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DarkStory Online Review

By BwwDtt | 07 December 2020
Average: 7.4 (12 votes)

DarkStory Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer 2D RPG in pixel style.

  • Deep character customization with a class system
  • Daily quests and rewards & plenty of achievements
  • Wide variety of professions such as fisherman, miner, and woodcutter
  • Cooperative missions for up to four people
  • Well-balanced PvP system

DarkStory Online Gameplay

DarkStory Online is a Free Massively Multiplayer 2D RPG game developed and published by BraveWolf. The project was released in May 2020. The game was inspired by classic old-school RPGs like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, the first instalments of Final Fantasy, and The Legend of Zelda.

The gameplay consists of completing quests, fighting various monsters and other components of the classic representatives of MMORPG. The main feature of the gameplay is its slowness and a significant focus on the grind. Compared to other representatives of this genre, the gameplay of DarkStory Online is more meditative and allows players to relax while doing one of the many things the game offers.

From this project, the developers managed to implement an excellent time killer, immersing players with its simplicity of the main mechanics, pleasant appearance, and also a unique combat system.

How the world of DarkStory Online works and who lives in it

The world of DarkStory Online has to itself from the first seconds of the game. Once in the fantasy universe, the player begins his adventure full of new acquaintances, exciting stories and much more.

The game world consists of several zones, which are divided among themselves according to the level principle. The player will be able to explore a medium-sized map that is inhabited by eight different peoples. Acquaintance with each of them occurs sequentially with the growth of the character's level. The world itself is divided into different biomes, and also has several layers with many underground locations.

Magical creatures in DarkStory Online

Since the main gameplay is tied to the grind, the lands of the DSO are filled with many different creatures, from rabbits to giant mutated mushrooms. Apart from hostile mobs, the world is filled with many friendly NPCs. Some of them will be happy to share exciting stories with the player. Someone will offer a quest, and someone will want to trade. Often, they will provide different services depending on their specialization: some will sell equipment for a specific profession, others will offer storage services, etc. This thoughtful content gives the world of DarkStory Online the impression of a vibrant world.

Bosses of DarkStory Online

In addition to the usual opponents, the game also contains much more dangerous creatures.

Bosses in DarkStory Online
For almost every type of creature, there is an analogue in the form of a boss.

The player will meet most of these opponents at the end of questlines, as well as in dungeons. During the battle with them, a hood with the boss's health bar, as well as his name, will appear above the game interface. The help of other heroes may be required to defeat such a monster; otherwise, it is worth stocking up on healing potions. In addition to their distinctive appearance, each boss has its mechanics of behaviour and combat features. To defeat some of them, it may take more than one attempt, as well as the development of strategy and tactics of combat.

DarkStory Online Tutorial

The game has competently implemented training, thanks to which the player can quickly get used to the world of DarkStory Online.

Character Customization in DarkStory Online
At the start, the player is asked to choose the desired character control system.

At the very beginning, the player learns the basics of character control. The gameplay is tied to four control keys depending on the player's choice. Interaction is performed using the space bar; attack and loot are performed by pressing Ctrl. Besides, at any time the player can use the mouse buttons for specific actions.

Next, the player goes through a line of training quests, where he learns about combat, mining and crafting. He is also taught to use the inventory and other basics of the game.

The first island is educational and is aimed at developing the player from 1 to 10 levels. After the player is sufficiently familiar with the game, he will be taken to the central world location.

The visual and Sound component of DarkStory Online

Visually, the game is made in the style of old-school RPGs. The character is controlled from a top view in a two-dimensional space with cellular movement.

Despite the outdated design, the game manages to create a pleasant feeling. The developers were able to realize the atmosphere of the first parts of Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda. Travelling to DarkStory Online, the player will be able to plunge headlong into the world of medieval fantasy, while simultaneously admiring the created beauties of flora and fauna. The environment is filled with many different animals and plants that make it come alive. The detail of the character models is striking, as well as the competent compositional creation of locations. Each city and its content is unique and beautiful in its way. Also, the game has the high-quality animation and art style of the game world.

One of the best features of DarkStory Online is its soundtrack, which perfectly complements and fits nicely into the overall gaming style. The soundtrack is well-chosen for each location. Also, separate unique sounds have been selected for each action, NPC and mob.

