понеделник, 23 февруари 2015 г.

Darkest Dungeon - EN

Under twilight sky, on top of a hill stands a ruined manor. Under it town in ruins, its residents strange and suspicious bunch. You? You're here to fix the mistakes of your relative who have brought doom to this place. Welcome to The Darkest Dungeon.

Darkest Dungeon is 2D side-scrolling. roguelike, turn-based RPG by Red Hook studios that is currently in Early Access stage. In it you are in the role of a successor of rich relative that in his lust for power have unleashed forces too great for him. Now is your turn, are you good enough to defeat the evil and return the Manor its former glory.

Roguelike, RNG and Madness

Darkest Dungeon is classic roguelike. In it you will quickly find yourself struggling, dying, losing characters and restarting again and again. But that is the charm of the game. Try after try, after try every time getting further and further. No, not trying to win...just to survive longer. Little by little learning its tricks. And then getting overconfident, something the game will never allow. It is time to die again.

Most of the time you will find yourself crawling in dark and creepy places, slowly leading a team of four adventurers towards...probably...their death. While jumping around traps, rumbling corpses and ambushing (or getting ambushes by) enemies you will collect resources and money which will be needed to upgrade The Town and fund your next expedition. 

When you feel ready you will challenge the next "story" dungeon until in the end you defeat this area boss and move to the next. This way little by little you will get closer to The Manor.

The good variance of classes will allow you to build whatever party you want. But I tend to find that a good mix of all works the best, while some people on the forum claim that running parties of one or two classes almost make the game too easy.

The difficulty of the game is mainly achieved by RNG which while is classic method taken directly from board games, have made more than few people to claim that the game is broken and pointless. From what I have seen the RNG is not that bad and there are enough methods to prepare for most of the things that the game may throw at you. Truly I have seen few cases of extremely bad luck in my runs, but they alone have never been the reason to lose a character or expedition. The opposite RNG in my experience is the thing that keeps you on your toes, not letting you to relax or take the game lightly.

In the dungeon-crawling they have implemented two interesting mechanics - torches and madness. During your explorations you will have a torch burning. While the light is bright you will have a chance to scout what is in the areas ahead of you and see traps before they get you. Also your characters are less stressed. When the light fades stronger enemies may surprise you and stress will increase, but you will find better loot.

While dungeon crawling your stress will increase and moment will come when your characters will have their resolve tested. From here there are two possibilities(guess which happens more often) – party members will resist the stress and become even more motivated to defeat what evil they may face or they will crumble under the pressure and will become problem for the whole team eventually even causing their own death or the failure of the whole expedition.

Madness together with the very beautiful art style adds a ton to the atmosphere and the experience from the game. And those two combined with the non-stop feeling of uneasines makes you truly feel afraid and unsure about your actions.
Madness together with the very beautiful art style adds a ton to the atmosphere and the experience from the game. And those two combined with the non-stop feeling of uneasiness makes you truly feel afraid and unsure about your actions.

The Town and the Adventurers

After a short intro and tutorial (which you can lose by the way) you arrive in The Town. This is the main hub of the game. Here you will find fresh adventurers, places for them to rest, upgrade their equipment and learn new skills. Also from here you will start all of your expeditions. 
This is important place and upgrading its many buildings will only help you in the long run.
After every expedition successful or not, you will find new recruits thirsty for fame and fortune. 

The game currently has around ten classes, each of them falling in three categories - damage dealer, support and debuffer. Each class have distinctive character and unique skill set, which usually allow it to fit in more than one role if you so decide.

In The Town you will find Abbey and Tavern where your adventurers who are too stressed can relax and prepare mentally for the next run. Also there is Blacksmith and Academy where your heroes will upgrade their skills and equipment.  Upgrading the buildings will allow you to send for rest more heroes, upgrade for less money and bring your skills to greater heights.

After the end of the run

Darkest Dungeons is really good roguelike that may stress you more than even the characters you're leading but that is its idea and it warns you about it at the very beginning. This is a game that you will not play to win but instead to just survive longer as it is merciless and will never let you feel comfortable. 
Thanks to few unique mechanics and great art, Darkest Dungeon is also one of the most atmospheric games I have play recently.
The only bad side of it is that it draws its merciless character from RNG which can sometimes make you see the game as broken and pointless, because noone likes to see his characters focused and killed by five back to back crits. But the game give you tools to fight against the RNG and when you master them you will manage to see the real beauty of it.


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