Monday, February 10, 2014

The Watchlist: Darkest Dungeon

Title: Darkest Dungeon
Developer: Red Hook Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Releasing 2015
Darkest Dungeon is a hard-core RPG about the stresses of dungeon crawling. You will lead a band of four heroes on a perilous side-scrolling descent, dealing with a prodigious number of threats to their bodily health, and worse, a relentless assault on their mental fortitude! Five hundred feet below the earth you will not only fight unimaginable foes, but famine, disease, and the stress of the ever-encroaching dark. Darkest Dungeon focuses on the humanity and psychological vulnerability of the heroes and asks: What emotional toll does a life of adventure take?
Most gamers are probably no stranger to the dungeon crawler. It's a classic genre, seen in myriad forms and styles, but the upcoming Darkest Dungeon plans to approach the genre from an unexplored angle, the human angle. What would happen to the mind and body as you bled, toiled, endured the dank darkness filled with unearthly horrors?
I've been describing the game as "The Road" of dungeon crawlers, and I think that best sums up the Red Hook's take on the genre. Presented in a gothic 2D style, your team of four warriors venture into the claustrophobic dungeons, facing danger and death at every turn. Combat is turn based and strategic, as you focus on team structure and maximizing your advantages while limiting disadvantages. Yes, disadvantages; Darkest Dungeon isn't just about the combat and exploration, but also the psychological toll it takes on your team. That's where The Road comparison comes in; like McCarthy's book, Darkest Dungeon plans to delve into the bleak emotional damage your actions cause, as fear, madness, disease, and the dynamics between your group members threaten to leave you all dead in the dark corridors. Resting at campfires or taking a much-needed rest in town may be able quell these encroaching dangers, but how much can your team take before they break?
Darkest Dungeon is planned to be released sometime in. You can learn more at its official site and support the game on Kickstarter.

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