Saturday, October 31, 2009

Two New Games on the Horizon

I can't recall the last time a game, which is not World of Warcraft, captured my interest. This past week, I was smitten not by one but two games. This is very fortunate because I was getting burnt out on WoW anyway and I was planning to take a long break from it in a couple of weeks. The two games that caught my eye are Borderlands and Torchlight.

Borderlands is the first game that piqued my interest. I read something about it a few weeks ago and a couple of weeks back I started reading reviews. Man, that's one awesome game. Here's Gamespot's review. This review is for the Xbox 360 only but the game is for the PC and PS3 also. I normally don't care about console games ported to the PC (being a 100% PC gamer) but this one is really hot. Gamespot gave it a 8.5/10 which is a pretty damn good score coming from them.

Borderlands is a first person shooter with RPG elements as opposed to an RPG with FPS elements. I like shooters but ones with RPG elements are even better. People called this game a sort of Diablo with guns and a first-person perspective and from the gameplay videos I've seen, it certainly looks like it. In fact it really shines when played in cooperative mode with friends or over the internet.

Unfortunately I hit a snag with this game because I found out by chance that it requires a video card capable of DirectX 10 in order to run. Bummer. My ATI X800XL may be able to run WoW without a hitch but it only supports DX9. So I used this as an excuse to upgrade my video card. I just ordered a cheap one that supports DX10, which should be better than what I have. Eh, it was high time I upgraded my card, the X800XL being almost 4 years old.

Torchlight is one of those games that took me by surprise. I was certainly not expecting to see yet another Diablo clone before the release of Diablo 3. Well, here it is: a very cool looking Diablo clone with modern 3D graphics. Here's Gamespot's review, although you will easily find other reviews if you search for them. It only got a 8/10 but that's good enough in my book. Reading about it though makes me wanna play it right now!

Torchlight was clearly meant to be a Diablo clone and doesn't make any apologies for it. The graphics are cartoony but the gameplay seems to be fast-paced with plenty of loot drops in classic Diablo tradition but also some interesting new features such as a pet which fights for you and can carry some of your inventory and fishing (!) which allows you to fish cool stuff. The pet, for example, can carry some of your loot into town and sell it for you, returning after a few minutes. That's very neat if you ask me.

A really cool thing that I like about this game is that it only costs $20 (!!) and it's distributed in a digital format only. Some of the developers were even part of the team for the original Diablo game.

As you can probably tell, I'm very excited about these two new games. It's just as well because I need another break from WoW. I suspect I'll be playing the new ones for at least a couple of months and I will certainly write some long reviews for both. Who knows, if I like them enough I might even be diverted from WoW until Cataclysm hits. It's all good though, both games are either RPGs or have important RPG elements and if there's one type of game I love above all else, it's a good RPG.


mike said...

Personally, i'm looking forward to Bioware's Dragaon Age: Origins. Bioware has put together some awesome RPG's in the past and their concept of having your game origin impact how you are perceived in the world and the way their are taking the morality angle to the next level just looks awesome. Definitely will be worth a WoW break for a few week for that one.

Tony Bowman said...

Borderlands is pretty flippin' awesome in my book. The co-op is fantastic. Drop in/drop out at any time and any progress you make or loot/cash you collect goes with you. The only thing to keep in mind is to have the person who is furthest behind, quest-wise, host the game. That way they can get caught up and get help from those further along.

Darth Solo said...

@mike DAO sounds fun, though I wasn't a big fan of the Baldur's Gate games. What puts me off though is the publisher: EA. Can't stand those guys. BTW, how's the DRM on this one?

@Tony how does the online-activation work? I assume that if I want to play the game in 10 years when their servers are dead, I won't be able to, correct? Also, does it allow me to sell the game if I wish to?

Mike said...

@Darth I hear you about EA. Can't stand those guys. I haven't heard about the DRM on it but expect it's their usual. I'll probably have to pick it up for my PS3 anyway. I haven't heard it coming out on the Mac which is what I play WoW on these days.

Anonymous said...

I tried Torchlight (demo) and I confirm is a very well done Diablo clone in almost every aspect. OMaybe it's a bit easy: click'n'kill, even on bosses. No tactics at all, just click 100 times and use health potions if needed (no cooldown).

Darth Solo said...

@Anonymous that's exactly what I gathered from all the reviews. It seems a bit easy, especially for Diablo vets. However, it looks like you can also start it in a harder mode. Anyway, there are 100 levels to burn through and I can't wait to play it :)

Anonymous said...

Well yesterday I digged into the demo playng the 3 classes up to level 7 (maximum level allowed for the demo). Graphics, setting and overall feeling is 100% Diablo. I could say it's Diablo III, if you ask me. The only thing is: lack of real strategy, dunno if it changes later. You keep collecting 324857349587 items, send pet to town, go back to dungeon.

I find a bit annoying that you need to identify ANY item above common (grey), as it requires a scroll.

I was going to buy it for the low price but I wont do it, I'm 90% sure I would get bored too soon without multiplayer :-(

Darth Solo said...

Well, truth be told, in Diablo 2 at least, you had to identify anything above normal (white) quality also. So in that aspect it's not far off.