In terms of success and number of games that appear within it, the shooter genre is probably the most popular in the gaming industry nowadays.
Even so, in the past few months, a variety of dungeon crawlers have appeared or are getting ready to be released, ranging from blockbuster efforts like Blizzard’s Diablo 3
, to independent projects like Fatshark’s Krater
or the Runic Games’ Torchlight II
, to online experiences like Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile
All of them sport different premises and mechanics but, at their core, they base their gameplay on crawling through dungeons, acquiring all sorts of loot, and developing a character (or group of characters, in the case of Krater), in true role playing game fashion.
For fans of the genre, all these games mean they have a wide variety of experiences to choose from, even if they boil down to almost the same gameplay mechanics.
Diablo 3 offers a polished experience that, while it still requires some work and improvements, will entertain pretty much any fan of the genre, provided they get past the mandatory online connection.
Fans of a more classic Diablo experience who don’t mind needing to be online all the time can enjoy Path of Exile, a new MMO that I recently had a quick look at.
Those that just want to play offline and only interact with others when they really want to will have to wait until Torchlight II comes out, as it promises to deliver a quintessential dungeon crawling experience.
Last but not least, fans of the genre that love to show off their strategy skills can try out Krater, which combines crawling through dungeons with micromanagement systems worthy of a real time strategy title.
While each of these aforementioned experiences are quite good, this does lead to genre fatigue, especially for someone like me who needs to try them all and then cast opinions.
What do you think? Are you happy with these dungeon crawlers or are you trying out different genres before coming back to them?