Posted by: Andy | October 8, 2007

of Diablo 2, Hellgate: London & Titan Quest

Diablo 2 & it’s expansion pack is/are one/two of the best computer game/games ever made, period. More replayability than I’ve seen in a game in years (it STILL has dedicated fansites & mod communities 7 years later – that’s a long time in technology years) and what was the best Xpack for a game up to that date, and maybe still (I don’t keep up enough to compare much of the current crop). If you’ve got a PC (even a 7 year old one will do), and you enjoy gaming, AND you haven’t played this, you really should check it out. $20 for the original & $20 for the Xpack is kinda pricey for a 7 year old game, but that should tell you something about it’s staying power. I bet if you shop around you can find it much cheaper, or used. So yeah, great game, I spent a summer of my life using it to ward off depression after being able to find a job with my wonderfully debt-full 1st college degree (actually, I couldn’t find one with my masters either, but that’s a different topic). I’ve been waiting for a sequel for YEARS and Blizzard still hasn’t coughed one up (It better not be a fucking MMO when it does come out Bliz! You hear me!?) and they are still lagging.

BUT, there’s a silver lining I say. A bunch (I don’t know what percent or how many) of the guys responsible for the game bailed on Blizzard & created their own studio so they could make a “spiritual” sequel (ie not name or plot related, but taking the gameplay to the next level). That game is Hellgate: London. So yes, you bet your sweet ass I pre-ordered it. Well, after doing a bunch of research anyway, I don’t really buy games on a whim.

So, pre-order gets you into the beta, and I’ve been playing it when I can for the last few days. I don’t think I can say anything specific because of the NDA, but it’s a lot of fun already – even with all the crashes and lag that come with a beta. Plus it will have offline play of course if the lag is still there in the launching version. I don’t think that out of the box it will have the replayability D2X had BUT, they are offering CoH style “issue” updates with new content for monthly subscribers, so it sounds like you’ll get a partial xpack worth of content every few months. Non paying players just get access to the out of the box stuff (online). This actually seems like a brilliant business model to me, and I think “real” MMOs would benefit from switching over to something like this to allow more people to check out the basic content. It would probably be a lot of work to switch though…may not even be feasible. Well, new ones should be built this way at least.

The only bummer thing about the game so far for me is that it’s primarily in 1st person, which I HATE. That being said, this is the first game set in that perspective I’ve really enjoyed on the PC.

There have been a few games over the years who tried to pick up where D2X left off (and kept the top down play perspective) – I think one was called…crap..well, most of them were called crap. Let’s just say they were mostly easily forgotten. The one that has been kind of decent so far is Titan Quest & it’s expansion pack which, while not as large/good as Lord of Destruction, is still a pretty decent addition and worth purchasing.

The Dungeon Siege games were ok, and looked really good on paper, but somehow they came out kinda bleh in the experience. I think it was the visuals that mostly ruined those for me – not cartoony enough? I mean, I love pets in rpg/mmos…I’m a pet whore – whatever the pet classes are, I play those first, so DS & DS2 should have been great right, with their enhanced pet mechanics? They were OK, worth playing, but not really inspiring me to re-install them and play again, or to spend a year working on a mod (yes, that really was me, and the site looks pretty shitty now…the provider has mucked with some stuff, but it was not too shabby back in the day!).

So yeah, that will be my next game of choice, for a few months at least. When baby & time permit. Someday I have a book to write too….and an album to record…good thing life is long!


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