Darkest Dungeon Review

Darkest Dungeon Review
Developed by: Red Hook Studios
Published by: Red Hook Studios
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (also available on Vita and PC)


dd4Darkest Dungeon is a turn-based RPG dungeon crawler that will leave you wanting more or crying on the floor. The game starts with a tale of a long lost relative who was looking for fame and fortune while digging catacombs under his estate. He somehow unearthed dark portals to different dimensions and released tons of evil monsters into the world. Now in order to claim this estate you must close all the dark portals and cleanse them of the evil.

dd3The gameplay is straightforward enough but sometimes not always quite clear as what needs to be done. You start the adventure by traveling to your estate where the game shows you some of the useful skills needed to venture through the catacombs. When you reach the estate you will notice tons of locked places such as the sanctuary and bar; these areas will become unlocked after doing quests. At this point you will select 4 heroes to go out and begin the quest. This is where I got a little confused as you now have to purchase materials such as food, bandages, torches, and many other items to aid you. The question is how much do you buy? After this you select a dungeon from a difficulty group. Now as these dungeons are procedurally generated, you will always be given a new dungeon to clear. My biggest gripe is that they give you the option to name your heroes, but in truth you will most likely not see that hero survive by the end of your quest. All my heroes multiple times and in Darkest Dungeon when your character dies, they stay dead. The biggest thing you will have to deal with is the affliction system the game has. Your characters’ stress levels will come into play, as if it is too dark or the character gets scared, which is quite often. This will induce random effects that will stay on that character, from being too frightened to fight to making the character become invigorated in battle and cause more damage. Now if your stress levels stay unchecked and fill up your stress bar, your character will have a heart attack and potentially die.

dd2Graphics are nice and very detailed. As you stroll through the dungeons you come across monsters from skeletons with huge swords to giant rats to fanged slugs. Often times I would get confused as to which way I was supposed to go as since the game uses a side scrolling perspective.  When you get to the end of a room you press the direction pad either up, down or to the sides to proceed. I would forget this and often go back the way I came or the wrong way. The music in the game is good but more often than not  will be absent as dungeons will be silent for atmospheric purposes.

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