Geekly Review #230

As another week ticks by it looks like we might actually be getting a little closer to summer – the sun actually came out for a bit and it was hot! But the important question is, what have we been playing!?

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon has been out for over two years now and I’ve always fancied giving it a play, and last week it went on sale for about £6, too good an offer to pass by I thought. Darkest Dungeon is a turn based, rogue like, dungeon crawler with an awesome Gothic setting and vibe to it. It’s meant to be pretty difficult, but I don’t think I’ve really got far enough in to it to experience the full scale of the difficulty yet. Early impressions are good though! Recruit and train a group of ‘heroes’ each with there own abilities and class then take on dungeons, forests, crypts and more filled with all manner of beasts. There is an interesting system in Darkest Dungeon called the Affliction System, over time your characters will become stressed from being exposed to the horrors of their adventures and if they become too stressed the can gain negative – and positive, traits, some of which can be permanent. It’s an interesting system and certainly adds another level of detail, but my experience of it so far seems to be that you can’t fight it, it just happens, the characters all just get stressed so hitting the highest level of stress which triggers the effects just seems inevitable – not that I mind so much, but I’m just curious if there is actually a good way to fight it off.

I’m yet to make it to any boss fights, but I can see that there is a vert extensive list of them, so that will be fun when I find them… At the moment I’m just making my way through the lower levels, learning to ropes and trying to level up some characters and see what ones I like. I’m not sure how many different classes there are but I think I’ve encountered 6 or 7 so far, so it’s pretty varied and each one feels quite different and have a nice set of unique abilities to play around with.

What I really like so far about the game is that to me it kind of feels like a board game, or more specifically Gloomhaven. There is a town you can visit between dungeons where you can rest up, buy new gear and upgrade various things, then you go out on your quests and get in to difficult fights. Which is kind of how Gloomhaven plays out.

I like how the combat plays out too, you basically occupy four positions and you can move each character around these spots, each character has moves that can only be performed from specific points, for example the healer is best at the back because they don’t do a lot of damage, but can still reach everyone to dish out some healing. So getting in the right places is pretty important otherwise you’re going to waste time shuffling around group.

Escape from Tarkov

A pretty sizable update just hit the hardcore FPS and over the weekend I jumped in to give it a go. The update brought in a new map zone called Interchange, it’s basically a big shopping mall area, it’s dark, atmospheric, claustrophobic and full of mannequins that you will definitely think are people.

I jumped in pretty blind having not really been following the game much lately, so I don’t know the map at all and don’t really know what to expect from it. I slowly made my way in to the IDEA (Ikea) car park and started to hear a lot of gunshots, but I had no idea if they were above me or on the same level as me. EFT always makes me pretty tense because you quite often won’t know if people are near you until you’re being shot at a lot and it seemed that today was going to be a similar situation.

As I made my way up some stair in to the main shopping area I was still hearing a lot of shots, some close some in the distance, but I was still not sure where they were coming from – probably because I didn’t know my way around. It wasn’t until I emerged from one shop that I notice the first signs of a fight, there was a body laying out in the open, so instantly hid and listened for anything, I heard nothing… I kept creeping and eventually found the source of the shots, a lone man wondering just 10 metres from me, he hadn’t noticed me either. I lined up a shot a took it, it hit him but he managed to duck around a corner out of sight. I doubled back on myself knowing that I could go through a toilet block and out the other side. When I came out the other side, I found this guys friends… There were three of them, fully geared and they completely mowed me down in a split second.

Whilst my life may have been short lived, it was still very fun getting to explore a new area. I really feel like Escape from Tarkov can be an excellent game once its finished, but how long that will take, well, we just don’t know.



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