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.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
6 months ago