Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts.

Abandon all hope, you who enter here.

It’s hard to find a game that spits them in the face in a world full of casuals. A game that laughs at the player at every turn. A game that sticks the player in the chair for hours with its atmosphere. The game that throws down the gauntlet. Let’s lift this gauntlet together and pass through the gates…

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

It’s been a long time since such a good position fell into my hands, although I feel obliged to warn you. Here is a list of the side effects that playing Darkest Dungeon can cause:

1. Pissed off (also called Polish Disease 1)
2. Depression
3. Wyjebomonitorius Przeokno (unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Polish name, so I leave the Latin)
4. Self-harm
5. Paranoia
6. Nyctophobia
7. Thanatophobia
8. Alcoholism

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

The list is quite limited, but I hope it didn’t scare you away too much. So… well… Let’s go!

Act I – When we gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into us

Antenat2, a man who wanted to become an antenna so much that he reached for forbidden arts to achieve his goal. He is the narrator of this sadomasochistic spectacle. More specifically, this lovely gentleman is Wayne June. I bow to the voice acting of this level. Anyway, listen for yourself:

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

Darkness and heavy climate pour buckets. And the very beginning tells us more or less the following information:

You launched Darkest Dungeon. You’re .3

There is no loading of a previous save. There is no optimal team. There’s not even a difficulty level selection. The roles have reversed. We are not hunters, but animals that desperately fight for survival. We have to adapt. And that’s it!

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

Act II – Gather your party before you set off

Why does the team itself deserve a separate paragraph? Because of two mechanics directly related to it. I’ll start with what is less irritating, i.e. the character’s habits. Here we are not controlling brave, virtuous and fearless heroes – they are ordinary people. Some drink and lose their lives at dice and poker, others are hungry for knowledge, but at the sight of a spider they need to change their pants for cito. Of course, this leads to sometimes ridiculous juxtapositions, such as the occultist who, after his expedition, goes to the abbey to lock himself in a small cell and lash his body with leek, or the priestess who has a gold loyalty card in the local brothel.

Stress. I don’t know what sick Red Hook came up with the idea for this mechanic, but I bet when he pitched the idea, the reaction from the rest was: GOOD TALKING, GIVE HIM! I would have poured him myself. Johnny Walker Blue Label. This is one of the best mechanics I’ve ever seen.

How it’s working? I will try to explain as simply as possible, using the example of a character we will call Mietek. Mieciu has two stripes – one is red, i.e. HP. But we’re not interested in him. The second, white – is stress. What causes Mitek stress? Practically everything. The blows he receives, entering a trap, the spell of an enemy monster, reading in an ancient manuscript that there will be no Half Life 3, and darkness. Mietek can catch a maximum of 200 stress points. When the stress meter is halfway – his will will be put to the test. So we have a standard dice roll for games. Either he’ll go crazy and after the trip you’ll have to send him to Katowice at 27 Korczaka Street, or he’ll pull himself together and gain a powerful buff. What happens more often – answer yourself. Well, but the limit is 200 stress points. What will happen when Mieciu swallows another hundred? Another throw of the dice. The only difference is that this time 99% of the time it will hit him. Just.

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

As for the team as a whole, there is nothing that is optimal. And the creators meticulously make sure that it stays that way. On reddit, someone once posted the most optimal composition, which was a total game-braker. It was a team that nothing could stop. Well, almost nothing. After a few developers release a patch. The whole patch-note can be summed up in FIVE words: you, there will be no izi. By the way, greetings to Szaje, who gave me this info.

Act III – I don’t think I broke anything, music, where is the music?

So let’s start with the graphics. Pretty. hand drawn. Animation as little as possible. It feels like you’re playing a board game all the time. A dark and challenging board game. It holds the atmosphere very well. Visual impressions combined with the voice of Mr. June – a miracle, honey, peanuts. Everything sticks together.
But it’s extremely difficult for me to express a specific opinion about music. While playing, I couldn’t listen to it because I was focused on gameplay and tactics. So one thing’s for sure: it doesn’t get in the way of thinking.

Act IV – Show me your wares

Overall, the game performs great. I wish everyone who creates games to make them at the same level as Darkest Dungeon. A Red Hook – congratulations on an outstanding work. Unfortunately, as for our implementation – the game is simply expensive, but it’s still worth spending 23€. Provided, of course, that you don’t abandon the game because of its difficulty level.

Darkest Dungeon, or a play in four acts

Finally, if you are interested in the game – please visit my channel! We’re flying with Let’s play 😉

How2Play Rating:

1. That’s what they call syphilis in the east
2. Old Polish word, ancestor.
3. See the game start screen.
4. Brothel