When I booted up Din’s Curse for the first time, two words instantly sprang to mind: Diablo clone. Yet when people hear “clone” in reference to anything, it’s usually seen as a bad thing. But I’m happy to say that this is the furthest thing from the truth when it comes to Din’s Curse. Its gameplay style, randomly generated dungeons and storyline made me nostalgic for the crusades against Diablo that I went on every day when I was a kid. And while there are many “Diablo clones” out there, Din’s Curse adds a bit of something different.
From the start, for an RPG, character appearance customization is fairly limited. But this is compensated for when it comes to class choices. While the player does start out with the run of the mill choice between things like warrior, priest, rogue, wizard, ranger or conjurer, there is also an entire subclass system for a more customizable play style. And if the player isn’t feeling up to having their gameplay restricted by those primary roles, there is also the option to choose any two subclasses, which would make for a completely unique character. According to Soldak Entertainment’s website, there are 141 class combinations in total. As a bonus, there is no mandatory skill tree you need to build up through to get to a specific ability. As long as you have enough points (with each level you will gain more than just one skill point), and enough money, you can purchase access to any skill that you want. Having immediate access to a passive bonus to damage dealing has saved my hide more times than I care to admit.When it came to combat, everything felt fairly intuitive once I got past the flood of new game information. You have your click-to-move navigation, and hotkeys for skills. And while the combat itself is fairly easy to get ahold of, be sure to pace yourself out. Or else you’ll die. A lot. (Says the woman who charged blindly into a huge room swarming with monsters more than once.)
To keep things engaging, Din’s Curse brings a number of classic and newer tools to the table. There are shrines for healing, magic regeneration, giant-mode and a number of other things interspersed throughout the dungeons, but healing potions are fairly pricey and are somewhat of a rare drop. So if you find yourself in over your head and you’re ill prepared, you’re very likely to go down fast.
A more unique aspect of Din’s Curse is the living world system. Before you go off questing in the dungeons, there will be times when units will attack the town, and NPC (both vendors and quest givers) can and will die. So it’s ultimately not in the player’s best interest to stay underground forever. But getting back to town isn’t much of a hassle: you have access to a stone that will port you back to town once per world (so use it wisely!), and gates back to the surface or to prior levels. Since the dungeons themselves are usually of reasonable size, dealing with attacks on the town is not a terrible inconvenience.
For those players who quickly grow tired of “vanilla” gameplay, there are also options for an increase in difficulty as well as various modes. These include: ego (the player gains half of the XP for achievements that are below their level), unlucky (fewer magic items will be found, honorable death (if the town is overwhelmed, your character dies), poverty (find less money and items), fragile (half of the normal starting health), and clumsy (half of the normal amount of dexterity).