The skeleton-smashing and lock-picking action of a first-person dungeon crawler fuses with the PvPvE tension of Escape From Tarkov in Dark And Darker, which currently has a free alpha play test. Alone or with a group of friends, you head into the dungeons to mash AI-controlled monsters and fill your pockets with loot. There are other players doing the same, and they might come to claim your goodies, especially since you’re all competing for the limited escape portals that let you keep your sparkle. It’s interesting, and works well on both Steam and Twitch.
So, choose from the usual dungeon crawl classes (Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Ranger, Wizard, and Cleric, each doing what you’d expect from a fantasy dungeon crawler), and jump into the dungeon crawl in the traditional dungeon crawl way. Swing swords, throwing knives, spells, plow arrows, abilities, loot corpses, dodge environmental traps, pick locks, quick potions, open chests, grab new swords, hats and boots etc. The combat wasn’t very fun or good for me, but this is still relatively early in development. And you can bring your friends, which is nice. You really will need your buddies.
While you fight monsters and collect loot, other players do the same in the same dungeon. You may run into them. They definitely might try to kill you. Kill then steal your stuff. It’s a shame it doesn’t have voice chat right now, because being able to say “I’m not really friendly, I swear I won’t kill you” greatly expands the social possibilities – and makes the betrayals even more sweet. In either case, players are slowly pushed off each other by a shrinking battle royale-style circle of death.
Dark And Darker has a continuous progression to level up and unlock perks and shards, but loot can be taken away. If you die, you will lose everything you hold. To use them in a future battle, you have to reach the limited escape portals. One type that sends you home, the other that sends you to the dungeon for more stakes and greater rewards.
It’s Tarkov’s suggestion: take good loot into battle and you’ll likely succeed and come home with more good loot, but if you die, your death will hurt even more. Having escaped from Destiny 2’s windmill, I have absolutely no interest in grinding for disposable loot, but I appreciate the idea of it. It’s a good tension in the game, for people that aren’t me.
To join Dark And Darker’s free alpha test, head over to Steam and click the big green “Request Access” button. I got access right away, so alpha seems pretty open.
Dark And Darker’s full release is still a year away, expected at the end of 2023, and it shows. It is clear that the developers still have a lot to adjust, finalize and rework. This is to be expected because it is a free alpha test. While I didn’t enjoy the little I played with, I have to say that Tarkov’s operations are not very much my type, and the possibilities are intriguing. It’s a game whose stakes, drama, and disappointments make for fun watching Twitch, right?
As I write, Dark And Darker sits at #32 on Steam’s concurrent playercount chart, between Dead By Daylight and Don’t Starve Together. Respected cooperative company.
#Escape #Tarkov #dungeon #crawling #darkness #darkness