A friend recommended Darkest Dungeon to me. While I thought the name of the game rung a bell, I was pretty sure that I hadn’t played it. Doing some research, I found that it was an early access game.
If I may digress for a moment, I’ll say that I have been burned by those things before. Towns was a big one that bit me in the tuchus and while Spacebase DF-9 was not a game that I purchased, it created a huge meltdown when it went from “Alpha” to “Completed” overnight resulting in Steam releasing an official policy that said, and I’m quoting here, “Don’t launch in Early Access if you can’t afford to develop with very few or no sales.” Essentially saying that the point of Early Access was “outsource all your beta testing for free from beta testers with not even informal training!” rather than “have a rolling kickstarter where people give you money *AS YOU DEVELOP*!”
Anyway, early access was one of those “I don’t even want to think about it” statuses for a game. Let a game crash and burn without me knowing it, let it reach a stable state without me knowing it, when it leaves beta, then I will look at it. Like Prison Architect and Kerbal Space Program.
Anyway, I got really apprehensive but he told me, “No, seriously, it’s cool.”
It’s a turn based dungeon crawler with a bit of a Lovecraftian bent. It’s your job to beat the Great Evil at the center of everything. You do this by telling your heroes to go and beat the Great Evil at the center of everything. Your heroes, by the way, are fragile and frail and likely to be messed up by the experience. Sure, they’ll get wounded, but that’s what clerics are for. This time, your heroes will also grow mad. This madness is where the mechanic of the game gets interesting. Combat causes stress. Get enough stress, and it changes the hero. Many of their phobias and neuroses will hamper how they do their job… but, sometimes, they get useful ones. Hatred of humans, for example, is currently helping my fighter out. He does more damage when fighting humans now. But, eventually, they go so mad that they become ineffective and die.
At which point you hire new heroes, fresh and undamaged ones, and they can go on in place of your fallen heroes.
Dark as heck. But interesting. I’m sure it will help me get to Fallout 4.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission.)