Dark and Darker’s Alpha playtest was a lot of fun, however I still hate the spiders. Here is our review and first impressions of Dark and Darker and its gameplay.
Before we get on with the review, I’m going to start with the basics. This game is a first-person PvPvE dungeon crawling game available on PC via Steam. In it, players will explore randomly generated dungeons, looting chests and coffins, while also taking down enemies. These enemies come in the form of AI controlled monsters and other players. Once players defeat their enemies, the corpses can also be looted for items. The catch is that when you die, any equipment you have on you will be lost, and you will need to start the next raid from scratch.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into our review and first impressions of Dark and Darker and its gameplay.
Dark and Darker First Impressions
When you first log in to Dark and Darker, you will need to create a character. The game lets you pick from one of six classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I’m going to do a quick run through of each class below to give you a better idea of what each of them does
- Fighters can use almost all of the weapons in the game, including shields. However, they can’t use magic.
- Rogues use daggers and stealth to surprise enemies, as well as apply bleeds and poison. Their main problem is that their defensive capabilities are very low.
- Rangers use ranged weaponry to take down enemies form afar with accurate shots. The problem is that if enemies get close to you, you have little to no ways to defend yourself,
- The wizard uses powerful magic to deal a lot of damage in one go. Their biggest downside is that casting the spells leaves them vulnerable to attack, and they are easy to kill as their robes have little to no protection,
- Barbarians can deal a lot of damage with each swing, and tank a lot of damage as well. The downside is that they are slow, so enemies can dodge and kite them easily.
- Clerics can heal themselves and their allies, as well as deal decent damage with their mace. Their downside is that their damage output is lower than that of the fighter and the barbarian, and they don’t have a lot of offensive spells as well.
When I first started playing the game, I decided to make a fighter. This gave me access to a basic sword and shield, chest and leg armor, and no boots. Since I didn’t have anything on my inventory, I just dove straight into the dungeon to try and find equipment.
I spawned in a room, and immediately noticed a circle on my map. Much like most battle royales, Dark and Darker has an enclosing circle, which damages those who decide to stay outside it. This discourages campers and rats, and it also forces players to fight as the circle gets smaller.
Exploring the dungeon is pretty self explanatory. You go from room to room, hallway to hallway, searching for any loot. You can find loot in one of three ways in this game. First, you can find loot inside of chests and other containers like coffins. While this is usually safe, you still have to be careful as mimics are a thing in this game. Second, you can sometimes find items just on top of tables, shelves, or on the floor. Finally, you can also take items from your dead enemies, be it human or AI.
My first prey were skeletons. As I was still getting used to Dark and Darker’s gameplay, my first fight with a skeleton took away half my HP. This was main due to the fact that you had to aim your shield at the direction of the enemy attack. This was like playing Chivalry again, as you don’t just automatically block attacks just by having your shield up. After looting the skeleton, I ran into a player who was under attack. I decided to attack him, and was able to take him down. Sadly, the skeleton attacking him took me down, and I died for the first time.
As someone who plays Escape from Tarkov, this game’s gameplay loop is not new to me. You go in dungeons, find items, kill enemies, and escape. You then use the loot you find to either earn money to buy items, or as equipment for your next run. If, instead, you die, you lose anything you were carrying, from your equipped items to your bag’s contents.
What I really like about this game is that it has a safeguard in place for equipment loss. You will always have access to your class’s basic equipment. That means that even if you are a new player with nothing in their stash, and you die, you can still run dungeon raids. This is really good, as it removes the fear of not having the proper equipment in your next dungeon raid.
I ran dungeons a few times as a fighter, and realized that this game was better with friends. Dark and Darker lets you team up with up to two other players, letting you brave the dungeon with your friends. This is advantageous, as you can pick different classes to complement each other. Of course, this also means you’ll have to split the loot, so you will be getting less each run. There is also friendly fire, so you’ll have to be careful when with friends.
My friend decided to run Barbarian, as he has a penchant for characters with huge axes. This actually works well in our favor, as my fighter could take aggro while he could deal damage. It worked for quite a while, however we realized that brute force is not always the way to do things. We had a run where a single rogue was able to take both of us down using a mixture of stealth, bleeds, and poison. This run definitely did not give me the idea to make a rogue character. I just decided that I wanted to change things up a little, that’s why I made a rogue character.
Playing a rogue with a barbarian also worked well. This time, he was in charge of the aggro, while I was in charge of whittling down their HP. This got us through a few runs, as my bleed and poison was helpful in taking down most enemies. What we both hated fighting were the spiders, as it was hard to hit them with my friend’s axe, and I could quickly die when more than one was attacking me at the same time. I could talk more about the dungeon runs, but to be honest there’s nothing much to tell other than each of our runs were unique, and each run only made us want to play more.
Dark and Darker Review Summary
All in all, this is a very fun game. Dark and Darker’s gameplay may need some getting used to. However, one you do get used to them, it pays off. It is especially fun with friends, although playing solo has its own charms of course. Even if you think you don’t like games like Escape from Tarkov, I feel like you will like this game.
That’s all for our review and first impressions of Dark and Darker. The game’s Alpha test is still ongoing right now, but will end in a few days as of the posting of this article. If you want to learn more about the alpha test, you can check out our article about it. Otherwise, you can check out our gaming news articles to stay updated on the latest in gaming news.