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?