I’ve seen some things, man, things you wouldn’t believe. Things that would make you run home crying to your mama. Fortunately, Red Hook Studios’ Darkest Dungeon isn’t one of those things.
Shot in the same vein as most dungeon crawlers, Darkest Dungeon is portrayed as a satisfying blend of strategy and micromanagement, sporting the ever-popular “I’m going to kick your ass” difficulty level made famous by games like Dark Souls.
So what’s the hook? Well your party members are portrayed as real people who feel real consequences, not just wooden mannequins wearing armour and weapons. What they experience down in the depths will cause both positive and negative mental shifts in their psyche, which will have an adverse effect on how they react in certain situations. Fear, mistrust, stress and anxiety can all become very real conditions for your roster of heroes, and managing this psychological battlefield in tandem with the actual fighting sounds like a clever evolution of the genre.
A great example of this evolution is when your Man-at-Arms becomes an alcoholic. Sure, everyone likes a pleasant drunk, especially if he becomes stronger in his drunken rage. However, his inebriation is a double-edged sword, as he becomes unpredictable and can sometimes endanger the party with his drunken whims. Do you choose to leave him behind when you set off on your next trip? Or do you simply hope this time won’t end in bloodshed for your team? It’s these decisions that are shaping up to be the bread and butter for Darkest Dungeon.
It’s important to note that while we know the premise and general idea of the gameplay, it’s still unclear as to how the player will interact with the game world, or what kind of art style we can expect to see from the finished product. My best guess at the moment is leaning towards a Legend of Grimrock-style labyrinth crawling perspective, where ghouls spring forward and are dealt with from a viewport/battle screen.
The game is still in a very early stage of development, with plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the future to help support development. This means the game will likely be launching sometime next year, with confirmed releases for PC, Mac and Linux already announced. For more information on the games progress, head on over to the official site.
© 2013, The Indie Mine. All rights reserved.