game is still technically in beta, it is very much playable.  Currently, the game features 10 hero classes, 3 dungeon environments, dozens of monsters, hundreds of items, and 3 bosses. Upcoming content includes random events for the manor, another dungeon environment, several more bosses, at least four more hero classes, and finally access to the end-game dungeon from which the game gets its title.

At this point I've logged over 20 hours into the game already, and I have yet to complete all of the content that is already available. Depending on who you ask, the game is either crushingly difficult or entirely too easy; for myself, I have found it generally challenging but playable, but prone to occasional disaster when random events don't go your way. The hero classes are varied and unique, with different sets of skills to try out and improve. The dungeons, which somewhat repetitive in nature, offer enough variation in your mission and contents to keep each trip into the darkness interesting. Overall, for a game in beta, I have been very pleased.

Intrigued? Check out the trailer below, and if you're still interested, by all means go ahead and purchase into early release for $19.99. That's a pretty good price for any PC game, and it gets you full access to the final version when it's released. In addition, there's a ton of Let's Play videos featuring this game on YouTube which are worth checking out if you're on the fence. Anyway, enjoy the video below, and thanks for reading.

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