The isometric action RPG (ARPG) genre has had one diabolical champion for over 15 years now. That’s right, Diablo. Others have tried to compete head-on with the Blizzard phenomenon over the past several years, most without comparable success.
Now that Diablo 3 is finally heading to store shelves, a few contenders are gearing up to take on the king once more, and this time, they think they might just succeed.
We have rounded up three ARPGs in the same vein as the Diablo series and pit them against the famed franchise. Each comes from a starkly different background, but every game has something a little different to offer. There’s a sequel, an MMO, and a still-developing Kickstarter project. Which do you think stands a chance against the “Lord of Terror”?
Let’s start with Torchlight 2, the sequel to one of the most popular “Diablo clones” in recent memory. Torchlight made a huge impact on the PC gaming scene in 2009, a time when Diablo 3 still seemed like a distant gleam in Blizzard’s eyes. The ARPG community welcomed the project with open arms, praising its faithfulness to the genre, its $20 price tag, along with many welcome additions (i.e. a loot-carrying pet) not seen in similar titles.
Now Runic Games, the developer of Torchlight, is back in the saddle to fix the problems of the original game – most notably the lack of multiplayer – and create a much larger, more intricate world for players to explore. The story will pick up several years after its predecessor, starting a new quest for the adventurer, or adventurers, to embark upon. Klei Entertainment, the folks behind Shank and Shank 2, animated this fantastic trailer to catch up new and old fans alike on the story of Torchlight:
Torchlight 2 is probably the most traditional ARPG on this list, which could be seen as a pro or a con. On one hand, those looking for something that closely mirrors the first Torchlight and the Diablo series will be satisfied with this value-priced sequel. On the other hand, the other two games on this list might possess more marked originality. Torchlight 2 also does not have a release date yet – although pre-orders opened up this week. This sequel is the looking to be the safest bet as a competitor, or at the very least a companion, to Diablo 3.
Torchlight 2 is available for pre-purchase now on Steam.