You'll spend a lot of time killing the roaming monsters that inhabit the world of Soldak. Sorry, there aren't any knitting minigames in this RPG - you'll pick your class, go through a quick (and boringly wordy) tutorial and then hop straight into the mass murder. You can choose between four classes: rogue, warrior, priest and mage, all of which have a completely unique character progression path and style of gameplay. As you level up, you get to choose to put points across three different skill trees per class, deciding whether to specialize or spread out your skill points among many different skills.
This is where the game goes awry. Inexperienced RPG players will rapidly find themselves frustrated as they attempt to build a well balanced character without consulting templates online. Although you can easily correct your mistakes at any time by paying a little silver to re-train your character, it's difficult to remain effective as you level up without hyper-specializing your character. It's no fun to continually click the same ability to kill the same monsters for hours on end. You can easily switch up your abilities on the fly, but the lack of built in skill synergies like those implemented in Diablo II's 1.10 patch makes this largely a waste of time.
To make up for a lack of multiplayer, Depths of Peril allows you to carry along a fully equippable minion with you that can take the form of any of the four player classes. You can recruit several NPCs to man your covenant that will vie against many other competitors. You can trade and conduct diplomacy with the other covenants at any time, and hire monstrous guards to protect your home base from attack. This is supposedly what sets this game apart from its competitors.
Once you master the basics of raiding other covenants - and enough gold to pay for all the potions and power-ups that you need to keep your team going - the pseudo-competitive portion of the game loses much of its appeal. The idea of competing against other guilds to complete quests and kill off monsters is clever, but in practice it just distracts from the focus of the game. When you get a message that your base is under attack while you're trying to kill off a ravenous boss monster halfway across the world, the emotional reaction tends to be one of annoyance rather than anticipation for the coming battle.
Despite all this, the core gameplay remains eerily hypnotic. Downloading the demo is very likely to result in the instant onset of a Depths of Peril addiction that can last for a week or more. The simple cycle of constantly increasing rewards acts as a Skinnerian conditioning mechanism that will keep you clicking maniacally like a rat hitting a button for the chance of tasting a few drips of sugar-liquid.