Darkest Dungeon: Tablet Edition
I love the atmosphere, artwork and voiceovers of Red Hook Studios’ RPG roguelike, Darkest Dungeon. I wish that was enough for me to stick with it, but the game feels far too punishing. I had very little to show for my first one-and-half-hours with the game. The dungeons take way too long to get through, and it’s especially painful if you know your team isn’t going to survive to the end. I’ve had some moments where I got my hopes up that after a long and grueling dungeon, at least one of them might survive so it wasn’t all for nothing, but after managing to keep them all barely alive even in the last room, they were finally all destroyed by a final group of enemies. It felt like a colossal waste of time, and I didn’t have it in me to continue. This is early on in the game, and I imagine it only gets worse. The game is intentionally hard and stressful. The odds are stacked against you and you need to mitigate your luck. This would be fine if the dungeons were short and jumping into a new one wouldn’t feel like a huge time commitment. But part of the problem is that animations take long and each turn feels like a millennium. I can’t find any way to speed that up in the options and I’m finding that to be more torturous than anything else. Compare it to a game like Guild of Dungeoneering, which similarly has your men dying frequently and being replaced with new recruits. But there, each dungeon is fairly quick to play through and it’s not that horrible if you fail and have to start over with new recruits. My problem with Darkest Dungeon is that it doesn’t feel streamlined for what it expects of you. If I’m going die frequently, then either give me something for my time invested or make things move quicker. There’s also too much going on in the way of stats and menus. It seems like it would be a huge time sink just to sit down and fully understand the game. As is, I just can’t justify spending the time on it that it demands. It’s really a shame, because I absolutely would love to play through a game with this atmosphere and story, just not this game.
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