As a massive fan of the original I was excited to dig into the early release of the follow up. I happily ghosted a predictably bad second date (my would-be-suitor wanted to try out a “new” reopened buffet, it’s previous incarnation had been shut down due to a failed health inspection.) grabbed a glass of wine, fired up the PC and moisted (my hands) up to drop some bodies, however, when it was all said and done I’d probably have enjoyed myself more at Super China Buffet.
In the original Darkest Dungeon players were tasked with managing loot, keeping track of light, gear and such, in this early access sequel thats all been thrown away for a system that makes it feel more like a mobile game. A few other differences from the 1st game have been altered as well, stress no longer kills you, and you can no longer exploit spamming attacks and dodges to beat enemeies quickly (I’m guilty of this). Traversal has been stripped down to a tedious “driving minigame”, where you crash into obstacles in hopes you’ll get rewarded. A lifeless combat system doesn’t help matters, it honestly seemed like everything that made the first game awesome about the first game was traded in for something half baked.
To be fair, as I stated earlier this game is still in early release so, there’s a LOT of time for the developer Reed Hook Studios to turn it around and this is one reviewer who hopes they do since the first installment was a game I spent no small amount of time playing. The game is georgeous and after spending some real time getting into it, I found myself willing to overlook certain “issues” and play through, there’s no telling if other gamers will be willing to do ther same. I’m looking forward to patches and enhancements from the developer to bring DD2 closer in line with it’s older sibling.