Oh, heck. Nope, this is not a drill. Red Hook is working on a direct sequel to their nefarious and notorious Darkest Dungeon. If the original hasn’t already reduced you to a jibbering wreck, maybe you’re up for another round of adventuring?
Darkest Dungeon has been a real indie darling of recent years, and for good reason. Dungeon crawlers aren’t exactly something the industry’s short of just now, but Red Hook’s masterwork distinguishes itself in two ways: with its beautiful, macabre 2D art, its interesting stress mechanics and its absurdly punishing difficulty. Yes, that’s actually three ways, but the difficulty is such that it deserves to be a ‘way’ all of its own.
Darkest Dungeon casts the player as the inheritor of a once-grand estate. Your recently-deceased relative had been excavating the ground below the manor, unearthing a hotbed of Lovecraftian evil that threatens to spill out and overwhelm the world above. Your task is to recruit, train and lead a band of adventurers (of a range of classes) on a number of expeditions below, to gradually push back the hordes. Your eventual goal is to defeat whatever it is at the heart of the infestation.
Needless to say, it isn’t easy wiping out scores of the sort of nasties that would make Edgar Allan Poe feel a little nauseous. It takes a toll on your warriors’ minds as well as their bodies, which is why they have two separate ‘health’ bars: one for HP, and one for stress. Battles are super interesting, and genre fans are sure to get a lot of value out of this one. If you’ve already seen and collected everything in Darkest Dungeon, though, you could probably use a sequel.
Over on Twitter, Red Hook dropped a quick teaser to reveal that they are indeed working on Darkest Dungeon II:
This is no surprise, as the team were immensely proud of the original and supported it with substantial DLC packages. It’s very early days, but Red Hook have offered a few choice details for fans to savor.
According to Game Informer, the team confirmed in an interview with PC Gamer that the sequel will be much bigger than the original. The team has greatly expanded (from five developers to fourteen), and they plan to maximise all of the extra resources they have to make this something really, really spectacular.
There was another curious tidbit, too. It seems that Darkest Dungeon II will not focus around a central hub world (the hamlet), but instead take the heroes and the protagonist alike on a much more ambitious journey.
What will this mean for the game itself? It’s impossible to say this early, but one thing’s for certain: familiar battle systems and mechanics will return, but this is going to be Darkest Dungeon’s usual gothic brilliance dialled up to eleven.
READ NEXT: Our Metro Exodus Review