Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Going into the Darkest Dungeon...

I've just started playing a new game, called Darkest Dungeon.  Darkest Dungeon's core material isn't new - take a team of heroes into a dungeon, spank some monster bottom, collect goodies and haul ass out of there like the gangsta's that you are.

But, it gives a rather interesting twist, through the use of stress.

Cheerful looking place, your village, isn't it?

Because, after all, could you go into a dark dungeon, fight a group of undead monsters (or worse), fall in traps, blunder around unable to see because your last torch has run out, without feeling a bit uneasy?  I get scared by the threat of spoiled fruit being thrown at me, so going into a dungeon would leave me unhinged to say the least.

And in this game your heroes go through the same stresses.  Sometimes they scare each other - one particular hero of mine has the ability to turn into a damage-dealing monster, which sounds great, except that it promptly scares all my other folk, sometimes tipping them over the edge.

Here we are looking around a dungeon.  Nothing could go wrong, could it?
As time goes on, your characters pick up bad (and good) personality traits, some of which are obviously undesirable - for example, being prone to stress, so combat scares them even more, to more esoteric ones, like being open to delusions or turning to the dark side.

Oops - here's a pack of undead.  Luckily we've surprised them, so hopefully we'll get to give them a slap first.
At times you almost feel like you're running a mental hospital, as half of your warriors are busy resting up, recuperating, or just getting plain drunk to take their mind off what they saw in the dungeon, while the rest of your guys are braving the dungeon to try to get some money to treat the others.

Old Captain Beaky lobs some smoke at the bad guys.  That'll sort them out.
In the last dungeon I went through before writing this blog post, of my four fighters, one was at death's door (which basically means if she got hit one more time she was dead, and in this game death means death, that character is GONE), one was Paranoid and accusing the others of being traitors, one was Abusive and telling all the others just what he thought of them, and the last one had somehow gone Courageous and, despite being stood right at the back of the group, was doing his level best to inspire the others to shut up and get back to killing monsters.

And my cheeky little robber turns his little pistol into a blunderbuss, to give everyone a good hammering.
There are one or two very minor UI issues where it could be slightly slicker, but nothing that detracts from the enjoyment of the game.  

All dead - time for some loot!  That was easy...

The graphics are good, you become engaged with your characters and want to make sure that they pull through, essentially it keeps you coming back for more.  In short, if you like RPG / adventure style games, but you'd like to try something a little different, it's well worth a shot.


  1. My husband and son are HUGE game players:)

    1. Great :) what games do they play? Both myself and my wife are, she's in the Guinness world book of records for being european champion of one game - I'm definitely a lame duck in comparison!

  2. I saw this game on sale during The Steam winter sale. Was a little unsure about it after reading the description. Might just give it a try after reading your feature.

  3. When does Mario show up? How can you have a game without Mario?

    1. Must admit I was always more of a Sonic the Hedgehog fan myself :)

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