Darkest Dungeon‘s [official site] recent updates have divided opinion with their new features and then made those features optional in response. Its latest Early Access addition seems more straightforward, adding a new dungeon region, new monsters, bosses, art, music and more to be traumatised by.
The update is called “Those From Below” and introduces The Cove, the game’s fourth dungeon. The region comes with seven new monsters, who are said to “fast and bleed resistant, and also have many bleed-causing attacks,” as well as two new bosses. These monsters will also apparently use mechanics the foes the game has included before don’t bother with, such as healing and guarding. It’ll be interesting whether that increases the difficulty, or the time each fight takes, which were the key complaints after the recent addition of corpses.
If you’re in the middle of a campaign, you don’t need to start over in order to experience The Cove areas, since “Cove quests will spawn alongside quests from other regions.”
The hook of Darkest Dungeon is that aside from fighting through monsters and make tactical decisions about how to use your squad’s abilities, you’re also dealing with the physical and mental maladies that befall your troop as a result of prolonged adventuring. The promise of an RPG not just about combat stats, but in which your favourite fighter could be struck down by paranoia or fear, earned the game more than four times what it asked for on Kickstarter.
Despite enjoying the early version of it I played shortly after release, I haven’t been back to Darkest Dungeon since. That’s partly because I found it hard enough at the time that the addition of complexity in each new update puts me off, and partly because I liked it and would rather experience it when it is balanced and at its best, rather than a work in progress.
As always, the update comes with a number of other tweaks to game balance, small additions and fixes, which you can read about here on the game’s Steam update page.