With Steam’s big VR Spring Sale on, obviously the charts are a bit full of… ha ha ha, no of course not. No one wants VR. Same old same old. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature ContVRoVReVRsial
RPS Feature Update Night
Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.
Down a dark, dark road, through a dark, dark forest, under a dark, dark town, in a dark, dark — darkest — dungeon, there’s a new easy mode.
Darkest Dungeon developer Red Hook Studios introduced “Radiant” difficulty to their infamously tough sidescrolling slog ‘em up early last year, making it quicker and cheaper for the game’s gang of highwaymen, lepers, grave robbers, and other playable miscreants to gain new skills. The new mode reduces gold costs for upgrades, provides more cash for dungeon visits, and bumps experience gains, with the effect of dragging the time of a playthrough down from the 80 hours quoted by its developers to a more manageable 40 hours. But in a game renowned for its punishing difficulty and mind-shattering horrors, how does an easy mode even work?
RPS Feature The biggest hits of the past 12 months
Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.
Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.
The sky is falling above Darkest Dungeon’s ill-fated village, Hamlet. As we know from Asterix, this is a very bad thing and you should be rather scared. A comet has come crashing down and landed in the outskirts, bringing with it a strange light and, of course, madness. It can only mean one thing: it’s time for some new DLC. Some new DLC with a not very reassuring name, specifically. The Color of Madness is due out next spring.
Darkest Dungeon, the sanity-testing RPG, has just welcomed a new unfortunate soul into its roster of adventurers. The Shieldbreaker is a new class of hero, adept in – you guessed it – battering armoured monsters. She’s got low health, however, so you’d better be cautious when you send her delving into forgotten tombs and toxic swamps. Read the rest of this entry »
Ask anyone who is playing Darkest Dungeon’s [official site] bloodthirsty expansion The Crimson Court how they feel, and they’ll probably smile nervously and then collapse in a pale heap of quivering flesh. At least, that’s now I’d respond, and Fraser isn’t far off a total collapse judging by his review. It’s a top notch addition, running alongside the main campaign and delivering wonderfully grotesque insectile vampires, but it’s also really hard.
That’s kind of the point, given that this is Darkest Dungeon rather than Brightest Ballroom, but Crimson Court’s new curse often feels like a burden rather than an interesting new feature. Thankfully, as well as announcing a stonking 175,000 copies sold, Red Hook say changes are a-coming.
RPS Feature A turducken of cruelty
The Crimson Court [official site] has transformed Darkest Dungeon into a turducken of cruelty. Every layer of the tactical RPG is now laced with poison and jam-packed with barbs that pierce and tear with every bite. What was already an extremely challenging game has become considerably harsher and unyielding, so much so that even gluttons for punishment may balk at the prospect of fighting the new vampiric menace.
RPS Feature The best bargains
The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.
Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.
RPS Feature Listen now or fall to pieces
It’s warm! Luckily the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, have come together to talk cold games, like chilly survivalist city-builder Frostpunk. That’s because Adam is back from E3 and can tell us (Brendan and Pip) all about it. He’s also played Destiny 2 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the lucky sod. Spill the beans, Adam! No wait, don’t. We need those.
