Dark and Darker is Escape From Tarkov wrapped in Skyrim aesthetic, and it's blowing up on Steam

Dark and Darker
(Image credit: Ironmace)

Dark and Darker is the latest game to take Steam by storm, with good reason.

The game from developer Ironmace isn't even out yet, and might not be for another year, with a target Q4 2023 release date on its Steam page. Dark and Darker is currently in its third alpha playtest, but it's already amassed a peak concurrent player count of 52,576, according to SteamDB.

The formula that's propelled Dark and Darker to such heights is a riff on PvPvE combat, somewhat like Escape From Tarkov. You form up a party of three and venture into a dark dungeon, taking out monsters like skeletons and reanimated corpses as you go, all for the sweet treasure at the end.

Provided you escape alive with the treasure, you'll then sell it to the highest bidder back at the tavern. That tavern actually functions as a chaotic meeting point for players prior to venturing into dungeons, letting them run amok and jump on tables while they wait.

However, you're going head-to-head with other player parties for the treasure in Dark and Darker. In fact, the recent alpha test changelog on Steam shows Ironmace recently upped the player count in a single match to 18, which means there's six total teams fighting each other at once for the loot.

Dark and Darker definitely looks like one game to keep an eye on in the new year. The current third alpha playtest wraps up later this week on December 23, so you'll need to be quick if you want to get in on the action.

Check out our comprehensive Dark and Darker class guide for a complete walkthrough of all six playable classes. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.