Darkest Dungeon

Screenshot

First Impressions

Darkest Dungeon is a turn based RPG dungeon crawler with a dark/morbid theme. The gameplay consists of embarking on different quests and killing a certain monster or enemy in a specified area. The combat is different depending on what type of characters your team is composed of. You must have 4 people on your team and during combat, there can be up to 4 enemies; both teams are lined up horizontally towards each other. The key to winning is learning how to utilize your characters’ skills. Something interesting about the game is that each type of character excels in certain positions during combat (healers in the back; tanks in the front). The setting of the game is in a rundown town called Hamlet. It always seems like it is always nighttime and I think there’s a lot of things you can repair in town by getting resources from clearing dungeons. Because everything is so dark and hopeless, it feels great to clear dungeons and plan every move to take down your opponent; I think that this alone would make someone want to play this game.

Going Further

After playing for 3 hours, the game itself was still relatively fun. You find out quickly that sanity becomes a really big issue. If your anxiety gets too high while in the dungeon, your character gets a debuff. If you do not lower that character’s sanity level, they will eventually get a heart attack and take fatal damage. Also, your character’s anxiety can cause them to get mental illnesses which give the passive debuffs that can only be remedied by paying a fee for therapy back at Hamlet. During my entire gameplay, I had 2 characters that died. One was a jester and one was a vestal. The jester died because I was inexperienced at controlling the positioning of the players. Typically, you have set positions that you want your characters to be at to optimize fighting, but at other times, you want your character’s to move around according to the mechanics of their attacks. Utilizing attacks that reposition your heroes allows a wider variety of moves and options during combat. My favorite combination of moves that I had was using a Grave Robber and a Highwayman. I would place my Highwayman in front and then use Point Blank Shot. This would push my Highwayman back into the second spot thus switching spots with my Grave Robber; I would then use the Grave Robber’s “Shadow Fade” ability to stun the damaged opponent and re-switch positions with my Highwayman. This allowed me to repeatedly use Highwayman’s high burst damage from “Point Blank Shot” and keep the opponent stunned at the same time.

- Tim Latuno