Darkest Dungeon

Sandoozee
Co-Founder of Time Wasters. Favourites are Couch co-ops, games that can be made into drinking games, and anything open world. Grew up on Nintendo but I have been putting considerable time into the Playstation 4. Nintendo will always have my heart.
darkest dungeon review

This was a game that I borrowed from a friend to test out. I can tell you that although I had high hopes, I will not be buying it.

The initial start up of the game had me hooked! I don’t know if it’s because of how excited I was playing the last game that I was testing, Yonder, or if it was just that good of an introduction. The premise seemed great. You’re tasked with fighting your way through a series of different areas to unlock the secrets of the old mansion “that is your birthright”. 

Quickly into actually playing the game I realized that the game play is a lot different than the intro had me believe.

The characters you play as are expected to end up dying frequently (and permanently) but that’s not a concern as there is a never ending supply of new heroes to use. Even if you manage to make it through a quest without your heroes dying they’ll still suffer a lot of stress from the horrors that they’ve faced that can result in a lot of other issues arising.  

My first problem with the game is just how convoluted it is. It seems like it is almost a mobile game that was adapted to console and then had a lot of extras added to it. Extras that make the game far too complicated and tedious. I don’t mind finding my characters new gear and weapons or upgrading them but when you’ve got 10 characters at a time it’s a hassle. On top of that since your characters are likely to die is there really any point is doing any of that? 

managing your game

If they don’t die you can bring them to the bar, brothel, church or sanitarium to help with the problems they’ve attained in the last session. Whether that be stress, health or afflictions they’ve attained while battling. This is a major hangup because to have them heal up I hand to run another mission with other characters forcing me to not even be able to just create a super strong team and run the whole game with them. Usually I found myself spending most of my money between healing up my characters and stocking up for the next round leaving nothing for upgrades anyhow. 

The controls were also another thing that I found very frustrating. While you do have the option of using the touch screen to select whatever you want it isn’t that convenient. Swapping positions of my characters and keeping track of all their traits was a hassle of screens to get through, especially since there is no point memorizing them since they’re going to die! Even when I had characters on the brink of death I couldn’t figure out how to run from a battle and possibly save their lives. Apparently it’s the right joystick.

 Darkest Dungeon Fight Clips |Timewasters, youtube.com

Although I have a lot of bad things to say about this game it seems to have a bit of a following to it. I am on the fence about spending more time trying to test it out after finding out just how much others love it. It could honestly be me but when it comes to playing games that is enough, don’t feel the need to force your way through something you don’t like just because it’s popular. 

Pros:

  • The initial story and the voice of the narrator are very compelling.
  • There is a high feeling of success/reward when you’re doing well in the game
  • The game is very creative 

Cons:

  • Little to no explanation on how to manage aspects of gameplay.
  • Controls are awkward and tedious
  • Player management is a hassle (especially with characters dying)
  • Far too many options and avenues to keep on top of (gear, weapons, characters, stress levels, traits, and more).

Edit: The original game was released for windows and I feel like it would have been a lot better there. Managing everything was such a hassle on the Switch but I could see it being a lot easier to deal with on a PC with a mouse and keyboard. If you are interested in trying this game I would suggest testing it out that way. 

Edit 2: I know that I said I wouldn’t play this game again but I did. I couldn’t get past how much of a following it has when I hated it so much. I attempted playing it again on the Nintendo Switch but used the touch screen a lot more than I had previously. It did make the game a lot smoother to manage than just trying to play with the controllers. That being said I still didn’t care for the other aspects of the game any more than I did before. This time I am truly done playing it. 


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