After being in development for four years, Darkest Dungeon II is finally out of early access, available on PC as version 1.0.
If you’re a fan of dark, foreboding adventures, then Darkest Dungeon II ought to be on your radar. Developer Red Hook Studios describes it as a “roguelite turn-based road trip of the damned”, and we couldn’t have summarised it better ourselves. Travelling along a path by horse and cart, you’ll come across branching paths, choice-based events and, of course, plenty of opportunities for combat.
If you haven’t played the first Darkest Dungeon, it doesn’t matter: this is a very different beast from the first game. It’ll undoubtedly have many familiar elements if you’re a returning player, but with new mechanics and its own, completely fresh experience, it’s not your typical sequel that relies on pre-existing knowledge.
Darkest Dungeon II has five campaigns – known as ‘Confessions’ – to play through, each taking several hours to reach the end of, and each rounding things off with a fearsome boss fight. There are 12 characters to meet and play as, with players creating a party of four as they set off on an adventure. Be careful though: your party members can die or go mad on your journey if you don’t properly take care of them.
Like any roguelite, get defeated in Darkest Dungeon II and it’s back to the beginning you’ll go. But all’s not lost, as there are plenty of permanent upgrades to unlock and a good sense of progression as you move from one run to another.
If you’re familiar with Darkest Dungeon, you’ll know its famed for its distinctive and dark art style. It makes a return in Darkest Dungeon II, although it looks better than ever – with a 3D twist thanks to the horse and carriage sections. Along with an atmospheric soundtrack and excellent narration, it sets the perfect mood for those looking to get lost in a grim adventure.