How Dark And Darker Mobile Will Differ From The Original

Dark and Darker Mobile is slated to launch before the end of year, and we now have the first official details on some of the major ways it will differentiate itself from the original.

First, some context. For those not in the know, Dark and Darker is a first-person, fantasy-themed extraction game where players choose a class and venture into dungeons in search of treasure, all the while avoiding traps, battling monsters, and attempting to kill (or avoid) other players. To bring the loot home, players have to survive and extract via magic portals as a deadly darkness slowly consumes the dungeon, killing any who are trapped inside for too long.

The game made a name for itself during a 2023 Steam Next Fest, where it was among the top-played games on Steam. Since then Dark and Darker has found itself in ongoing legal trouble that saw the game pulled from Steam. Developer Ironmace Games instead chose to create its own launcher and sell the game directly to players via its own website. Though a copyright lawsuit filed by Nexon accusing Ironmace of having used stolen code and assets to create Dark and Darker was dismissed in the US, the battle between the two companies is still ongoing in South Korea, where both studios are based. Dark and Darker has continued to receive updates in its early access state following its August 2023 launch, and is slated to be coming to the Epic Games Store in the future. Whether or not Dark and Darker will return to Steam, or eventually release on consoles, is unclear.

It was amidst all the legal turmoil that Dark and Darker Mobile was announced last year, with PUBG Mobile publisher Krafton behind the project. Bluehole, a studio within Krafton, is developing the mobile version. The game’s first reveal trailer and screenshots definitely looked like Dark and Darker, but now we have the first concrete information about how the project will differ from its PC counterpart.

A new cinematic trailer, titled “Greed,” kicks off what Krafton says will be an upcoming series of videos that will dive into Dark and Darker Mobile and its unique features. Among those features are a number of changes that will raise the eyebrows of those who have played Ironmace’s version. For starters is the fact that players will be able to choose between going into PvE or PvP dungeons, a huge change from the original. Part of Dark and Darker’s core DNA is that it is a PvPvE game, where players are fighting both against monsters and greedy opponents who want nothing more than to kill you and extract with your loot. Dark and Darker Mobile will instead let players decide whether or not they will engage with PvP before they step foot in the dungeon, which will divide the game into two distinct demographics.

Another major addition is the Sidekick system. This will allow players to recruit AI-controlled companions that can accompany players on their dungeon-delves and will level-up over time. Presumably the Sidekick system is for PvE dungeons and not PvP, but Krafton doesn’t specify in its initial press release. Another new system not seen in the PC version, pets, will let players gain various buffs before stepping foot in the dungeon. Krafton is additionally promising a new “endgame” with high-level dungeons and unique rewards.

From what we know so far, the rest of Dark and Darker Mobile will sound familiar to those who played the original. There will be five classes to choose from initially: Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Ranger, and Cleric. Each class comes with unique active skills and passive skills players can use to customize their playstyle, and the number of passive skill slots available grows as players level up. Acquiring gear and gold in the dungeon will mean players are more equipped for their next adventure, and merchants outside dungeons can be used to stock up on essentials like potions. Certain merchants, like the blacksmith, can upgrade and craft items using materials found within the dungeons.

Dark and Darker Mobile doesn’t have an exact release date, but Krafton is targeting a global release before year’s end, with the aim of bringing the “dungeon extraction experience” to a “mainstream audience.” Krafton has not yet discussed how the game will be monetized. In the meantime, a number of Dark and Darker-inspired games are looking to capitalize on the PC version’s absence from Steam.

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