As the new generation of video game consoles is absorbed into households all around the world, millions of people are getting their first glimpse at the next generation of video games. Unquestionably, the majority of these gamers will gleefully murmur “it’s so realistic” as they hack their way through Ryse, or blast their way to the frontlines in Killzone. Realism is what many developers aim for, and the easiest way to appear realistic is to simply look realistic.

Realistic graphics go a long way towards helping to immerse the player into the game’s story.  However, that realism stops as soon as the battles begin.  While some lucky few may make it through a battle, or even a war, unscathed, no one escapes the mental damage that being exposed to such carnage causes. Few games have ever stopped to take into consideration the psychological toll of battle on a character, let alone allow the player experience those side effects as part of the game.

The game developers at Red Hook Studios have been itching to explore how players will handle heroes who are liable to suffer from the mental side effects of battle, in their upcoming game, Darkest Dungeon.

Darkest Dungeon is not a game where every hero wins the day with shiny armor and a smile. It is a game about hard trade-offs, nearly certain demise, and heroic reversals,” Red Hook Studios explains on Darkest Dungeon’s Kickstarter page. “[Players] will recruit, train, and lead a team of flawed heroes through twisted forests, forgotten warrens, ruined crypts, and beyond. [They will] battle not only unimaginable foes, but stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark.”

The developers go on to explain that players will have to deal with the heroes developing phobias, bad habits, and ultimately keep them sane enough to fight through each battle.

Red Hook Studios took to Kickstarter, seeking $75,000 to see the game through to completion. Within 24 hours, they had met their goal. Cleary, there are plenty of players out there who more than willing to see just how dark the dungeon can get.




As of this writing, the Kickstarter is sitting at just over $159,000.

However, all has not been entirely smooth for the developers. As the campaign picked up steam, many supporters voiced criticism of the exclusive character class offered in the $49 “Adventurer” funding tier. Red Hook Studios addressed the issue in their latest Kickstarter campaign update.

“It’s clear now that the exclusive nature of the class is perceived negatively by some,” Red Hook said. “If we could rewind three days, we would eliminate the exclusive class and put another equally valuable but less divisive reward into the Adventurer tier….we have concluded that we cannot adjust the tiers. We believe any adjustment or compromise at this point would undermine our obligations and trustworthiness.  It’s better that we own up to the mistake and vow never to repeat it, than it is to compromise what we have offered – and sold – to our backers.”

Visit Darkest Dungeon on Kickstarter