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The new game from Saber Interactive looks like Darkest Dungeon at a steampunk circus

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Have you ever wondered what Darkest Dungeon would be like if featured a neo-Victorian circus troupe battling murderous zombies in the streets of steampunk London? That's a pretty specific addition to the ol' wishlist, but if that's what you want then Circus Electrique (opens in new tab) might be just the thing. 

Circus Electrique features elements of story-driven RPG, tactical combat, and, yes, circus management sim. It follows the adventures of a cast of classic circus performers—strongmen, escape artists, clowns, and more—as they struggle to save the city from the ravages of the Maddening, a supernatural upheaval that turned thousands of innocent citizens into vicious murders.  

It was first announced in late 2021, but today we've got our first in-depth look at actual gameplay, and it does bear a resemblance to Darkest Dungeon: A party of four characters (selected from an eventual total of 15 classes) line up against similarly-arrayed enemies and engage in turn-based combat, exchanging special moves and abilities until one side comes out on top. 

Positioning and morale also play a big role in battles, and so does the mental state of your individual fighters: If the morale of any of your characters falls too low, they'll actually run away from the circus, leaving you to find (and train) a replacement, or try to get by without. 

And because the show must go on, well, the show must go on: You'll also be responsible for planning and executing nightly shows in order to earn money to keep your performers paid and happy. And more than just that: Your ultimate goal is to figure out how the Maddening started, and how to stop it, and that will cost money too.

Circus Electrique is expected to be out later this year on Steam (opens in new tab) and the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab). For now, you can find out more at playcircuselectrique.com (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.