After a year hiding in shadow—that is, in Early Access as an Epic exclusive—Darkest Dungeon 2 is almost ready to emerge to terrorise innocent PC gamers. On May 8th, it'll be launching its full 1.0 release, and in the meantime a free demo is available now on both Steam and Epic.
The demo is playable for the full length of Steam Next Fest, which is to say from today until February 13th—so jump in quick if you want to check it out. It lets you take the four starting heroes through one region, with a choice of either the Sprawl (a horrible city full of things that want to kill you) or Foetor (a horrible farm full of things that want to kill you). The finished product will have five regions and a dozen heroes, so it sounds like a decent chunk, though you won't get the complete experience of levelling and upgrading, and your progress won't carry over from the demo to the full game when it launches.
Much like the original game, Darkest Dungeon is a grim fantasy RPG where you manage parties of hard-bitten adventurers trying to survive against Lovecraftian horrors. But there are some big departures for the sequel—the 2D art is replaced by 3D visuals, and it's a roguelike based around perilous journeys across the landscape, rather than a continuous series of dungeon crawls.
Until now, the game has been completely exclusive to Epic, which does seem to have resulted in much less community and buzz around it than the previous game enjoyed during its long and active Early Access period. For the 1.0 release, it'll be available on Steam too, and I'm curious to see if it'll make a bigger splash there. Either way, it looks rad, with all the grim atmosphere and tactical depth of its predecessor, and we really liked it when it first came out.
So why not go and check out the demo for yourself now? Remember, give it a go before February 13, or be lost to the horror forever. Or, you know, just kinda sad that you forgot to play it.