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This Incredible, Challenging RPG Is Free To Play All Weekend (PC)

Darkest Dungeon is free to enjoy all weekend, as the hardcore roguelike releases its free PVP mode.

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Darkest Dungeon is a fantastic, challenging roguelike that tasks players with crawling through horrifying, calamitous dungeons to slay monsters and claim treasure. The game puts an emphasis on the psychological tolls that adventuring brings, and if you're up for the challenge, then you can do so for free all weekend on Steam. This comes in time for the release of the free Butcher's Circus DLC, which launches today and adds a PVP mode.

Darkest Dungeon's free weekend runs from now until June 1 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. If you decide you want to keep playing Darkest Dungeon after the free period ends, you can snag it for $6.24 USD. There are a number of great DLC expansions that are also discounted. The Crimson Court DLC is $5, the Shieldbreaker is $2.74, and The Color of Madness is $2.49. You can buy Darkest Dungeon and all of its DLC in the Ancestral Edition for $16.38.

The Butcher's Circus DLC's PVP combat doesn't work exactly like how it does in the single-player mode. Instead of the RNG-based initiative system, which decides turn order in the base game, The Butcher's Circus makes use of a coin flip. Whoever wins this coin flip gets to attack first, though the loser of the coin flip isn't at a disadvantage--they receive a team-wide buff that is active for the entire first round. Owners of the DLC are able to bring in DLC characters, which means if you don't own any of the expansions, you may see characters you don't have access to.

In GameSpot's Darkest Dungeon review, critic Daniel Starkey scored it a 9/10 and praised its deep strategic gameplay, foreboding atmosphere, and spectacular art direction.

"[Darkest Dungeon] builds you up for a grand bout that will test everything you've learned, as well as your ability to plan several in-game weeks out," Starkey wrote. "The pay-off for this constant offensive comes in short bursts--just enough to keep you going, just enough to keep you hopeful for the next excursion. It's an extraordinary cycle that bears a special teacher--rewarding your cleverness and punishing your foolishness. It transfixes and binds you to this grand journey, dotted with failures and successes. And because you endured, because you thought your way through it, the final victory against the unimaginable evil you face at the bottom of the Darkest Dungeon is personally valuable."

If you're interested in more suggestions for what to do this weekend, then you'll be happy to hear there are a lot of free games you can claim right now and keep forever. Developers and publishers have been offering specific games for free to help those stuck at home during the current pandemic. We've also put together a guide on the best TV, movies, and games to enjoy while you're social distancing.

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