The Canada-based developers at Red Hook Studios are bringing their take on the classic RPG/Dungeon Crawler genre to the PlayStation Vita in 2015.
Big fans of the dungeon crawlers of yore, the Indie developers at Red Hook Studios took to making one with their own twist – which just happened to revolve around the idea of stress.
Here’s the lowdown on how it ties in from Chris Bourassa, the studio’s Creative Director;
“Stress is a central mechanic in Darkest Dungeon – everything your heroes see, do and have done to them affects their stress levels, both positively and negatively. Land a big crit? Everyone cheers up a bit. Watch a fellow adventurer get rabies from a feral dog bite? Not so cheery.
As an adventure goes on, heroes will get increasingly unnerved by what they’ve experienced. Once they hit their maximum stress capacity, they’ll roll an ‘Affliction Check’ – success enters them into a heroic state, inspiring allies, and bolstering their abilities. Much more likely however, they will fall victim to their stress and become branded with an Affliction – the moniker for a family of stress-driven behavior – such as Hopelessness or Masochism, Abusiveness, Irrationality, etc.
Afflicted characters are like loaded guns, you never know when they’ll go off! They will periodically ‘act out’, taking an action on their own imperative. A Masochist might advance in combat, eager to have their blood spilled, or they may refuse to be healed, fascinated with their own wounds. Conversely, watch for a Selfish character to retreat in a fight, use supplies unnecessarily, or even steal from the party’s gold!
Bottom line, as your heroes lose their grip, you as the player lose your grip on them! We think it’s an exciting, unpredictable element that challenges players to make the best of an imperfect situation. Can you succeed even when the party is fracturing?”
Alongside this stress mechanic is the unpredictable system of quirks your characters can develop and act upon; while wandering around in the dark might give one character night vision, another could just as easily develop a fear of the dark and become more easily stressed in dark places. The beauty of the game lies in its unpredictability and its quirks, which brings us to our next subject – a way to deal with them.
Has your best team mate developed a bit of the jitters? No worries, just have him sit out a round at your home base where he can drink, gamble, pray, whip himself, or explore many other options to bring his spirits back around. Beware though, as it’s possible to encounter an unpredictable situation or quirk even in your own home – your workers might not show up, might get banned from a certain relaxation technique, or worse!
In the end, Darkest Dungeon is an uncompromising experience which puts you in charge of a crew of fallible workers with a system of quirks and possibilities which can lead to many vastly different results. If you’re a good leader, you might make it far with all your team mates intact and relatively sane – but a bit of bad leadership could easily lead to you losing a member or two… something that in this auto-saving title is permanent.
Do you think you can lead your team through the Darkest Dungeon in one piece? Check out the trailer and think again;
Darkest Dungeon is set to release on PlayStation Vita sometime in 2015, so stay tuned to The Vita Lounge for all the updates between now and then. 😉