Dark and Darker is back on Steam

Dark and Darker - Summer Game Fest 2024 Trailer - YouTube Dark and Darker - Summer Game Fest 2024 Trailer - YouTube
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Extraction dungeon crawler Dark and Darker is back on Steam.

If you missed all the drama, Dark and Darker got booted off of Steam in 2023 after Nexon initiated a legal challenge, claiming ex-employees at Dark and Darker developer Ironmace improperly used work they'd originally done for Nexon.

After that, Dark and Darker wound up releasing in its own standalone client, and then in March we heard it was coming to the Epic Games Store. At Summer Game Fest today, Ironmace announced that Dark and Darker is now available, and is officially free to play, on both Steam and Epic.

"We wanted to offer a big new feature to introduce Dark and Darker to more players as we head into the new season on June 7," the studio said about the free-to-play transition.

Along with the return to Steam, Ironmace also announced a major new content update including a new map called Ice Abyss, a new Frost Wyvern boss, a Druid character class that can shapeshift into multiple animal forms, and numerous quality-of-life upgrades. 

Ironmace also said it plans to add a "Platform Link" feature that will enable cross-progression across PC platforms. "For our players on Blacksmith who have already purchased the game and want to launch their account from another platform, we ask for your patience and continue playing on Blacksmith for just a little bit longer until this system is released," the studio said. "We feel strongly that our early adopters should not be required to re-purchase the game on another cross-play PC platform."

Other new features planned for this season include:

  • An updated ‘Adventure Leaderboards’ that reward actual dungeon adventuring rather than the loot you collect.
  • An upgraded matchmaking system that removes the pre-lobby, ratcheting up tension and improving the matchmaking times.
  • A renewed Gathering Hall that includes the return of the Tavern as a social place to hang out, meet party members, and see Otto!
  • The introduction of the Arena, a new game mode and leaderboard system that showcases team PvP skills.
  • Experimenting with randomly generated dungeon layouts to add more mystery and motivation to explore the dungeons.

The fantasy extraction brawler isn't quite as novel as it was a couple years ago when its demo become an overnight hit, but I'm into any game that includes aggressive first-person lyre playing.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.