My favorite Dungeons & Dragons Dad Joke is about how “a Necromancer just wants to raise a family.” Iratus: Lord of the Dead has made it my new reality, and now it can be yours, too, as this role-playing game hits Steam’s Early Access today.
Iratus is a “Darkest Dungeon-like”: One of the biggest indie role-playing game hits in recent years, Darkest Dungeon is a tactical turn-based affair that combines dungeon-crawls with roguelikes. And it’s been a huge success, spawning a sequel that’s in the works and a subgenre of RPGs.
I’ve been playing it for a bit, and I’ll tell you this: It’s hard. Get used to losing, because you’re going to have a difficult time until you build up your roster and repository of body parts.
Iratus is from Darkest Dungeon from Unfrozen, an indie studio from Saint Petersburg, and Germany’s Daedalic Entertainment is publishing it. Its team members have worked on games such as Disciples (a turn-based strategy-RPG that takes inspiration from Heroes of Might and Magic). You have a party of four creatures, and you build up your graveyard instead of a town, repairing structures as you do your house in Red Hook’s seminal game. Your creatures each have a abilities that you can level up, and some of their powers depend on their position in the party (just like with Darkest Dungeon). As you level up and hit goals, you open up new creatures you can stick together. It has procedural dungeons as well.
Yes, you are a Necromancer, so of course you use the body parts of your fallen enemies to create new soldiers, like tough skeletons and dark knights, horrific banshees and wraiths that specialize in stressing out the foes (and if they go insane, they can turn on their friends … or die from shock). Your attacks can target health or sanity, and sometimes, it’s better to drive a foe insane than it is to whittle down their health. The Necromancer you play also can use their magic in combat, blasting enemies, buffing troops, or pushing a foe closer to the edge of insanity.
And while it’s hard, progress carries over from each failed attempt: units you unlock are available to craft with each new run.
Being an Early Access game, Iratus will see a raft of updates until it hits its release state.