I never expected to see this on Steam. Originally released back in 1992, I played this to death for over 2 years virtually every day for hours at a time. IMO it's still one of the best and very underrated RPG's ever released, with a depth that most RPG's never attain. With three levels of game play, a traditional text based adventure, a map based movement system and a Gauntlet/Baldurs like battle system. With the whole of 15th century Germany which included Poland and other outlying present day coutries you've got a massive area to explore (over the period I played it, I still hadn't visited every city and at least 50% of the missions were left unexplored.
There's the usual character customisation, though there are a lot more attributes to consider as well as character improvement and the actual battles against witches, robber barons, magical beasts, werewolves, and encounters with less violent, but still demanding characters such as bishops who demand tolls to pass their path. You'll pick up loot from your fallen victims as well as gold, which is then used to buy items from the various outlets. Upgrading your armour or buying more effective weapons from the armouries, or buying much needed ingredients to craft more healing potions, or other useful alchemical concotions, or getting blessed by various saints in the monstries and cathedrals, or being trained in various crafts of the time. All of which cost money; using the monetary system of the period i.e. pfenniges, groschen and florins. You can pick up missions via text based meetings in the local hostelry, or from meetings with various guilds and religious places. Each having different mission types.
This game despite its age can still enthrall a dedicated RPG player especially if you love real history as this game is heavily steeped in the lore and beliefs of the time. The selection of weapons is immense, the ability to craft different potions whether for healing or for battle are massive, but they aren't easy to attain right away. You'll need to spend many hours playing the game and improving your characters abilities to be able to create some of the alchemical formula that are required to progress through some of the many missions available in this game. Each town you visit you can purchase the ingredient to craft your potions, or visit an alchemist to gain more skill so as to create better and more effective potions or to visit the local churches, monstries or cathedrals to train in the religious beliefs of the time and thereby gain more saintly help (these include healing prayers, and temporary skill improvements during battle). There's a list of saints as long as your arm that you can choose from, each one having their own distinct characteristics. You won't find all of the saints in each town either. You'll need to visit virtually every holy place in Germany to be able to usitilise them all.
There's so much more to this game. Don't let the very dated grahics put you off this game; once you've got several missions under your belt and have improved your groups skills to the point where you can be effective, the game starts to become a lot deeper.
Also the Steam version includes a copy of the original 107 page manual, which is one of the most in depth manuals from that era that you could possibly wish for; with descriptions of all of the weapons, armor, ingredients, potion recipes and prayers that are available in game as well as historical background and tips on how to get the most out of this game. Every aspect of the game is detailed in those pages. They have scanned the original and added it to a pdf document, which is accessible from the right hand menu under links on the games library page,
You can see some Darklands game play HERE