We’ve fought countless horrors in the Darkest Dungeon, commanding a party of brave heroes that had to deal with diseases, fear and their own sanity. During the extensive Early Access period, the development team, Red Hook Studios polished and added content to the game. We got to meet new characters that were later available in our playthroughs. Some friendlier, like The Houndmaster, and some scarier, like the poor Abomination, capable of turning into a beast itself during combat, producing a cold sweat on his fellow companions.
A year and a half later, The Crimson Court introduced The Flagellant, an interesting character that perhaps enjoys being covered in blood a bit too much. This marked the first expansion for Darkest Dungeon, adding tons of new enemies in the Courtyard – an entirely new dungeon – along with new mechanics, trinkets and random events in the town.
Lastly, on October 26th – with a late release on December 6th for PlayStation 4 and Vita – The Shieldbreaker stood upon a swarm of snakes and introduced itself as not only the second DLC for the game but also, as the latest addition in the character roster.
We don’t know much about the past of The Shieldbreaker, but there are a few things that we can guess up front. Her clothes, skills and the spear she wields are reminiscent of an ancient era, or at least, a place far away from what we are used to. This character is specialised in dealing damage to armoured enemies by using sneak and piercing attacks. Think of her like a deadly assassin that prefers to use stealth and hide among the team, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. A useful technique, even if it requires advancing a few steps ahead in line by charging.
It is, indeed, an interesting addition. Mixing her with characters such as the Knight and the Priest make for an interesting combination, as we can focus her solely on inflicting damage while the rest of the team absorbs the brunt of enemy attacks and heals her wounds. Most of her skills, as stated above, require movement, so expect to see the party switching places often.
The Shieldbreaker’s past also has a role in the game, although in a minor grade than what The Crimson Court can offer. Three new enemies will appear if the party is ambushed during the night after a camp, projecting as a dream come true for the warrior.
To make up for her low health, a new consumable item called Aegis Scale provides a unique defence. Additionally, there is an entirely new trinket set for the character alone, but that’s all the content this DLC offers. It’s not a bad thing, but rather a difference considering how big The Crimson Court was, and how complex The Color of Madness – the latest DLC announced – seems to be – introducing a horde mode and a new enemy faction. If you were looking to add more variety to your group, The Shieldbreaker is a small but significant addition.
“She has paid dearly for her freedom, and deserves better than this place…“
This copy of The Shieldbreaker was provided by Red Hook Studios for review purposes. Diego Argüello spent 4 hours fighting with sandstorm of memories and creepy snakes. Darkest Dungeon’s The Shieldbreaker is already available on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita for $3.99 USD.