Diablo III is just around the corner, and the level of excitement for the game is getting a bit out of hand. It’s partly because of the timing of the release date announcement (no nine-month waits here) and partly because it is, after all, Diablo. The open beta this previous weekend kept me pretty busy and raised my level of excitement more than I should admit. But in the meantime, where do I scratch my loot hunting itch? Well, there are a surprising number of titles that can do just that and I’ll cover a chunk of newer and older titles in this article.
Greed: Black Border is a fantastic title if you are into the sci-fi genre. Imagine Diablo in space, in the future, with plasma guns and bombs. I haven’t had a chance to play the game as much as I hoped by now, but at $4.99 and a big community backing the game, it could keep you busy for the next few weeks. The game is a looker too. Plus, with a unique skill tree set up, there are plenty of options to customize your characters. Environmental interactions also help drop the droves of baddies as they come for your sweet, sweet spaceman blood.
(Due to demand in the comments – I’ll be adding in purchase links)
Drakensang is also a wonderful way to scratch that itch, and now there are two different options. The first is the single-player offerings in the Drakensang series. The base game and the expansions can each be found on Steam. Drakensang, Drakensang: The River of Time and Drakensang – Phileasson’s Secret can all be picked up for about 50 bucks. The base game is only $19.99 but the expansions will add much more to the title. Drakensang is essentially the big shot pen and paper RPG in Germany. Now converted to a digital format, you can delve into one of the deepest and most complicated RPGs out there. This is a bit closer to the Baldur’s Gate side of things, but loot and character progression are still pretty rampant throughout the game. Tons of rules and stats need to be learned to really sink into the game, but even at 3 years old, the game is a looker. I’ve played it on and off since launch and hope to dig more into it in the near future.
If, instead, you want to just dive in for free and get to loot hunting, Drakensang also has an “MMO” for you. Drakensang Online is a simpler, more streamlined version of the previously mentioned games. While the single player titles in the series can be intimidating with all the options on offer, the online sibling gives players a much lighter experience. There are three classes to choose from, and you will get right into the action within minutes of signing up. Seriously, when a press release came in last night I went to start the download and was shocked that it was a browser based game. Even more shocking was how beautiful it is. I plan on spending more time with the game, especially since the time I ended up getting immersed more than I ever anticipated. That is the best thing that a hack and slash/loot feast can do; keep you going for just “one more minute”.
Dungeon Defenders may not be a small name anymore, but if you haven’t given it a shot you owe it to yourself to do so now. The game is handled in a third-person view by default and the focus is on tower defense style gameplay. Or so I thought when I started. This is actually a more loot-astic game than most on this list. Leveling up pets, loot, and characters with customizable skill trees will take months to complete. I’ve played it a pretty decent amount and I’m not even close to finishing one characters progression and loot set ups. I can’t say enough about Trendy Entertainments dedication to the game either. They are constantly releasing patches, new events, new skins, new characters, etc., etc. Give it a shot, you will not be “dissapoint”!
Divinity II: Ego Draconis is another good options for those that want a bit more meat in their loot hunting. There are plenty of options out there, so check out Steam to see the full catalog of titles in the series. Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga is probably the best bet if you are really wanting to dig into the series. It includes an enhanced version of Ego Draconis as well as plenty of new content. Again, I didn’t dig into the game as much as I would have liked, journalism in gaming has this negative effect on playing what you want, when you want, but I did enjoy the few hours I spent. The reviews for The Dragon Knight saga have been consistently positive, and Steam has a demo if you want to give it a quick tasting before you bite on the $39.99 price tag.