Review – Dark Deity

The likes of Fire Emblem has spawned countless clones over the years at this point. Some good, and some… not so much. For the most part, these clones don’t actually bring anything new to the table either, making them a straight rip-off. That being said, the newest one to come into view is Dark Deity. Aiming to bring the spotlight to the original gameplay style, more than even Fire Emblem: Three Houses was able to return to, Dark Deity features a variety of terrains, unit classes, and more to dive into.

Dark Deity Combat

“Suck it!” – David Wallace.

For anyone unfamiliar, Dark Deity features turn-based combat, in which the player moves each of their units individually around a gridded board. Generally, the stand-out part of these styles of games is the inclusion of perma-death, meaning if one of your units die, that’s it. Every move had consequences, and every chance you took had a risk of backfiring drastically.

Dark Deity on the other hand, does not feature perma-death. While yes, it is a bit unfortunate when your unit dies in a chapter, and sure, that unit gets a debuff for the next chapter, risking your characters is almost nonchalant. There’s no desire to learn about the characters, or become familiar with them because there’s no risk to them. That, and the characters and personalities just aren’t that interesting. Everyone is basically a watered down version of a Fire Emblem character from the first or second GBA game.

Dark Deity Bandits

If we all look away, they won’t see us.

Between each chapter, you’re met with a camp. Here you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons to increase your attack power, critical hit chance, or even gain additional abilities to the weapon (and change its name). I find this is actually a better system than needing to buy and carry a weapon for every one that each character can use. No, I don’t want my General to have to carry an axe, a sword, and a lance, plus a key if there’s a door, and whatever else.

Each character has a variety of weapons, even if they only use swords. One will hit hard, while another will have a high critical hit chance, and the third will be weaker, but lighter and faster so it can possibly hit twice. On the note of hitting twice, the attack animations are quite nice. Instead of just hitting an opponent once for twenty hit points, some characters will hit twice in one attack, with a total of ten for each hit. While it might not seem like much, the variety in how units attack actually helps to keep the battle animations fresh, without needing to make any drastic changes.


Why not have a scoreboard for your team?

On the note of animations, the character sprites are a throwback to the original Fire Emblem, while having a bit more modern charm. Instead of being pixel art, the sprites are all smoothed out nicely. The one part that is a bit awkward is the fact that all the sprites face left while on the field. Everyone walks backward into battle if you start on the left! Maybe it’s an intimidation tactic? On the note of left, the music is a bit out of left field. Nothing that feels exactly energetic, the music isn’t exactly “hype” material. It’s nice, which works for chill spots like the camp or less important dialogue sections, but not in the middle of a city assault.

A nice basic camp, no glamping here.

Dark Deity removed some of the most important parts of what makes these styles of games so loved. While the game itself is fun, and if you’re looking to scratch the itch that Three Houses may not have quite hit, Dark Deity might just do the trick. If you’re looking for that original, hard-to-master-might-need-to-restart-the-game type of difficulty instilled in your mind by the original Fire Emblem games, Dark Deity misses the mark here.


Graphics: 7.5

While Dark Deity looks nice, it doesn’t stand out as anything exceptional.

Gameplay: 7.5

A great Fire Emblem clone. If it brought more new innovations, it would really stand out as one of the best, possibly even better than the original.

Sound: 6.0

Some nice music and sound effects, but not always fitting in with what’s actually happening in game.

Fun Factor: 6.5

A fun clone, it’s stable and plays nicely. If there was more that felt new, as opposed to just feeling like I could pull out my GBA, this would really break out from the Fire Emblem shadow.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Dark Deity is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Dark Deity was provided by the publisher.