Basic game mechanics of DarkStory Online

In-game newspaper

Character Customization in DarkStory Online
In DarkStory Online, the developers have introduced their in-game newspaper, which combines the most necessary information functions.

By clicking on it, you will see the window stylistically made in the form of a newspaper from the game world. Here, each user can check out the upcoming weekly events of DarkStory Online, receive daily rewards for visiting, as well as see developer announcements about innovations and forthcoming game updates. Also, the game periodically organizes voting for all players, where everyone can express which update in the game they would like to see next. There is a tab with the player rating, links to the game website and social networks of developers.


This mechanic is one of the keys, as it promotes rapid progress in the game, as well as increasing the level of the character. There is a wide variety of different tasks related to killing a certain number of opponents, completing a series of quests, defeating a boss, etc. Each achievement is rewarded differently. If the player does not know what he should do at a given time, then he can open the achievements tab and focus on completing a specific task.

In-game donation store

DarkStory Online has a well-developed in-game donation store. In it, the player can purchase various items of equipment, mounts, and consumables.

Character Customization in DarkStory Online
It also adds temporary unique cosmetic items associated with a holiday event.

The user can choose from dozens of different cosmetic items, including fonts, clothes, weapons, etc. The beauty of donation in this game is that it is cheap and does not affect the in-game balance in any way.

Character customization

The game has primary and secondary character customization.

Character Customization in DarkStory Online
In the beginning, the player can choose the gender of the character and the hairstyle, as well as its colour.

Further, during the game, NPCs will become available that will allow you to edit the appearance. Also, the player will be able to customize his appearance: clothes, weapons, mounts at will with the help of decorative elements.

Co-op Play And PvP

In the game, many activities are tied to the interaction of the in-game community. So, users can meet and communicate in the in-game chat. The game has the mechanics of cooperative completion of unique missions and dungeons with strong bosses. Also, there is a grouping function, which allows you to play with friends, as well as quickly level up when working together.
The developers also delighted fans of PvP. So, the game has an exceptional location, which is a battle arena for battles between players. Participation in duels allows you to earn unique awards and achievements, as well as compete for places in the overall ranking among other players.

Crafting in DarkStory Online

The game implements a system of crafting various consumables from the constituent components.

Crafting in DarkStory Online
Crafting itself takes place in a separate window, which shows a wide variety of different recipes that you can create.

Consumables currently available for crafting will be highlighted in green. To the right of the list, the ingredients required for crafting will be shown, as well as the final result and effects that the player will receive when using the selected consumable. Mostly they instantly replenish HP or MP, but some give a temporary bonus to damage dealt, defence, experience gained, etc.

The crafting mechanic allows you to acquire all the consumables you need for your adventure for free. The creation of items requires components that are dropped from certain types of mobs, as well as resources collected during the gathering process. Recipes open progressively since the necessary ingredients for specific consumables can only be obtained at higher levels.

In-game events

The developers of DarkStory Online continue to support the game and consistently introduce various in-game events and events dedicated to any dates or holidays. For a limited time, there are special quests in the game, several new NPCs appear, and many new mobs are added, and the designs of some old enemies are being reworked.

For example, on Halloween, the game received an event of the same name, in which NPCs, a temporary holiday currency for buying unique things, and quests for earning this currency were added to it. Some NPCs and mobs are now wearing festive costumes like pumpkin helmets and cloaks.

Professions in DarkStory Online

The game has professions related to the processes of resource extraction. The player can become a fisherman, lumberjack, miner or digger. Depending on the time spent in a particular business, the player will improve his skills in one specific case, as well as receive special rewards. With an increase in the professional level, the efficiency of resource extraction will increase, as well as the rarity of the extracted raw materials.

Professions in DarkStory Online
For each profession, it is possible to develop specific passive effects.

For example, having spent enough time excavating resources, the player will be able to increase the amount of experience in engaging in this profession. Besides, you can increase the chances of scooping certain types of resources, etc.

The gathering system in DarkStory Online

The process of collecting in the game is assigned a separate role since the professions of DarkStory Online are tied around it.
Here the player can engage in all kinds of mining of specific resources: valuable ores, wood, fish, etc.

The mining process is similar to battles: the player also presses on ctrl to act, but it will be directed to the source of a specific resource. For example, to mine gold, it's necessary to go to the mine and find ore to start collecting. To get this or that resource, the player will have to act a certain number of times. As a result, he will receive the corresponding drop, as well as a certain amount of profession points.

Also, for some processes, such as the same mining of ore, or fishing and chopping trees, appropriate tools are required: a pickaxe, a fishing rod, an axe, etc. Depending on the value of the resource being extracted, a more expensive and high-quality tool will be required. The resources obtained during any activity can be sold to merchants, as well as used in crafting items, etc.

Games Like DarkStory Online

  • Elsword is a free action-oriented MMORPG developed by KOG Studios. The project was released at the end of 2007. This game is made in 2.5-dimensional style with side-scrolling and beat 'em up battles. Visually, the game has a lot in common with manga art. The story of the game follows the title protagonist Elsword and the El Search Party as they travel across the world of Elrios to protect the El from the encroaching demonic forces. The game is very similar to DarkStory Online. In particular, a similar style can be noted, as well as a genre. In both games, most of the playing time is spent on the grind.
  • Runescape is a cross-platform browser-based multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Jagex Ltd. Executed as a Java client application; it provides players with a full 3D virtual world. The game has one and a half hundred servers in different countries. They are called worlds in RuneScape, and you can choose any when you enter the game. The player's character with all the acquired property can freely move from world to world and talk with players in other worlds. The player can move around the map - on foot or using various transportation methods. Also, each player can choose his path of development and levelling of the character, like many other games of the MMORPG genre, RuneScape is notable for its non-linear plot. The role-playing system is built on skills: developing a particular talent, you increase your level - a separate one for each skill.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a video game developed and published by Nintendo. This project is a classic action-adventure game. The game combines elements of RPG, puzzles, besides, it has a well-thought-out and exciting plot. It shares visual and stylistic similarities with DarkStory Online: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is also executed in 2D pixel art with a top view. The mechanics of movement and interaction with objects are also shared between the two games.

DarkStory Online Classes

DarkStory Online has four different classes that are classics for the genre. Their main differences lie in four key character characteristics. The game implements such parameters as endurance, strength, intelligence and agility; players will develop these characteristics as they level up. At the same time, users have freedom of choice when increasing features, so everyone can easily adjust the class to their unique playstyle, as well as create a hybrid character depending on the desired role in the battle. Each type has a unique skill tree with many different abilities. Also, for each class, several subclasses are implemented, depending on the preferred skills. Thus, the mage has two branches of skills, specializing in the elements of fire and the elements of ice. This feature allows you to both combine different fighting styles and focus on a more impressive one.

Classes in DarkStory Online

Another of the class features is the dependence of race in class. In DarkStoy Online, the choice of the race depends directly on the archetype. The choice of mage and warrior will make the character human. When choosing a stalker, the hero will be a wolf. If the player wants to play as a hunter class, then he will be a fox. Each hero will be able to wear equipment that is suitable only for his or her race.

Classes in DarkStory Online

  • Knight — this class uses a melee attack style. These heroes can create combinations of attacks at will, forcing each combination to have a different effect on the enemy. He has two branches of the development of abilities: light and darkness. In terms of class characteristics, the knight is dominated by defence, which makes him an excellent choice for a tank role.
  • Mage — this class specializes in attacks using the elements while fighting at medium range. Even though it can attack from a shorter distance than the hunter, each hit deals a lot of damage. The mage class is ideal for the role of a damage dealer. Among all characteristics, intelligence prevails.
  • Stalker — the stalker class is predominantly a damage dealer, fighting opponents at close range. It is a shadow assassin, whose techniques specialize in delivering poison and critical strikes. Also, he has a "Battle Masters" passive effect, in which he gains various additional effects for each of his hits. Strength and endurance predominate among characteristics, making it an ideal class for both solo play and team play.
  • Hunter — this class has the highest attack range among all the others. Also, it has the farthest detection area for opponents. As his primary equipment, he has a quiver in which he stores arrows, as well as some useful things, such as bombs and traps. According to its characteristics, it is the most balanced class available.

DarkStory Online System Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: GeForce 8600 GT/ATI Radeon HD 3450
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo/AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.4 GHz or higher
  • File Size: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Windows XP

Recommended Requirements

  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: GeForce 9600 GT/ATI Radeon HD 3870 or higher
  • CPU: Intel I3 530/AMD A6 6400K
  • File Size: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10