Darkest Dungeon is an innovative and challenging gothic RPG that brings unique psychological elements to traditional dungeon crawlers. A fresh and never-seen-before roguelike game, it introduces the character’s personality and psychology into the integration and deepens the strategic play to a new level.
Players embark on the adventure with the purpose of unveiling the truths of the remains of their cursed ancestral property. Not alone, they will recruit, train and guide a group of heroes to explore the forbidden places. Darkest Dungeon features more than a dozen character classes including the Leper, the Plague Doctor and the Occultist and so on. Different characters have their special abilities – the Plague Doctor can hurl toxic plague grenades to sicken enemies; the Grave Robber is capable of disarming traps when placed in the front row; and the Crusader is capable of defending himself and teammates with his meat shield in case of ambush. But that’s only a start. Susceptible to the stressful environments – that opens a new chapter in the RPGs.
Playable characters in Darkest Dungeon are heroes, but flawed heroes with stress levels who will be affected by the dungeon itself as well as monsters and horror in it. They are tough fighters but still human and they have their own personalities and problems. A rotting body weakens the Highwayman but toughens the Crusader; the Vestal fears none but the undead because of haunting past; and the Man-at-Arms fights adversaries bravely with his battleaxe but also fights teammates over his liquor and temper. The varying situations in the dark dungeons exert weight on the stress level of every character differently. And different experiences plant fear, fury, paranoia, irrationality and various quirks in the heart of characters. It’s up to players to adopt strategies to make the best of every hero while protecting them from breakdown and even permanent death.
The affliction feature, i.e. the psychological system, is the foundation of the strategy in adventure and in combat. The personalities and abilities of characters are decisive when players select fighters to combine a group, arrange the battle parade, choose skills and items to use and decide the acts of fighters in each turn. Tactical planning and flexible response are required in combat. That’s not all, though. Players also need strategy in exploration and camping.
Danger lurks both within and without. The mazelike dungeon, drawn in a unique gothic quill art style, is filled with zigzagging paths, interactive items, ferocious enemies, cunning traps and rich variety of treasure. As players venture into depth, the darkness is thickened to flicker the torch and exert stress on the group. While players seek for great wealth, they will also have to handle a group of anxious and unnerved fighters whose fear, anxiety, irrationality and other negative emotion not only damage themselves but also shake other members.
Darkest Dungeon is not all about expedition and combat. It lets exhausted fighters have a break in the Town, a place to shop and a place to rest. Players will restore the hamlet to its former glory by using hard-won gold and ancient heirlooms in exploration and then utilize the buildings in the village to extend their power. Recruit new heroes, cure and comfort the bent nerve of the fighters, gain better equipment and supplies and upgrade the fighting group’s skills, etc..
Darkest Dungeon is designed for PC/Windows and Mac. Early access will be available on Steam.
Note: Darkest Dungeon is now in kickstarter and has crowd-funded far more than its basic goal within three days. For hard-core role-players it is a game that is certain to bring a whole new experience. If interested, please visit its kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1460250988/darkest-dungeon-by-red-hook-studios