GameSpot's The Lobby: Darkest Dungeon & the difficult game revivalTons of really hard games have been coming out, including XCOM 2, The Witness, and Darkest Dungeon. GameSpot's Mike Mahardy and Mary Kish come by The Lobby to talk about what is so appealing about Darkest Dungeon.
[UNKNOWN] it earned a bunch of money four times its kick starter goal it feels like years ago at this stage. It came out [UNKNOWN] last year, [UNKNOWN] to the video stream of the. It was about one year ago. So now it's like officially. Out, I guess. Mike, you haven't reviewed it for Gamespot. We have one of our freelancers, is Daniel doing it? Yeah, Daniel Starkey. Okay, cool. It's up today. This morning. 9 out of 10. Really? Yeah. Awesome. But you've been playing it as well recently? I have, yeah. First of all, your thoughts. How does it play? Did you play it at all during its early access release? Very only a little bit, probably a few hours at most. I know Mary and Alexa, like we just mentioned played more than I did. So, I was curious, I kept asking them about it because I wanted to play it. But, yeah, the review went up it was nine out of ten. The problems Daniel had were very much in line with mine. Very good all around, except it can be very overwhelming as far as the menus go. Right. It can be very obtuse in that sense but yeah. Great. It's really good. And for folks who don't know much about this game, Mary, I'm not sure if you've played it recently, again. Yeah. The affliction system, can you talk a little bit about that? That's the whole thing where people, basically, in this game kind of are constantly On the edge of going crazy right? That's right. It's kind of an additional gambling system of death where you, it's a turn-based RPG. You're just kinda dungeon crawling. You can consider it a kinda Rogue-like in the sense that everything is generated and it's perma-death and random things can happen. But the affliction system is this additional element kinda gives it a bit more. Unique sense that you, every character that's in these dungeons can have affliction happen to them. Mm-hm. Whether that be fear or the opposite, may be they become really. Like rabid or something. Bold. Okay. And they can think they're the best. And their's like really into themselves. And all of a sudden They will do things without you telling them to them. Right. They we switch whether they're first or last in turn. They will refuse to do what you tell them. Mm-hm. They'll attack randomly. Without you doing anything. And- I saw one where there was somebody who was so close to death that she just refused to take medical assistance- That's all right. I'm dead. Who cares? [CROSSTALK] I'm going to die anyways. Say hopeless or masochistic is another characteristic. They'll just get in front of other people who are getting attacked because they just need punishment. Yeah, for one reason or another. A lot of them are They characterize a lot of them, some, there are actually a few that, like anti-beasts, so if you have a werewolf in your party. Some who, I forget the, lycanthophobe, I don't know, they hate werewolves so. Like him, yeah. So you try to bring them in the same party, they'll be like, I'm not going near that foul creature. No way. Yeah. And then let's say that because they get this affliction and they, I don't know, they act out of turn. And then they actually die from it. Yeah. The wolf will feel bad. Really okay. Because of who he is, he's causing people in his party to die. Right. And so he'll feel guilty about it. And he'll feel like **** and he won't want to go out. Yeah. So you, after these really aggressive. And they're all terrible. Nothing good happens in this game. No. I just want you guys to know. Like the very first thing that happened to me and Alex was we read a book. And it was a bad book and it scared the **** out of our first person [CROSSTALK] Yeah it made his scared for the whole turn. My god. They come back and they feel miserable or they feel terrible. And it's your job To treat them to the best of your ability. Whether that be take them to a brothel or you know to a bar. Really? Just to like let them chill out? Let them relax, it's a huge. And it's a lot of realistic elements. So, this game, that after you've gone through some ****, you gotta figure out what's the best way to let them cope. Yeah. Whether that be through religion or booze or- [LAUGH] Brothels. Yeah, because- Or brothels. Some of them will be like, atheists. So, you can't have them pray- Okay. Because that's not going to do anything for them. And then some are like, alcoholics, so you shouldn't put them in the bar. Right. And yeah, so there's nothing at no point during the dozen or so hours I've played this game, that I feel in control until later. Until later, you start to have level eight and higher heroes, they take awhile to rank up, it's pretty persistent. But later on you actually start to have these good characters but you still Kind of accept that like bad shit's gonna happen. Like it's meant to be a hard game, right? Yeah, yeah. If this is a game that's like this, it's like Dark Souls. It's not just like unfair unintentionally. It's like it's meant to be difficult. Yeah, no I would argue- Like Dark Souls. Right. No, right I would. It's very much, I don't, a lot of it is not, you're kinda just, okay, that's unfair, but that's what I got into. Yeah. So it's- Starkey says it in his review really well, which is that it's almost become cliche to say that it's Dark Souls-esque because so many people freaking say that when it comes to a game being difficult. But this game truly deserves the nod because it's difficult in the sense That although it is going to throw a lot at you, you have everything in your ability to help prevent these measures. Think of it, and