Someone mentioned Torchlight as supposedly being a good game in the Diablo style, and it was $3 (and its sequel $4) on the steam sale, so I picked both up. I can completely see why people think it’s improved on the hack-and-slash idea, since it’s really refined a lot of things. They introduce the idea of having a pet. I had a wolf that does a little bit of help in combat, but the real use is that when your inventory is full, you just load up the wolf and send him to town to sell stuff. That’s a genuine improvement to reduce the tedium of games like this. Also, the interface is so simplified, you could practically play it on a tablet if it could handle the graphics. The only thing I don’t think you could do is use your alternate attack, at least not easily (maybe hold down a volume button while tapping?).
But despite that refinement, or more likely because of it, I feel like all I’m doing is just clicking on stuff. It’s more involved than one of those cookie clicker games, but it sorta feels like it. Left click to talk to a person, left click to move to a spot, left click to attack an enemy, left click to pick up stuff from the ground, left click to interact with an object. 95+% of the game is just “there’s a thing, I’m going to click on it.” The story is almost nonexistent. There are quests, but in the first 90 minutes, all the quests I got had no information on how to go about doing them. Just click on bad guys til they’re dead, click on the loot, click on the map to move further into the dungeon, and repeat until eventually I’d stumble across the quest item I needed.
I feel like I just got my fill of this kind of thing with the first Diablo, so I’m going to return it (and the sequel, without even trying it). I really do appreciate the game design decitions they made (in addition to the simplicity, it has quality character design, and pretty good music), so I can see why fans of hack-and-slash games would think it’s good. Just not for me.
Next up is Civilization: Beyond Earth, which was actually a little pricier than I usually go for (I usually aim for below $10, but this one ran $13.19), but I probably will pay full price for Civ VI when it comes out, so I wanted to try it out before then.