This week’s back-to-normal-length episode also sees us talking about Darkest Dungeon‘s latest expansion, The Crimson Court, esoteric desert survival RPG Kenshi, and some news about GTA V and the sad fate of its modders. Also: the return of our patch notes quiz, Patch Adam, this time featuring Dwarf Fortress. Read the rest of this entry »
Splendidly cruel dungeon crawler Darkest Dungeon [official site] has launched its first expansion, The Crimson Court. The expansion’s focus is the eponymous aristocratic vampires, though Darkest Dungeon handles this idea in a different way than the usual bloodsucking toffs. This lot have become mosquitofolks with proboscis-like noses and, as the curse takes hold, mandibles, blood-bloated bellies and worse mutations. They look awful. I am excited to meet and murder them. Also in the expansion are new areas, weapons, items, and a hero class, the Flagellant. See in the launch trailer: Read the rest of this entry »
Splendidly cruel dungeon crawler Darkest Dungeon [official site] will welcome mosquito-like aristocratic vampires with the launch of its first expansion, The Crimson Court, on June 19th, developers Red Hook Studios have announced. For $10 it’ll add that dastardly strain of bloodsuckers, along with the whole new dungeon type they inhabit, a new hero for you to dust them with, and a fanatical vampire hunter who might murder you if he thinks you’re tainted. I am very much into the fine clothing and horrible proboscis noses of Crimson Court Members, a nice spin on your usual swanky vamps. Read the rest of this entry »
The splendid Darkest Dungeon [official site] has launched a Steam Workshop, making it a snap to find and install mods. With a while still to wait for Darkest Dungeon’s expansion, Crimson Curse, why not have a crack at some mods? Mods already on the Workshop cover everything from to a wintry makeover and UI tweaks to new classes and ways to make DD even more challenging. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Radiant’ mode has arrived in Darkest Dungeon [official site], offering a shorter — but not necessarily easier — crawl through the deadly depths. The new difficulty mode removes a lot of grind by boosting XP and cutting gold costs, but your troops will still certainly be at risk of losing their minds when they get spooked by a skellington or booed by a ghoost. Or, if you’re a bad enough dude, the ultra-hard mode is now even harder. And for everyone, four new monsters have been added and a lot’s been tweaked and rebalanced. This is a cracking update! Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature New perspectives
Darkest Dungeon is an RPG in which four flawed heroes face damnably transcendent terrors as they explore the ancient narrow passages beneath a cursed mansion. Notch by notch, their grasp on sanity slips and their vitality trickles thinner as their torch dims and new horror befalls them.
This is a game in which pressure mounts, misfortune crushes, and mistakes are punished. You can’t expect your party to always survive, whether driven to death or madness, and its turn-based combat plays out with the constant understanding that every decision can turn on a knife-edge: a missed hit, an ill-considered target, the wrong ability. And a lot of that tension is founded on something that on its face sounds prosaic, even old-fashioned:
THE MECHANIC: 2D combat Read the rest of this entry »
New enemies are coming to Darkest Dungeon [official site] as part of the upcoming free update adding a shorter (but not easier) ‘Radiant’ mode. That’s the word from developers Red Hook Studios, who say they’re planning to launch the update by early February with other a number of “quality of life” tweaks too. The bad news is that all this extra work will push the dungeon crawler’s expansion, the vampiric Crimson Court, back into April. I’ll happily wait for that, especially if other fanciness is coming first. Like that ↑ new cheerleading Bone Bearer. Read the rest of this entry »
Darkest Dungeon [official site] is the year’s best dungeon crawler, sez we, but I must confess I find it a bit of a grind at times. So, good news: developers Red Hook Studios have announced plans for a mode which won’t necessarily be easier but will cut the game’s length down from 80-ish hours to around 40. They’ve also revealed a smidgen more of its upcoming vampiric DLC, The Crimson Court, by showing off the grizzled vampire hunter who may well come after your party. Lovely! All this plus details on yesterday’s patch (controller support!) below. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature way down in the hole
You can’t write for a website about PC games without spending a fair bit of time down in the dungeons, crawling and looting. We do find some wonderful things in the depths of the earth though. Welcome to day ten of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, daily. Behind today’s door is…
RPS Feature Hit Parade
An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now brought up to date with the riches of the last two years. From intricate wargames to soothing peacegames, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.
Mostquito-lookin’ vampiric horrors are coming to Darkest Dungeon [official site] in its first DLC, named The Crimson Court. But are they friend or foe? Given that potential party members in the ace dungeon crawler already include Grave Robbers, Occultists summoning tentacles from beyond the stars, and Abominations who can warp into unholy beasts, it could go either way. I’d certainly welcome a fancy bloodlady to my party. Developers Red Hook Studios aren’t giving much/anything away for now, but do tease that the DLC will include a new playable class.
RPS Feature How to cheat and prosper
We’ve all been there. When a puzzle is so obtuse you can’t even begin to work out how to solve it. When you’ve been searching for the next bonfire in a Dark Souls game for hours on end. When you’ve committed to finding a game’s scattered collectibles and one proves a bit too well hidden. Wikis and guides can replace hours of frustration with a few seconds of Googling, making up for an oversight on the part of a game dev or the occasional brain fart on the part of the player.
They can also leach the fun out of games. Looking up solutions can quickly devolve into a paint-by-numbers experience, with almost as much time spent alt-tabbed as playing a game. The moment that door is opened, there’s a danger that any sense of challenge or discovery will be lost. So, how do you decide when turning to external sources such as guides, FAQs, Wikis and search engines is worth the risk?