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Had Your Fill with Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls? Try These Alternate ARPGs
It’s been a month since Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls landed in the hands of demonslaying gamers worldwide and, given the mixed reputation that Diablo 3 has, renewed a lot of faith and interest in the action RPG genre as a whole. While Blizzard added some long term appeal with their new Adventure Mode, it’s inevitable that fans of the action RPG genre are eventually going to want to move onto more fertile gaming pastures.
With that in mind – here are five other Action RPGs that might be worth checking out once you’ve had your fill of Blizzard’s latest.
1. Path of Exile
When you take a look at the sheer scale of the ambition behind Path of Exile, it’s not hard to see why a lot of fans are calling it the true successor to Diablo 2’s legacy.
Grinding Gear Games free-to-play action RPG offers players six different classes – each of whom is an exile who wakes up on the shores of a fantasy continent called Wraeclast. Wraeclast was once the center of a mighty empire but has fallen into cursed ruin and in recent years has become a penal colony of sorts (basically, the fantasy equivalent of Australia). While the game’s setting is a refreshing break from Diablo’s world-saving shenanigans, it’s the gameplay and hugely impressive amount of character customization that’s the draw here. I’ll just let the below screenshot of the game’s character customization speak for itself:
The game does come with a promise of regular updates by developers with the first update, The Sacrifice of The Vaal, being released last month.
2. Grim Dawn
While I’ve never been a big fan of Titan Quest (What! Titan Quest was amazing. –ed), I have to admit that the next game by the developers of the cult-acclaimed mythological hack and slash looks damn exciting.
Grim Dawn sets you as one of five playable character classes (each of which can be combined and augmented with skills from other character classes) and tasks you with fighting your way through an apocalyptic fantasy world of Cairn. On top of the huge levels of freedom that the class system offers fans of the genre, the game also boasts mechanics that encourage the player to leave their mark on the world – whether it be through dynamic branching quests or through upgrading towns and helping the game’s different factions.
Torchlight is the brainchild of the original minds behind the Diablo series, Max and Erich Schaefer, and while I believe they are, on some level, just HD-remakes of the first two Diablo games, they are still an absolute must play for ARPG fans looking to scratch that dungeon-crawling itch.
The series has a neat cartoony look to it and boasts a bunch of really smart additions to the genre such as loot-carrying pets. Personally, I think the second game outstays its welcome a bit more than the original Torchlight does but it’s still worth grabbing for the multiplayer functionality it comes with.
4. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is the only game on this list that I have yet to get my hands on but I have some heard a lot of good things about this Neocore-developed hack and slash. The game sees you take on the role of the titular vampire hunter and son of the legendary vampire hunter from Bram Stoker’s famous novel. While the gameplay is very much traditional ARPG-fare, it has a lot more in common with the quirky streamlined mechanics of Torchlight than it does the ambitious Path of Exile.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is set in a twisted steampunk version of 19th century Europe and the developers are promising the Bioware-inspired feature of importing player characters from one game in the series to the next.
Sacred has always had a bit of a reputation as the obscure German stepchild of the extended ARPG family but it’s also one of my favorites. The series melds traditional ARPG dungeon-crawling and loot-hunting antics with a seamless open world. Although the game’s combat can sometimes fall a little flat, Sacred does feature some pretty unique visual flairs and impressive character designs.
There’s a lot of charm and detail to the world and some of my favorite multiplayer ARPG experiences have been had with the Ascaron-developed series – the first of which I consider to be an ARPG classic well worth checking out.