Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Nov 14, 2016
    70
    It’s a shame that the console version of Darkest Dungeon couldn’t have been a bit smarter with its controller layout, because the rest of the game shines in brilliant darkness as it did on PC; the 2D artwork is a great mix of hard lines and grotesque imagery, quite similar to Hellboy and other comics by Mike Mignola. The persistent narration is delightfully campy with its dreary delivery and macabre musings, and the fear of death (or insanity) makes every duel feel like a tense brush with death. And players will die, again and again and again. But like a certain other difficult series centered around darkness and sun bros, Darkest Dungeon’s maddening tendrils will manipulate even the most frustrated folks to try again…but consider sticking to the PC version to avoid the added frustration of fumbling around with the controls.
  2. Oct 25, 2016
    70
    Darkest Dungeon is a grim game. The tactical strategy of both the combat and resource management comes with tension and complexity. This is not a foray into casual gaming, even dedicated Dark Souls players will find Darkest Dungeon a nightmare at times. It is, however, a rewarding experience and one that is full of character and excellent narration.
  3. 70
    Darkest Dungeon can be quite inventive and interesting at its best, but these highs aren’t held for very long. Still, this is a solid turn-based RPG with a great gimmick.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 164
  1. Jan 21, 2017
    5
    Darkest Dungeon is a game that has two major flaw, its RNG factor and repetitive gameplay.
    I played 40 hours on my account and my experience
    Darkest Dungeon is a game that has two major flaw, its RNG factor and repetitive gameplay.
    I played 40 hours on my account and my experience was at first impressive, the Mike Mignola style, the first boss, the first time i saw the dungeons, watching my roster of heroes getting diverse and bigger, while my decrepit hamlet became a Bastion of hope amongst the mud, all that joy vanished, once i sink my teeth on the core of the game i realized how much luck was involved in the overall experience, if i miss or hit, if it inflicts status effect, if your character dies, what town events you get, does your tank becames a masochist prick who wont accept healing, all that joyfully out of your control, yes you can try to play avoiding such situations, and in some cases i did found that feeling similar to beating a boss in Dark Souls to emerge as a made the best out of a bad situation, but the problem was that most times it was just out of my control, random encouters with a miniboss, getting ambushed after i camp, my party getting surprised, those bad situations dont feel like a punishment for careless action or sloppy plays, it often feels like the game is punishing you for playing it.
    The game quickly turns into a grindfest, to upgrade your heroes so they can venture out on the darkest level 5 and 6 dungeons, this process takes a lot o time, upgrading the buildings so they can upgrade your heroes, and then upgrading your heroes, managing 5 types of currency during the process, and grinding early areas for loot, and then getting a poetic team wipe at a level 5 dungeon because of consecutive enemy crits and consecutive misses from the poor legendary level fools you spent so much time investing.
    A lot of people like to compare this game to the souls series, and i can see why, similar aesthetics, odds stacked up against you, and in the case of Bloodborne the Lovecraftian theme, the major difference between those games is that the souls series manages to be unforgiving towards your mistakes while Darkest Dungeon is unforgiving towards you playing it.
    My final thoughts are that while this game manages to be engrossing in art and atmosphere it lacks in gameplay and game design, i do look forward to what Red Hook has in store for us in the future, but as it stands now Darkest Dungeon is to grindy and luck based for me to really want to delve deeper in its madness.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2016
    8
    Darkest Dungeon is a game that has been on my radar since its release on PC, and now it's finally landed on PS4. The game is a 2D turn basedDarkest Dungeon is a game that has been on my radar since its release on PC, and now it's finally landed on PS4. The game is a 2D turn based RPG with a dark fantasy / horror storyline. The game has also picked up a reputation for being ruthlessly difficult.

    The core of the game revolves around you creating and managing a team of up to four active adventurers as they explore through the horror filled passages of your ancestral home. You engage in turn based combat with enemies and loot their corpses for rewards in order to upgrade your team. Pretty standard RPG stuff.

    However, the twist comes in exactly how important managing your team really is! That reputation for difficulty I mentioned is well earned. You can quite literally loose your entire team in one confrontation if they're not managed properly (and sometimes even if they are). Not only do you have to look after the team's health, but you must also manage their stress levels. Something that you will end up either loving or hating! Seriously, this will be the make or break of the game for many players.

    The stress mechanic has your team members becoming afflicted with unique behaviours as the stress level builds up. These behaviours are generally negative (but not always) and if you leave stress unchecked for to long, your character's can literally die of a heart attack! Yeah, I said a heart attack! Instant death regardless of health. And when a character is gone in this game, they're gone! Perma death is a thing.

    What really hurts is how difficult managing stress can be. Stress builds on characters so easily but it can be very difficult to counter. Especially when out on a mission. When you're back in the central hub you can remove stress by sending party members for a night of drinking in the inn, but this will then remove them from the active roster for at least another mission or two, forcing you to use less experienced backup characters to plug the gap. It's a balancing act that can feel extremely harsh at times.

    Visually the game is beautifully presented with excellent hand drawn characters and environments. The sound is great with dark brooding music and an awesome voice over that narrates your journey through the dungeons. However, I can't give any praise to the control system and user interface. This is quite possibly the weakest adaption of a mouse and keyboard setup to a controller that I have ever seen. It's horrible, and completely counter intuitive. The game also doesn't do a particularly good job of explaining how some important mechanics work. You end up learning by experience, but in a game this punishing it just doesn't feel fair.

    Overall, if you enjoy a challenge and have the patience, you'll get a lot from this game. It's not for the feint hearted or people looking for a quick action fix. A piece of advice, use a guide (at least just to understand the basic mechanics). No one will think less of you.

    9 0ut of 10 for the core game.

    -1 for a god awful control scheme and not explaining itself better.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 30, 2017
    3
    I so desperately wanted to like this, but to do so I'm afraid you must first inflict yourself with 'masochistic' (fnarr). A few tweaks couldI so desperately wanted to like this, but to do so I'm afraid you must first inflict yourself with 'masochistic' (fnarr). A few tweaks could make this wonderful... And it looks just gorgeous. But unfortunately they've missed the point of challenging gameplay. A coin toss is not 'challenging'. A dice roll is not 'tough'. If the constant threat of being but a bad roll (and believe me, it happens no matter your preparation) away from losing 20+ hours of work sounds fun, go for it. As it stands it's about us much fun as cancer, and requires as much skill as Russian roulette. Full Review »