Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

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Sly Boots
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Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by Sly Boots » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:39 pm

Just saw a video of this, looks fun and one that should probably be on the radar of any one who liked Darkest Dungeon - seems very similar to that, but this time you're playing the monsters, and can craft and manage a squad of skeletons, zombies, banshees and the like.

Early Access on Steam unlocks in about an hour's time I think, in the meantime the video I watched gives a good idea of how it plays:


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Re: Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:26 am

Well, I bought it and played the first few hours - basically doing the tutorial and the rest of the first dungeon floor. Reasons I didn't get further than that outlined below.

It's good, first of all. If you've played Darkest Dungeon you'll be instantly familiar with the battle mechanics - it does throw some new moves into the mix as well, such as this time you're the one inflicting stress attacks as well as physical ones. Enemies have a health bar and sanity bar, and you can take them out either way. If you go down the sanity route you can drive them insane, which can result in some pretty interesting debuff effects, then when the bar reaches 0 further sanity attacks have a chance to give them a fatal heart attack.

Rather than recruit units from a replenishing pool like DD's carriage, here you construct them using parts you get after each battle. These parts can be upgraded to make your units stronger, while levelling them gives you the chance to improve their various abilities in one of two ways that differ for each one. It means that you get decent scope for tailoring your team as you wish. That's all well and good, right, except...

... the difficulty curve is a bitch. I sailed through to the first floor boss on the lowest difficulty level without losing any minions and getting them decently upgraded, only to then get utterly kerb-stomped by the boss resulting in a total party wipe of my best guys (and reading the Steam forum it seems lots of others are having the same issue). At that point your only option is to craft new ones and try again, but seeing as they'll all be level 1s compared to the level 4s with good gear and upgraded abilities that just got wiped, I'm not sure I see the point. You can't grind battles for XP as in DD so there's no way to level up your new team for a second attempt.

It looks like you can upgrade new (and possibly better) minions through achieving certain goals (like killing x number of enemies etc), but the requirements seem obscenely high. I understand your progress towards these goals persists between playthroughs so they're intended as something you keep trying again to get closer to, and it's possible those new enemy types will help beat the boss better than your basic starting units, but given how many runs I think will be required to do so I'm not sure I'm motivated to try.

Hopefully it's something they address in updates, either reducing the difficulty of the boss encounter, or lowering the requirements for unlocking better units or, ideally, both.

One to keep an eye on, anyway.

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Re: Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:17 pm

Incidentally, the devs just released a balance update making some aspects of your minions better and ratcheting down the difficulty of the boss encounters, so pretty positive they're reacting so quickly to what the community is saying.

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Re: Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by DjchunKfunK » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:44 am

Got my eye on this but going to wait a bit I think.

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Re: Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by Sly Boots » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:39 am

Definitely worth keeping tabs on, it's a fun game.

FWIW the devs yesterday released a second balance patch, they seem to be responding quickly to comments from players. I was able to beat that first boss on my second run at him, and as well as the balance changes just learning more about team composition, synergies between certain minions and skills as well as learning the ins and outs of kitting them out properly all pays dividends.

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Re: Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Darkest Dungeon meets Dungeon Keeper - now in Early Access

Post by Sly Boots » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:07 am

I have a 25% off voucher on Steam for this, by the way. Happy to wing it over to anyone that fancies it.

Assuming I can work out how to do so.

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