sir you said this as well, really well, like poker. You don't know what card is going to be dealt, but if you're a good player you're eventually going to win. So this game is teaching you to become a good player. You're going to lose again and again and again and it's gonna Consistently, sometimes you're gonna have a bad roll of a dice and you're gonna read a bad book. Yeah. But if you're good, then you should have a plan ready for when that happens. Yeah, that's a very fair point. It is like crazy have a guidance set out myself, they said it's like a Dark Souls game, it's like difficult, but you're saying before that it does like There is this sort of weird little renaissance of difficult games, I guess is a way to say. Was it Jake Solomon you were talking to or something? Yeah, I was talk to Jake Solomon, like lead designer, creative director over on Firaxis on XCOM and Garth DeAngeles. The producer and we talking about how just this year was between Tharsis, The Witness, Ex-Con 2, Darkest Dungeon. I mean, Dark Soul 3's coming out soon but. This like the biggest clump of really difficult games we've had and I think we all have recognized it cuz a lot of people around the office have been saying I don't remember the last time I played a game where I like felt comfortable. But for years the like mass market success for games like Call of Duty like games that aren't, they're challenging, it's like an easy round for you, like games like Not to constantly be going on about first person games, but games like Destiny, games that want you to play, that have that difficulty ramp that's quite, it's difficult, it's forgiving, it's allowing you to level up or whatever. These are games that force difficult questions on you, right? Yeah. Then you have the complete opposite, which, you know, this is a stigma that's been attached to Nintendo with a lot of their stuff is that they handhold. It's not true with everything, but Yeah, I had mentioned it when I was playing The Witness a lot. It felt like it was the first game in awhile that actually respected my intelligence. Yeah. Not that other games weren't but to such an extent it has confidence that you can really figure out. It knows you're a smart person. And it kinda rewards you for playing and agreeing with it in a weird sense. And it's nice to have that. It's refreshing. Yeah. Must be difficult to make games like that, though, because. Yeah. Especially looking at something like The Witness. In this game it seems to have a lot going on where you really have to like trust, you have to get the player to trust you. Yeah. That the game isn't broken, that it's not like. It's you, it's not the game, yeah. And The Witness is such a good example of a difficulty curve in a game. Because although there are puzzles in there that are Insane and they will absolutely rock you. There's nothing. There's no stone left unturned that Jonathan Blow didn't specifically intend for it to be in that game and you'll know that moment because when you do solve it you'll go I'm in Idiot, it was there the whole time. If I would have looked around, there are clues everywhere. And that happens in a lot of games. If you, I mean, give them some credit. A lot of this is player, you've gotta improve your own skills to really understand. When you get that enlightenment, it's such a good feeling anyway. And XCOM 2 was a lot like that in the office because there were some folks who, cuz XCOM 2 is harder than XCOM 1 as well. Yes. So then you're playing X-Com Two and being like I'm not so sure if this is as finely tuned as X-Com One. And it is you just have to change your mentality when you are going in to it or something. Yeah, I think it shows in that the tutorial gives you the fundamentals that people that played Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within should have a grasp of. And I'm sure hardcore veterans of Enemy Unknown maybe bumped up the difficulty right away. I played a lot but I hadn't played in a while so I played in default and After the tutorial is immediately clear how many layers I wasn't shown right at the beginning and I think it shows confidence that you know, they're just smart people they can figure it out on their own. I think that they know that the failure is supposed to be meaningful and you're supposed to fail. Yep. And I think that's kind of like a really cool idea. It's been used before, but it's just. Like Garth and Jake have been saying when I was interviewing them about XCOM 2, a lot more games are willing to do that right now. They wanna give you the responsibility. And with that comes the reward. If- Yeah, it's way more rewarding. That's right! If it says that this shot has a 95% chance to hit And it doesnt. Do you blame the game and say well my stupid shooter got that five percent, or do you acknowledge that you should be prepared for the chance that it might not hit. Yeah. It's giving you that power and that responsibility, and that's And that's a great thing. Some final thoughts on Darkest Dungeon then, I kinda swiveled you guys away from that for a little bit. No. Nine out of ten, it's 19.99 on Steam, people haven't played it, I recommend they pick it up. Definitely, yeah. If you're in the mood for a difficult game But like we were just saying, one that kind of has confidence you're gonna figure it out. Go for it. It's really good. Nine out of ten, definitely. It's very deserving. What about yourself, Mary? Absolutely, I couldn't recommend it enough. It is gut-wrenching, but it's absolutely A well deserved score, it's a good game, and you should pick it up if you feel like it.>> You know what else it is? It's a kick starter game that **** came out and was good.>> Good for them.>> For the second one ever. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]