My quick blurp on Darkest Dungeon that I posted yesterday has been my most popular article to date. When writing I never expected such a response. Following suit to my previous post I through I would outline my top 5 tips for players new to the game.
1. Death is Inevitable
The nature of Darkest Dungeon boils down to you vs. the game. The game will do its up-most to knock you down and beat you black and blue. During your initial dungeon runs if a party member is below level 3 then I wouldn’t bother to much if he/she should fall as they can be easily replaced. Party members at level 3 should be given more care keep them alive as they will be prime candidates to receive upgrades to fight back against what the dungeons throw at you.
2. Don’t Squander All Your Money
During the initial stages of the game I wouldn’t bother upgrading your town until you have a lot more gold in the bank. Upgrading the town is expensive and the benefits gained from the upgrade can’t really be utilised properly until you have around 60-70k in the bank.
3. Bring Enough Supplies
Always prioritise spending you hard earned gold on getting/having enough supplies for your next run. There is nothing worse than running out of food ¾ of the way through a dungeon and have to deal with the stress and after effects of hunger when you could have just purchased those extra 4 at the start of the run. Below is a helpful overview to give to the base supplies required for each run.
Short: 8 torches, 8 food, 1 shovel, 2 bandages, 1 skeleton key.
Medium: 12 torches, 16 food, 2 shovels. 4 bandages, 2 skeleton keys.
Long: 18 torches, 24 food, 3 shovels. 4 bandages, 2 skeleton keys.
Sometimes I change the keys or some herbs or antidotes depending on what run I am about to jump into.
4. Take your Time
There is no need to make a split second decision in Darkest Dungeon. Think about what you are about to do think about your party members positioning, think about the enemies position. Consider your moves and try your best to turn the tide of battle in our favour.
5. Use an Occultist
She’s the only real healer and has got me out of many a sticky situation by keeping those on deaths door standing.
To wrap it up my tips my I would say have a backup party so should your main crew need a rest you can easily swap in an out counter-parts of similar skill. Currently my main part consists man-at-arms heading up the front line followed by a crusader. My 3rd slot sees the most change but at the time of writing I am using a jester for his stress reducing abilities finally an Occultist at the back to heal my party when needed.
Darkest Dungeon was available in early access for just over 1 year before it’s official launch a few weeks ago on January 19th. So while the title indicates that this review is a first impression, it is more my thoughts on version 1.0 rather than first impressions on a game which has been around for a fair bit of time.
Having signed up for the early access to Darkest Dungeon, I previously racked up around 3-4 hours of play but then made a conscious decision to stop playing. Various aspects of the game were still changing on a frequent basis, so I figured I would wait, biding my time for the game launch to complete it, which in my view is the best experience.
If I had to describe Darkest Dungeon in a few words, I’d say it is a side scrolling Dungeon RPG in which the game tries its up-most to make you lose.Set somewhere in 15th-16th century, Darkest dungeon is a game about management and taking risks, pushing your luck where you think you can and dealing with the consequences when that game hits back at you for pushing to hard. You are the player and as far as story goes are tasked with restoring an old man’s manor. The only problem is that the depths of hell have spilled out below the manor and taken over the surrounding cellars and grounds. You assemble a party of 4, based on many different classes available and set out into the Darkest Dungeon to reclaim what has been taken away and left to rot.
The first thing you realise is how much the game is against you; at every turn you are taking damage, be it a blow from a cult zealot or from looting treasure from a cursed wardrobe, you are always fighting an up hill battle to survive and keep your party alive. Darkest Dungeon works on both health and a stress mechanic. Health is as you expect. Should a party members health reach zero, they die. Stress brings a whole new element to contend with, for if a character gets to stressed then he/she can develop a bad trait that will in turn bring the rest of the party down resulting in more stress and potentially more bad traits.
Darkest Dungeon looks great, taking its art style from graphic novels it provides an eerie feel as you wander the depths of the manor trying to stay alive. So far, I’ve played about 12 hours of the game. I’ve been taking it slow, trying not to lose anyone along the way and thinking about each move before I decide to commit. For the most part I feel I am doing well, but I have a feeling death in this game can’t be helped and it won’t be long before a key party member falls and I have to pull in a rookie to fill the gap.
When I first ventured into my medium size dungeon I thought I was stocked up to take on anything, and while I had an answer for the most part, nothing was going my way. Every strike was a miss and every chance to loot some goods had some ill effect on my party. My party was stressing and so was I. Finally made the choice to flee, valuing the lives of my party over the glory of completing a dungeon. Fleeing allows you to keep all the loot you have currently gathered, but your party takes the hit of keeping any stress and ailments that were endured during the run. Some of the ailments can have dire effects on the moral of the rest of the party; for example a party member can become abusive and will shout curses and jibes at their comrades, thus in turn bring down party moral even more.
Darkest dungeon has a nice pace that I could and have passed a whole Sunday afternoons playing. Anyone who enjoys a good RPG dungeon crawler or rouge like games then Darkest Dungeon is for you.