Darkest Dungeon, one of the few true rogue-likes out there, has been released this day.
The has been long in development and early access but showed already there a promising gameplay experience.
The story, so far it goes, is about your ancestor, who lived in his manor above a hamlet that he owned, was bored with his luxury life, so he started to research about dark cults and come across the fact that directly under his house is the portal to another dimension that promises unimaginable powers. Interested in this, he starts an expidition, spending all of his fortune only to find out that the portal leads to a nightmarish world with cruel monsters that start to invade the manor and surroundings.
He flees, writes a letter to seek your help and kills himself afterwards (the coward he is). Your goal is now to fix what your ancestor has ruined. Breach into the ruins of the manor, find the so called "Darkest Dungeon" where the portal resides and close it.
Because you are the same coward as your ancestor, you don't do this yourself, you hire some mercenary heroes and tell them that treasures await them in the dungeon. But seeing the madness that awaits them, only the most desperate characters follow your call, barely heroes themselves. But you use what you can get.
Always with a party of four heroes you travel in the ruins or the surroundings of the manor and search for treasures, ints and monsters in order to defeat the abnormal threats. Unlike most rogue-likes, it features a sideview and a rather straightforward exploratiom. You always know the entire map of the dungeon, you select adjacent rooms that you want to travel to, your party moves across a corridor and will eventually encounter monsters, traps or different interactive items, called "curio". everything can have a positive or negative impact on your heroes. Ypur heroes themself are stressed about the dreadful environment and might become insane, which sresses the other heroes even more, creating a chain reaction. Insane heroes start also to act unreliable on their own, beating themself or other heroes, speaking words of madness or just refuse to act at all. To counter this you can light torches, so they can see better what awaits them, however this is not a 100% protection against stress.
Heroes recover from stress at the hamlet, they can gamble, drink or pray in order to forget what they have recently encountered. only to face it again in the next run.
Your ultimate goal is it to defeat defeat the 8 bosses of the game in order to get access to the darkest dungeon and each boss has to be defeated three times, getting stronger in each fight.
The game features turn-based combat and your party can use 4 different skills that they might switch out at any time outside of battle with other skills they have. Position in battle is important, there are four rows on each side (yours and enemies) and some attacks work only in spefic rows and against specific rows. A melee fighter has to stand in front of the other heroes and can target only monsters that are in their front row. The interaction of skills from different heroes is important as well as the balance of stress and health. But even if your heroes reach 0 life points, they won't die, instead they reach "deaths door", a status that makes them vulnerable for every incoming attack (meaning NOW they can die from it) and also gives them some nasty debuffs. A hero that stands on deaths door should leave the dungeon as soon as possible. Heroes that die, stay dead. No resurection, no "phoenix downs", not even the ability to reload a save file. The game remembers every action at the moment it happens, meaning everything is ultimate. The full true rogue-like experience. All you can do is hire a new hero that replaces the old hero. Maybe. Probably not. He was something special. They always are.
If you liek rogue-likes with dark artmosphere, check it out.