Back in April, developer Red Hook Studios announced it was working on a free PvP mode for its deliciously punishing Lovecraftian strategy RPG, Darkest Dungeon. And now, two months on, Butcher's Circus, as the new DLC is known, is available to download on Steam.
Butcher's Circus is, of course, a rather dramatic departure for Darkest Dungeon; since the game's release in 2016, its punishing expeditions to the shadowy antediluvian corners of its ancient hamlet - requiring players to safely shepherd their party of broken heroes through sanity-shattering horrors - have remained staunchly solo endeavours. Now, however, there's a new multiplayer twist to that rock-solid core.
Red Hook's latest slab of DLC adds the new Butcher's Circus location to Darkest Dungeon's gloomy hamlet, and those brave enough to enter its "weathered and bloodstained pavilion tent", can embark on PvP arena battles against friends and strangers.
Participants are able to assemble their own four-member party (separate to that used in the main campaign) in a bid to climb the PvP ranks, using special trinkets to gain a strategic edge during battle. Victory against an enemy team unlocks banner components, enabling players to assemble their own duelist heraldry, if that's the kind of thing that appeals.
To celebrate the arrival of Darkest Dungeon's Butcher's Circus DLC on Steam, the game will be free-to-play until 1st June. And if you're particularly taken by its eldritch delights, there's 75 percent off the base game and 50% off earlier DLC for the duration.