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Dark and Darker is back on Steam, and now it’s free to play

Medieval looter Dark and Darker has finally returned to Steam as an early-access, free-to-play game.

Developer Ironmace confirmed the news at last night’s Summer Game Fest show, during which it also revealed that the “unforgiving hardcore fantasy FPS dungeon PvPvE adventure” would be free to play on the Epic Games Store, too.

Dark and Darker – Summer Game Fest 2024 Trailer.Watch on YouTube

As a thank you, the team has added a “massive content update” which includes the Ice Abyss area, new boss Frost Wyvern, and an all-new Druid class.

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You can also expect to find “numerous” unspecified QoL upgrades to “enhance the gameplay experience”.

Dark and Darker was previously been removed from Steam following a protracted legal dispute with Nexon. The Korean developer had its office searched after allegations the studio created its game with stolen code and was then served a cease-and-desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon, the fellow Korean games company where several Ironmace employees used to work.

After using ChatGPT in a bid to prove it hadn’t infringed any copyright claims, Ironmace put Dark and Darker back online via its own launcher, Blacksmith. Then, in January of this year, a court ultimately dismissed Nexon’s request for an injunction, allowing Ironmace to release the game on PC storefronts once again.

“Our vision is to deliver unparalleled joy and excitement to players worldwide with Dark and Darker,” the team said. “We are committed to transforming it into an iconic title that will captivate and be cherished by the global gaming community for the next decade and beyond.”

Despite only returning to the Steam store yesterday, the game currently sits on a “mixed” review score from almost 1500 players. The negative reviews primarily stem from reports that the F2P version is essentially a “demo”, as you can’t use any uncommon items or unlock multiple characters unless you cough up for the Legendary package. Others are just delighted that the game is once again on Steam.

“Back from the dead, comeback of the year,” said one happy player.

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