Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court (Video Game Review)

Adding vampires to any setting opens up new doors. From secret societies to new abilities and afflictions, it grants the developer a chance to really experiment with a few new ideas, and add a new layer to their game. Darkest Dungeon's already grim and gloomy world adds to this with this latest DLC - the Crimson Court - with the chance for your heroes to become a desperate bloodsucker themselves.


  1. It's a real shame that this DLC turned into another detriment to the game like the Alien Hunters DLC in XCOM 2. I was really looking forward to this DLC too since I like the game a lot (it's a little too unfair with a little too much luck for me to say I love it) but this feels like surprisingly little has been added.

    Sure we have a new location, but would it really have been so bad to just get this added to the areas you could choose from? Requiring me to get an invitation makes it feel more like some weird mod I'm using that's exploiting a backdoor to get me into an area I'm not normally supposed to get into. In turn this makes me feel less like I've got a new region to explore and more like I've downloaded an enemy encounter mod for the regular game. The districts also don't really feel like they help that much to be worth the vast resources you need to sink into them when you could just improve the hamlet or your own characters, with only a few exceptions (and even then it's random on when or even if you'll actually get the district you want).

    I do certainly like the new area, the new enemies and the new class, all of those are great, however the Crimson Curse feels really disappointing. The way they initially talked about it and the fanatic made it seem like this would leave a permanent mark on your characters, however all it does is buff/debuff.
    Maybe it's just me but I was hoping that when they had the Curse for long enough they'd start exhibiting symptoms other than just craving blood, such as eventually getting positive or negative quirks depending on if you sate their thirst when they demand it. They could have also helped with the danger of your companions dying if they could have sated their thirst on your party members, instead of just having them deal damage with no benefit. Maybe you could have gotten a new move where they try to feed off the blood of their enemies with a differing chance of succeeding depending on their enemy types? Speaking of which I'm really not a fan of the new types and I really think the Bloodsucker type should have just been Eldritch since it de-values pretty much every special attack and the specific quirks of your party members that target a unique enemy type.
    The rarity of blood also sucks, and I wish there were more ways to get it. For example, why can't I just bash the Hooded Shrew with the shovel to get blood and then have to fight an ambush battle (with the idea being killing the Shrew attracted enemies)? There's so little drops and it's so easy to contract the curse that I really have no idea what they expected you to do (especially on Stygian which I think is just impossible now if you don't have great luck).

    It's just a little sad to me that the Curse itself is little more than a disease the likes of which you can easily find on the Steam Workshop and the rest of the DLC is too much of a pain to get to, and the fact that it's only curable in the hamlet once you take out the final boss of the DLC (and by extension, when you should be fighting the final boss) only makes it worse.

    1. A comparison to Alien Hunters is quite apt in this regard, as both add factors into the game which look good on paper but gradually wear away at the solid base of what made the original effective. I almost think that in both cases they were intended to come into play quite late into the game, or even to be added into the campaign quite late on, but there's little way to truly control it.

      Equally, I do agree that the basic additions of the game do hold up well as mentioned, but it's just the core mechanic which constantly undermines everything. In my personal opinion the issues with the drop rate really just adds more grinding onto an already problematic game, and too many additional factors which really backfire on you atop of everything else.

      Besides your own suggestions there - and I definitely agree that the Curse itself should have evolved to give them something over time - the Curse itself could have been used to open up more certain encounters in my opinion. Even if it was limited just to the Court itself, something like infected characters following certain hidden paths instinctively or even altering the number of encounters you bump into would have at least been something. It's really just a damn shame the effects and ideas are more superficial than actually game-changing.