Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The good king of gamey

Diablo 3 is an exceptional game. It is the only game in recent memory that I played through twice, and that wasn't even on purpose. My intention the second time was to just play the expansion but I was unable to due to a quirk with importing a character. The old monk was pushed aside and I played the whole damn thing again with a demon hunter. Good times were had.

Diablo clones are a mixed bag. There are really good ones: Titan Quest (showing my age with that one) and Torchlight 2. There are not so good ones, like the Vikings game that I played earlier this year. Victor Vran is closer to Torchlight 2 than Vikings in that in embraces its gaminess. Victor himself is stoic, deadpan, but the nameless voice in his head breaks the fourth wall for laughs quite often. Other characters are caricatures, exaggerated to the point of amusement without being annoying. It's an impressive balancing act.

Combat likewise attempts to skirt the barrier between ARPG and just action. There are no skills to earn, special attacks are tied to weapon type, but there are passive buffs to assign and super moves to choose. There are around five weapon types, two of which you can have equipped at a time. It is worth it to keep one of each type handy as there are secondary objectives in each area that will sometimes require you to kill a certain number of beasts with a certain weapon. Again, interesting without being obtrusive.

I won't call it mindless but it does not require any of the planning that goes into a good Diablo 3 build. Victor Vran is almost jump in and play, do a level or two, then fast travel back to the hub (for free) and move on with your day. Not bad for a budget game that came out two years ago on PC.

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