A massive Darkest Dungeon overhaul mod adds an entirely new campaign

A sprawling Darkest Dungeon mod will release this month, with Black Reliquary set to release on March 24, 2023. The mod is a total conversion mod with the thumbs-up of the original Darkest Dungeon developers at Red Hook, and the list of changes is... really big. It's foremost a gameplay overhaul and entirely new campaign with a new setting, new characters, new narration, new music, new enemies and facts, trinkets, and new player heroes.

The story will follow a band of heroes as they delve into the Black Reliquary, a monolithic structure in a desolate desert known only as The Valley. Here's how the developers describe it: "Abandon what you think you know. The Valley does not know mercy or sympathy, and the trials ahead of you will be unlike anything you have faced before! Find yourself in your new home aboard the Flameseeker airship, and reunite with an old acquaintance from many years past, as you join forces to assault the oppressive and mysterious Black Reliquary."

There's both a story-driven release date trailer and extended gameplay trailer for Black Reliquary, both highlighting the incredibly amount of new art and design that has gone into a free game expansion. Which, to be honest, isn't even what this is. This is some kind of free sequel that fell through a crack in reality from another dimension.

It is a lot, and has been in the works for years. It's one of those rare mods so thoroughly developed and extensive that it's getting its own Steam page rather than be consigned to a Workshop, an honor rarely accorded to mods outside of those for decade-or-more-old games like Half-Life 2.

Shout out to the dude playing the new narrator, who—at least in these trailers—really nails the gravelly narration one takes for granted as part of the Darkest Dungeon milieu. 

That and all the art is really what makes me say this feels like a sequel. Not a sequel in the 2020s sense, where its been five or six years since the first, but in the 1990s sense where the Sequel would reuse the engine and some art, overhaul systems, and then go forward confidently into release like a year later max. 

Black Reliquary be available completely free via Steam to those who own Darkest Dungeon, the Shieldbreaker DLC, and the Crimson Court DLC. You can find Black Reliquary on Steam. The Black Reliquary team funds the custom art involved in the mod via Patreon, and you can follow the mod's development on Twitter.

Check out the gameplay trailer, below.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.