Darkest Dungeon was one of 2016’s best games. Plain and simple. Red Hook Studios’ RPG masterpiece has now sold over 2.5 million copies, and it will probably sell many more as it lands on the Nintendo Switch today. With both a base version for $25, and a complete version with current DLC for $35, it’s one of those games you’ll wind up owning on Nintendo’s system even if you already have it on some other platform. Frankly, it’s probably at its best on the Switch, a console that’s both fully capable of couch and TV play and on-the-go portability. This is our Darkest Dungeon review on the Nintendo Switch.
For a really in-depth exploration of the game’s systems, I’ll point you to our MMORPG.com review from around the original launch. Steve Messner gave it a 9/10 back then, and that score stands today on the Nintendo Switch. Simply put, Darkest Dungeon is a great hardcore RPG with procedural content, loads of replay value, and a solid learning curve. It’s a bit XCOM, a bit Dark Souls, but without the sort of “controller-throwing” anger that often comes with the latter. Your adventurers will die, go insane, and disappoint you. But there’s always a new stream of more foolhardy folk coming in on the wagon… so more meat for the slaughter as it were.
On the Switch, my biggest complaints are twofold – firstly, the text in handheld mode can be way too small at times. Secondly, the control-scheme of navigating menus is unintuitive at best. DD is menu-heavy, and it’s all too easy to press the wrong thing, or have no clue how to access a part of the menu. Thankfully the touch controls on the Switch help somewhat. The rest of the game’s best features – its strategic and satisfying combat, heavy RPG systems, and intensely unfolding story, are all intact.
Red Hook’s gorgeous comic-book style that evokes the likes of Mignola’s Hellboy is beautifully translated to the Switch, and the game supports the clip recording feature as well. So you can save those moments of death and demise and share them with the world! The VO work is on point as always, and the replay value is through the roof. There’s still a new DLC expected later this year, and the Switch will get that as well, for an added fee of course.
I can’t recommend Darkest Dungeon enough. Its hallway crawling, madness suffering, darkness fighting, dungeon romping is some of the best RPG play I’ve had in recent years. The game shines on the Switch, despite a few minor setbacks in the font and controls. If you’re a veteran of the game or have never tried it, put it on your want list because Darkest Dungeon is very easily added to the Switch’s growing list of “Best Games”.
Note: Our copy was provided by PR for review purposes.
Compare to: XCOM, Dark Souls, Deep Space Derelicts