Darkest Dungeon Previews and PAX Prime Gameplay Video

Not only have a number of previews for Red Hook Studios' Darkest Dungeon emerged from the game's showing at PAX Prime this week, but the team has also treated us to the full 20-minute gameplay demo that was showcased at the event. We begin our trek into the dungeon with this combat- and exploration-heavy footage:

We then move on to the previews, starting with GameInformer:

I chose all four new heroes for this adventure. The grave robber offers better loot, the chance to disarm traps, and better mobility options in battle (like a lunge that takes the character from third position to the front while dealing damage to the lead enemy). The bounty hunter is a crowd control character, disrupting the enemy lineup. The Hellion is a barbarian type fighter, with a shout that can stun enemies. Finally, the Occultist is a "risky support" character, with a chance to inflict bleeding when healing friends (but dealing in potent poisons to do damage over time).

One of the first things I noticed upon setting out was that exploration is now more interactive. Before, moving from room to room involved clicking on the next chamber, leading to the party automatically trekking down the corridor.


And those stress levels don't decrease. You can mitigate some of the effects by camping (which requires '˜camping points' a limited resource), but the only way to reduce your party's stress levels is to return to town and send them off drinking or whatnot.

There is an entire town '˜metagame' in Darkest Dungeon you must engage in to help tend the party's wounds and mental health. If you fail to balance your needs to continue plumbing the depths of the dungeon with their fragile states of mind, they can go insane and act unpredictably and dangerously (to you) in combat.

Nerd Appropriate:

I was initially concerned with exactly how deep the game would be, but after getting a sneak peek at the town mechanic my fears were squashed. From town, players can rest their party members, take missions, recruit new members, upgrade their village, purchase items, and a whole lot more. The team mentioned that the game's narrative revolved around the inheritance of a dilapidated estate and the attempt to restore it to its former glory. While the town art was still in progress, what I did see looked really impressive and much larger than what I was expecting. A tavern, church, and trading outpost were all visible and looked great from what work had been completed.

And concluding with MMORPG.com:

With the turn based combat each party member has a set of skills to use as you meet groups of monsters. The Hellion has a series of attacks which can all do single or multiple target damage. She was not as heavy a tank as the Crusader, but she made up for with a more DPS style of front line fighting. The Grave Robber plays as a critical role in shifting the ranks of your party. Marching order is critical in the game. The Bounty Hunter carries a hook and can pull enemies to the front rank of their order. This was really helpful in the boss fight when the necromancer continued to summon undead and then jump to the back of the line. Of all the classes I had most fun adding the Occultist to the group. He had a decent healing spell that kept my Hellion alive, but could also do some good attacks from the back rank by summoning horrors through portals. The guys are all huge Cthulu fans and it shows with the Occultist. I would say that though his heals were decent, he was much more of a utility class than a straight healer.