When I visited Daedelic Entertainment at E3 2019, one of the games I got to check out was Iratus: Lord of the Dead. It’s a turn-based dark-fantasy roguelike game that tasks you with building an army of undead warriors (quite literally) and breaking through layers of dungeons as you make your way to the surface to conquer all.

Iratus: Lord of the Dead Preview

There’s an extremely extensive crafting system, allowing you to figure out exactly what mix of warriors you want to build. There are several different types as ghouls, vampires, wraiths and more are all available. There’s also no limit on how many of each type you’d like: If you are so inclined, you can build an army exclusively made up of Bone Golems. Naturally, each type of warrior has their own abilities to develop, skill points to place and more.

You are however limited by materials. You’ll gain different resources from harvesting the leftovers of battle: bones, organs, scraps of clothing and more. Each type of warrior has a specific ingredient (or ingredients) required.

At your dungeon base deep underground, you can develop and upgrade different buildings for different kinds of research, though the developers did tell me that it’s not possible to upgrade absolutely everything, so you’ll need to pick and choose.

After being run through how everything works, the developers let me play a boss battle in one of the game’s earlier sections. Combat is turn-based, with the placement and turn order of each character playing a huge part in their effectiveness. You’ve also got access to the magic of Iratus, which can be invoked to provide a huge boost (usually a buff or a debuff) at different times. It took a while but I was eventually able to beat the boss, a jailer using his condemned criminal charges as soldiers.

One tip is that you definitely need to focus on the boss. If all you do is kill their minions without dealing enough damage, they’ll just call in more and more ways and even your toughest warriors will be overwhelmed.

I have to say that I love the art style and the animations are quite fluid. It’s a grim, dark tone and works quite well. For the game as a whole, you could almost say that it’s a reverse of Darkest Dungeon, a game the developers freely admit they enjoyed and were inspired by. Instead of making your way down, you are the darkness working your way up.

Overall, Iratus: Lord of the Dead seems quite fun and if you liked Darkest Dungeon, it’s well worth keeping an eye on. There’s a lack of games that let you control an evil overlord, so I appreciate that aspect.

Iratus: Lord of the Dead will be released on PC through Steam, though the developers aren’t ruling out a release on consoles at a later date. There is no exact price or release date at this time.

If you’d like to read my other E3 2019 coverage, you can check out the links below: