Game Reviews

Darksburg: Torchlight meets Left 4 Dead

Rid the world of zombies in this action packed isometric rogue like, but be careful, the horde is out for vengeance and will do anything it can to stop you.

When starting Darksburg you get to select one of five different characters, each with their own unique playstyle. A Nun, Norseman, Plague Doctor, Werewolf, and Marksman walk into a bar… Yeah, it’s a mixed group to say the least. Ranged, melee, tank and support roles are covered.

From here you’re immediately greeted with an art style similar to Torchlight – Simple and familiar, yet unique at the same time. The abilities are designed in such a way that they don’t distract you during combat. However, they do still look lively when used. Many times you’ll find myself leaping into combat, using your damage dealing abilities, and leaping out. All before you find yourself in too much danger. Each class has different skills, and different upgrade paths. There’s enough variation to keep them feeling fresh for some time.

Once in game, your challenge begins. Fend off against zombie hordes while accomplishing objectives on the map, much like in Left 4 Dead – You even have items you acquire during your journey. Objectives are spread out across four maps. Successfully manoeuvring through these will take you to the main boss. Once defeated, the game ends, suddenly.

What makes Darksburg unique from L4D is a hidden selection of Curios which you can unlock by collecting Dreadium Ingots. These are modifiers, ranging from common to extravagant. They offer additional benefits, be it move speed, health, or gold. The issue with this however, is that they are expensive and remain hidden until purchased. The excitement of purchasing a new upgrade quickly disappears after you get a few buffs which don’t help all that much.

To make matters worse, most of the loadout slots are locked from the start. The grind required to unlock everything is tedious at best. This is disappointing as some of the Curios I unlocked did make the game more enjoyable to play. Overall this system needs a rework. With a low player base, the grind required to unlock the Curious will have even the most determined players giving up.

Outside of this, content is sparse especially for the price. It does randomise the levels each time. It also randomises elite enemy types and objective locations. This only keeps it fresh for so long however. The new-game feeling quickly disappears. After 9 hours I feel like I’ve completed all the game has to offer. There is an additional difficulty option – Ascension. This enables random modifiers to make the game more challenging, but the reward doesn’t outweigh the challenge.

Another issue with Darksburg is the multiplayer element. While the Discord server has thousands of members, getting them to join isn’t that simple. The in game match finder does show active games, but you cannot enter them if they’ve already started. At roughly 40 minutes a run, the wait grows old quick. There is an option to play with AI but on anything but Normal difficulty they do struggle. I did manage to find three other players eventually and it made the game that much more enjoyable. It’s clear to see that this is how the developers expected everyone to play. Unfortunately with such a small player base, doing so is no easy task.

Overall Darksburg is a fun game. It’s good in what it sets out to do, but doesn’t excel at any one thing. Depending what you feel like playing there are better options out there. Be it an ARPG, Zombie coop, or rogue like – There are many quality titles out there that play much better than it. I recommend buying this game only if you have a dedicated group to play with, otherwise it’s a pass from me.

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