Dark and Darker is the Best Mixed Review F2P on Steam Now

Dark and Darker devs made a massive move by listing its early access version as free-to-play. Players previously had to buy a copy of the game to try it out on its beta test, but IRONMACE has finally listed it as free early access for those who want to experience what this Dungeon Crawler game is all about. Most players still believe that Dark and Darker is one of the best F2P Early Access games around. 

Dark and Darker Goes F2P 

Dark and Darker just returned to Steam after being delisted a year ago. The game was previously embroiled in a legal battle against Nexon, which had forced the platform to remove the game. IRONMACE is now finally making a comeback and rolling out  Dark and Darker’s early access as free to play on Steam. 

Initially, you could only access the playtest version of the game  after spending $30. Now, anyone can try it out for free, albeit with some limitations. F2P players only have access to the following versions of Dark and Darker:

  • One character slot
  • Access to Normal Weapons
  • Access to the Normal Matches
  • No Trading

Despite these restrictions for F2P, you can still enjoy the whole essence of the game, as most players prefer to play Normal Matches anyway. However, if you do buy the game, you get more stuff. Here is everything you get with the paid version:

  • Access to High Roll mode
  • Allows Trading
  • Access to Eight Character Slots
  • Cosmetics

However, most players can fully enjoy Dark and Darker through the free version. The lack of access to trading and High Roll lobbies was made to limit the number of things cheaters and exploiters would be able to do. Most gamers also play in typical lobbies, so you won’t miss much if you go F2P. However, the additional things that the paid version provides are huge quality-of-life improvements. But if you want to support the indie dev responsible for Dark and Darker, go ahead and buy the full version.

Game Goes Mixed Review After F2P Release

Dark and Darker was highly popular when it first came out, so we expected it to reach positive reviews once the F2P version came out. Unfortunately, many players did not appreciate the limitations the free version imposed. Gamers took to the Steam reviews to vent their frustrations, with many mentioning that it felt as though they were just trying out a demo version of the game rather than it actually being  F2P. 

The hundreds of negative reviews have painted the game poorly, with many claiming it as pay-to-win. Reviewers based this on not trading in-game or participating in HR lobbies. However, many don’t realize that higher-rarity items can only be used in High Roll mode and not in the normal ones available to F2P.

Veterans and Others See Mixed Review as Nuisance Posts

Those who have played the game since Day 1 would agree that these reviews are far-fetched, with many of them sounding like cries from entitled gamers. Many noted that some of those who left negative reviews had barely scratched the surface of the game, only having played two hours of it. Thus, they were unable to fully appreciate the essence of the game. Those who genuinely enjoy the game have brushed off the haters as not knowing what Dark and Darker is truly about.

Of course the community believes that valid criticisms should be aired since IRONMACE regularly combs through review pages and subreddits to see where it can improve. Devs deserve to know what aspects they should address and what they lack. However, negative reviews about the game not being F2P or having predatory practices are primarily seen as nuisances. 

Are All The Reviews Invalid

Some reviews do have good points about them. The ones that made the most sense were made about the items. Dark and Darker is about raiding dungeons and getting rarer items to become more powerful. However, the free version doesn’t allow players to collect or keep high-rarity items, andInstead, has them start each run with standard gear.  

Another complaint is the limited number of character slots. There are so many classes to choose from in Dark and Darker, and it’s a pain to delete your character just to try out other jobs from the one you currently have. However, it’s unclear whether the developers will change this anytime soon. 

Dark and Darker Should be More Specific

Many note that changing the tag from Free-to-Play to a Demo version would reduce the backlash the game is receiving. Newer players expect to be able to access everything due to the F2P tag, but they soon discover that some content is stuck behind the paywall. However, if you have played long enough, you don’t need to spend $30 to enjoy it. 

In its free version, Dark and Darker feels more like a Battle Royale than a looter extraction. You enter a dungeon and find good items while looting and killing enemies. This gameplay is already enjoyable, and many don’t mind about not keeping any loot from Normal Lobbies.

The actual looter extraction genre becomes more apparent if you have the paid version. This bundle allows you to loot, keep items you escape with, and trade them. You can load them up in the next run as presets instead of looking for them in the dungeon. This type of gameplay reflects the looter shooter aspect of Dark and Darker. 

IRONMACE will benefit from being more specific about their tags. Describing the free version as more of a Battle Royale will clear up any unmet expectations. The paid version can keep the Looter Extraction genre tag since it does just that.

Despite the miscommunication, we highly suggest players try out Dark and Darker. The F2P version features the essence of its gameplay and gives players a glimpse of what it would be like if they bought the paid version. However, staying completely free-to-play will still ensure newer players’ enjoyment.

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