You play as a man or woman who, in your past life, lived a life of sin and debauchery. In retaliation, Din, Champion of the Gods, has placed a curse upon you. Until you have redeemed your soul in his eyes, you are doomed to be his servant for all time. In order to redeem yourself, you must travel to the infinite towns of Alleria, save the people from the rampaging monsters, and in general do heroic acts until Din deems you worthy.
Din's Curse is unlike most Hack and Slash RPGs in that it takes place in a fully dynamic world. Each town is different from the last, and each has a equally different dungeon. Also, the monsters fight back. If you take too long completing a quest, the monsters will begin to grow bold and take steps to destroy the town, including gathering up their forces, sending spies and assassins to infiltrate and sabotage the town, converting villagers to their cause and, ultimately attack and lay waste to the town.
Another interesting aspect of the game is its class customization. There are 6 (7 in the expansion) full classes to choose from, each with three distinct specializations. Each specialization grants the player unique powers and abilities, and a single full class benefits from skills of all three of its specializations. Players are also capable of creating Hybrid Characters, which use a combination of any two specializations, for over 100 different combinations.
An expansion pack, Demon War, was released in 2011. After one of their main cities is sacked by undead, the Demons of the underworld have begun an invasion of Alleria, adding yet another threat for you to fight. Along with the demons as new monsters, Demon War introduces new dungeon and town layouts, new types of villagers, and a new class, the Demon Hunter.
After over a year of back and forth between Soldak and Valve, Din's Curse was finally released on Steam in August 2012, Demon War following suit in September the same year.
Din's Curse provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Alleria has an extensive backstory, with over 30 short stories providing lore.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Screw up enough, and the town will be overrun by the monsters, forcing you to move on to another one while taking a hefty reputation hit.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Demon War added an option to adjust the pace of both the world and the NPCs, allowing you more time before villagers start starving and the monsters start taking over. It also added the ability to disable what the game considers "stressful" quest types, such as town attacks.
- Artificial Brilliance: One of the game's main selling points.
- The Atoner: You (and several others, see The Chosen Many below).
- Barbarian Hero: According to the lore, Barbarians have become so different from Humans that they're effectively a separate race.
- Blood Knight: Din himself, stating that he enjoys fighting against evil gods. And by that, he means employing cursed heroes like the player character to do it for him.
- Blow You Away: A couple of Sorcerer spells are themed on this. One does physical damage, while the other does ice damage.
- The Chosen Many: It's implied that Din has many cursed heroes working for him, due to one quest type that involves finding one that went rogue, and killing them.
- Deader Than Dead: An alternative to the traditional once-and-done hardcore mode is to lose 5 vitality every time you die. If your vitality hits 0, you're done for good.
- Dungeon Bypass: Occasionally you will find an special portal that will take you to a lower level of the current dungeon. Depending on what level your current quests are located, this may or may not be helpful.
- Endless Game: Even after you earn your redemption, you can still continue to quest and save as many towns as you please.
- God of Evil: Quite a few, actually. Many of Din's quests involve you slaying a champion or destroying an altar of one of the evil gods.
- Holy Hand Grenade: The Healer specialization's starting damage spell is this.
- An Ice Person: The Ice Mage specialization.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In the sense the game doesn't actually have any. At world generation, the player picks the starting level of monsters, from one up to quite a buffer ahead of themselves (although going more than two notches in either direction quickly makes things Easier Than Easy or Harder Than Hard). In addition, there are a whole slew of character modifiers to add extra challenge.
- Jerkass Gods: Din does not have much faith in you, but as you grow in power and fame, he gradually changes his tone.
- Mook Promotion: If a monster kills enough NPCs or a monster type it's hostile to, it will "evolve" into a Champion type and eventually an Elite type.
- Moral Dissonance: Digging up graves gets you a reputation penalty, but looting dead bodies doesn't.
- Necromancer: This is a Conjurer specialization.
- Our Elves Are Different: Dark Elves are similar to Dungeons & Dragons Drow, and were previously sealed deep underground, but were accidentally released by a Lumen excavation team.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Here, they were created when a necromancer attempted to raise elven corpses, but instead created the first Orcs. They have a cousin species called the Torva, who are smaller than their cousins, but far more devious and cunning.
- Playing with Fire: The Fire Mage specialization. Shamans also get a couple of fire spells, and a number of other specializations have one.
- Poisonous Person: Some of the damage spells of the Necromancer. The Thief specialization gets a cooldown ability to do poison damage with every attack. As you might guess, a couple of other specializations too.
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Certain monster types will attack other monster types when they're not busy fighting you. The Trickster specialization gives an ability to do this to most monsters.
- Shock and Awe: The Sorcerer specialization. Of course, a few other ones have an ability based around this as well.
- Take Your Time: You can set the game to more or less run this way, but the default game difficulty averts this completely.
- Trap Master: The Hunter specialization.
- Video Game Caring Potential: You can lend your armor and weapons to the townsfolk to help them protect themselves, which is not only nice, but smart-the better fighters the townsfolk are, the less chance of the town being destroyed and you losing a lot of reputation.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If you fail a quest or let an NPC die, your reputation takes a hit. One difficulty option enforces this further, causing your character to instantly drop dead if the town is destroyed.