Dark and Darker may have been the game to popularize extraction-style dungeon crawlers, but it certainly won't be the last. Two extremely similar games, Greed is Good and Project Crawl, are both holding Steam playtests this week.
All three titles, at first glance, appear almost identical. Like Dark and Darker, players in Project Crawl and Greed is Good can team up to venture into a dangerous dungeon in search of treasure, in the process battling to overcome both monsters and teams of other players as a shrinking battle royale-esque circle forces players into closer proximity as a match progresses.
It's clear Greed is Good and Project Crawl look to have been heavily "inspired" by the work developer Ironmace has done with its own first-person slasher, mimicking everything from Dark and Darker's user interface to its map. In Greed is Good's case, even things as specific as Dark and Darker's "interact" and weapon attack animations look to have been copied. Additionally, as pointed out in a video by Dark and Darker content creator Onepeg, many of Greed is Good's spells and class abilities are almost carbon copies of ones seen in Dark and Darker, even going as far to, in many cases, have the exact same name and function as ones from Ironmace's game. Even the way players extract from the dungeon is the same--via blue or red portal stones.
That being said, there are some differences worth noting. Project Crawl, for example, looks to feature more robust character creation options, while Greed is Good has elected to go the hero-shooter route when it comes to playable classes. Greed is Good also features a number of features Dark and Darker players would likely love to see added to Ironmace's game, such as the ability to buy additional stash tabs, shared stashes between characters, a more robust auction house where players can sell items, and floating damage numbers. However, there is no denying where the two projects have drawn their inspiration. A survey required for players to potentially gain access to the upcoming Project Crawl alpha playtest mentions Dark and Darker by name.
The main difference between the three games, of course, is that Greed is Good and Project Crawl are both on Steam. Meanwhile, Dark and Darker was kicked off Steam and has yet to return due to an ongoing legal dispute with Korean gaming giant Nexon, which has accused Ironmace (comprised of numerous ex-Nexon developers) of stealing code and assets from a canceled Nexon project in order to create Dark and Darker. Ironmace has denied those allegations.
Though a copyright lawsuit brought by Nexon against Ironmace in the US has been dismissed, a similar case is still ongoing in Korea. Instead of launching on Steam, Ironmace was instead forced to launch Darker and Darker into early access via its own game launcher, with the game currently available for purchase directly through the official Dark and Darker website.
Project Crawl's alpha playtest will run for three days starting on September 26, with those interested needing to sign-up via a qualification survey. Those keen on taking Greed is Good for a spin can request access to the game's ongoing open beta test via the game's official page on Steam.