Unfrozen's Iratus: Lord of the Dead is one of the greatest tactical rogue-likes one can enjoy right now; one that surpasses the titles it pays homage to in almost every way. The road to getting rid of anything that breaths with your necromancer is filled with a series of challenging battles, with an enormous amount of depth in the mechanics on offer, and with a heavy dose of resource management thrown in as well. The challenge will test your mettle, as mistakes are rarely accepted, and failure is part of the recipe. It suffers a bit from a lack of content, and a slight dose of repetitiveness, yet the gameplay is so much fun that you'll keep coming back to it no matter what - not to mention that the visuals are so beautiful that it makes staring at corpses and apparitions quite the enjoyable pastime.
While Darkest Dungeon has more layers of complexity, turn-based combat in Iratus is just as compelling. You have to pay attention to negative effects, preempt potential threats, exploit loopholes in the game’s sophisticated rulebook and build effective combos.
IRATUS: LORD OF THE DEAD is basically DARKEST DUNGEON but playing the bad guys. As such it lacks originality and also the superb art style of the "original". Red Hook Studios really created a masterpiece with DARKEST DUNGEON and I would suggest picking that one up first. A more recent clone is WARSAW which ditches fantasy altogether and is set in Poland's capital during World War II fighting the Third Reich invaders as partisans.
IRATUS: LORD OF THE DEAD is unique as you play Iratus, the necromancer who has been banished in the catacombs, but is now gathering an army of undead to fight his way out and - of course - take over the world. DARKEST DUNGEON drew its atmosphere from the superb narration by Wayne June (there are no other voice actors in the entire game and none are needed). IRATUS: LORD OF THE DEAD takes a similar approach (one could also say rip-off) and features none other than Stephan Weyte who voiced (another undead) Caleb in the 1990s BLOOD games. Needless to say Weyte delivers.
What IRATUS does different is the superb way to build your army: you do not just "recruit" your minions from some tavern, no, you literally create them from components that you find in the dungeon or from fallen enemies (blood, brains, etc.). These components can also be used to upgrade these minions.
Your minions are of course not the typical hero classes like knights or mages, but their undead counterparts like death knights, liches, ghouls, banshees, etc.
Instead of the hamlet Iratus has a graveyard with buildings like a mortuary, a dead lake, an Iratus Statue (!) or a library.
Iratus also can be leveled up and can partake in combat with various spells that buff minions, debuff enemies or do damage.
It takes elements from DARKEST DUNGEON such as the automatic save system (your minions die, they're gone for good, no reloading) and the 2D graphics.
Speaking of graphics, I did not care for the art style here too much. DARKEST DUNGEON had a unique art style, IRATUS only looks cheap.
DARKEST DUNGEON was better balanced and the sanity system applied to your characters (instead of dealing sanity damage to your enemies) is more engaging.
What IRATUS does better is the progression system: it's a true dungeon crawler, featuring several levels to traverse. You can see the events that lie ahead and choose your path accordingly. There is no backtracking however, but at branching paths you can take the direct path to the level exit or a longer route to experience more combat and get more loot.
Personally I prefer DARKEST DUNGEON. IRATUS: LORD OF THE DEAD is more forgiving and overall easier as it lacks the sanity meter. It's GOOD ( 7 out of 10 ).
A pretty good TBS somewhat similar to Darkest Dungeon but lacking its taste and style.
- many unit types, with many abilities
- as others mentioned, there is no grind. You can't replay completed battles, but also you're free to create new minions at will (no need to wait for recruits)
- art - it's functional and is highly detailed, but overall the game just lacks personality. It even feels somewhat like a mobile port (hidden object game?) due its almost casual palette. It's especially noticeable when one compares it to Darkest Dungeon: there art was a significant part of the game's appeal and character. But here it's generic an adds to the feel of it being a mediocre clone of Darkest Dungeon (which it's not)
- the Dungeon Keeper-style narrative of expanding the kingdom of an evil master, killing humans and converting their corpses into undead armies. I guess the idea is just not fresh anymore. Also, Dungeon Keeper had a lot of dark humor, and the evil master was intentionally over the top. But this game stays serious all the time. And one quickly notices that this narrative just doesn't offer enough motivation to proceed.
- music is rather generic as well
- I found English localization pretty shaky, with misuse of words in some places - which makes understanding the game's rules harder at times
The game's complex battle mechanics deserved more dark humor and more character in the aesthetics. But it's a passable game if you've already completed Darkest Dungeon and wanted more of the same but with a bit different units and abilities.
Unimaginative Darkest Dungeon clone where whole gameplay is boring grind.
Played 6 hours and completed the game on "More Pain!", and about no fights were enjoyable. Game was not challenging at all and boring grind.
SummaryIratus: Lord of the Dead is a dark, challenging turn-based roguelike RPG through which you play as an evil necromancer escaping from your dungeon prison to once again embark on the domination of the world.