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Loot Fest Showdown: Diablo 3 vs. Path of Exile vs. Torchlight 2
This year is looking amazing for fans of loot fest, dungeon crawling, action RPGs. With Diablo 3 now out and the long wait over, fans of these types of games are looking at what could possibly rival Blizzard’s giant. It’s obvious that Diablo has reigned king in this realm since its inception. Even now fans of the series were playing Diablo 2 until the fabled day when the second sequel to the hell raising loot party finally released. Longevity is the title I would give Blizzard’s dark series.
There have been many that have tried to take Diablo’s throne but the Lord of Terror has reigned supreme. However, with the release of the third game many fans have become bothered by the new stances that Blizzard has with its games and some glaring omissions of features. This year we have more than one dungeon crawler coming out and two that are firmly ready to assault Mount Arreat and pillage Blizzard’s coffers. Will Diablo lose his crown or is the keep unassailable?
Enough crazy talk, let’s get to the showdown: Diablo 3 vs. Path of Exile vs. Torchlight 2!
We begin with the heavy hitter. Blizzard’s war between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells finally reaches the pinnicle after the destruction of the Worldstone. The mortals of Sanctuary are barely prepared for an all out assault from either side. Once again, a champion must rise and give humanity a chance. Diablo first arrived on the scene in 1996. It was a smash hit but not as much as its sequel. In 2000, we were treated to a much more upgraded experience and a far bigger journey. Diablo 2 was a masterpiece of dungeon crawling and has since survived to this day. That is 12 years of having a dedicated playerbase. It is one of those games where someone mentions it and then a person re-installs it. With Diablo 3 now in the books, the pressure is on to ensure that Blizzard’s new take and online-only experience is up-to-par. While off to a very rocky start, Diablo 3 is stabilizing and ready to try and tackle Diablo 2’s longevity.
Series: Diablo (1996)
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Availability: May 15th, 2012 (Available now)
- Continuing story
- Robust online features with Battle.net
- Community site with player profiles, stats, and more (coming soon)
- Achievement system
- Auction House
- Four difficulties
- Skill-changing rune system
- Single player impacted by connectivity, servers
- Game progress hindered by joining other games
- Only 4 player co-op, down from 8
- PvP not released yet
- Very rocky start due to server issues (will be fixed)
Review/Preview: Leviathyn’s Review
A newcomer to the arena but one that is looking to enhance the traditional landscape and become a smash hit. The best way to describe this game would be to mash up Guild War’s social and quasi-mmo aspects and Diablo 2’s gameplay. That said, there are plenty of unique and fun features in Path of Exile to set it apart from the competition. Grinding Gear Games has done a fantastic job coming up with engrossing passive and active skill systems. Instead of adhering to a set skill tree, players are given 750 nodes to activate in order to further their character’s stats and abilities. Think Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid but not that confusing at all. Path of Exile is looking to be the underdog in this fight but that doesn’t mean they can’t do it. This is the Rocky Balboa of dungeon crawlers just primed with that last round knockout punch. Don’t toss this one aside.
Series: Path of Exile (new IP)
Developer: Grinding Gear Games
Availability: In beta, no concrete date for release
Price: Free-to-play, cash shop
- Huge passive skill system
- Upgradable active skills
- Many different “leagues” to accommodate different types of players
- Ethical cash shop means no unfair paid-for advantage
- Worldwide PvP tournaments
- Trade/barter system works to promote player trading of items – less greed
- Guild Wars 1 type of online system still feels offline unless grouped up
- That also means the same issue as Diablo 3, server woes effect solo play
- Plenty of throwaway skills, easy to pick favorites or worthwhiles
- Weird, unsatisfying barter/trade system with NPCs – no currency
Review/Preview: Leviathyn’s Preview
Runic Games returns and blasts away nearly every single gripe players had with the original Torchlight. This time around, the game feels much more open and full of features. Torchlight was a wonderful little game that felt more like a tech demo of sorts. It was sorely lacking in features but had a charm about it that made the game easy to fall for. There was no multiplayer and players were basically only exploring one area as they traveled further down a mine. The game was well received but the gripes were well heard. Runic has spent a lot of time making Torchlight 2 the game we all wanted the first to be. I consider this the Loki to Diablo’s Thor. It has a great chance at proving itself and success.
Series: Torchlight (2009)
Developer: Runic Games
Availability: In beta, Summer release
- Continuing story
- Improved Pet system
- 8-player co-op
- Customizable characters
- Mod support
- Improved fishing
- Retirement system
- Limited PvP
- Mods can separate online community (still, mods!)
- No chat system like the other two (less social aspect, but some prefer this so it can go either way)
Review/Preview: Leviathyn’s Beta Review
And there we have it! The three dungeon crawling combatants for this year. I didn’t make this article to tell you which one is best. I put the info up there for you to decide. Your purchase (or download) is the ultimate end here but you can leave a comment down below to tell us where your loyalty stands. Hell, maybe you’re playing all three or two of them!
P.S. Both Path of Exile and Torchlight 2 have ways of getting into the beta. Check their sites (links above) to see how to get in and test them out.