Best Video Games of the Year: This List has BG3 at ...

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I heard Diablo 4 is different than 3, more like 2. Is that correct?
Yes. It's much darker. I'd argue it's the darkest it's ever been, in fact, including an extremely grimdark storyline that doesn't become cartoonish in the way the 10,000 Kickstarter D&D grimdark settings often do. While the story is still relatively thin, it's much more robust than in other Diablo adventures.

Note that this is a live service game, though, and almost none of the game as it currently stands takes place in Hell fighting demons. There are cultists, goatmen, undead, vampires (who are really cool, IMO), barbarians, drowned zombie dudes, etc., but the game is probably two or three expansions away from going back to Hell. (Mephisto is the big bad in the first expansion, due out next year, but he has suffered some serious setbacks at the moment.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Yes. It's much darker. I'd argue it's the darkest it's ever been, in fact, including an extremely grimdark storyline that doesn't become cartoonish in the way the 10,000 Kickstarter D&D grimdark settings often do. While the story is still relatively thin, it's much more robust than in other Diablo adventures.

Note that this is a live service game, though, and almost none of the game as it currently stands takes place in Hell fighting demons. There are cultists, goatmen, undead, vampires (who are really cool, IMO), barbarians, drowned zombie dudes, etc., but the game is probably two or three expansions away from going back to Hell. (Mephisto is the big bad in the first expansion, due out next year, but he has suffered some serious setbacks at the moment.)
How is the gameplay? I lasted about 45 min in diablo 3 until I turned it off and never looked back.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
How is the gameplay? I lasted about 45 min in diablo 3 until I turned it off and never looked back.
Good? It feels like Diablo to me. The skill tree at first seems needlessly fiddly, but it works out in practice, allowing every class to have three main archetypes but to pick and choose abilities, more or less, from any part of the tree to mix and match as you'd like.

I have a sorcerer who is mostly all about fire, including a cool new spell that summons a giant flaming snake that then constricts around groups of enemies, but he also has a lightning-based teleport he can do regularly that I like as an additional get out of free card.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Good? It feels like Diablo to me. The skill tree at first seems needlessly fiddly, but it works out in practice, allowing every class to have three main archetypes but to pick and choose abilities, more or less, from any part of the tree to mix and match as you'd like.

I have a sorcerer who is mostly all about fire, including a cool new spell that summons a giant flaming snake that then constricts around groups of enemies, but he also has a lightning-based teleport he can do regularly that I like as an additional get out of free card.
My issue with D3 is it felt like a joystick and smash button arcade game. I didnt feel like character advancement mattered much. Not much strategy or tactics. Just march around and smash smash smash.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
My issue with D3 is it felt like a joystick and smash button arcade game. I didnt feel like character advancement mattered much. Not much strategy or tactics. Just march around and smash smash smash.
At higher difficulty levels in Diablo IV, you definitely cannot faceroll stuff. (I'm sure some super-pro person might disagree with me. I'm merely someone who's played all of the Diablo games to their end point, other than Diablo: Immortal.) It's not what I would call a tactical game, though, beyond knowing when to pull back and heal up.

From a strategic standpoint, I found during the first season that there's a lot of value of unlocking permanent upgrades all around the map. I didn't need to do that when playing the storyline at the basic difficulty level when my wife and I first ran through the game, but it made a big difference at higher difficulty levels, when having more potion slots or bonus abilities had a very noticeable effect on survivability.
 

Having played like 150+ hours of D4, I would say, with respect, D4 does not deserve to be in the top 10.

It is an ARPG with a strong story well told (rare in an ARPG), memorable characters, a really well-developed visual aesthetic, five pretty playable and different classes, and which in terms of a lot of the systems feels pretty polished - like it has a fully developed transmog system day 1 and so on.

On the flip side, each of those classes basically only has 1-2 genuinely viable, distinct builds, and the item system is a boring chore of constant minor fiddling, and I've never played an ARPG where drops felt less consequential, and less exciting except D3 before it got fixed. Compounding the issues there are that the paragon path system is absolute alpha-tier trash, which feels like something that wasn't even 1/3rd developed, but got made live because they hadn't got anything else. The lack of distinct icons, the incredibly poor board designs, the general extreme blandness of it all screams "unfinished system" rushed to production. Hopefully it's replaced entirely at some time.

The ugly though is that it's just boring at endgame. It's the most boring ARPG I've played at endgame, and I have a very high tolerance for boring ARPGs normally, you should have seen how far I got with early Warframe or Path of Exile. You're just running Nightmare Dungeons over and over, and only doing other stuff as "required chores" or occasionally when you save up enough currency-ish items to buy an attempt at a boss, which feels pretty crap, because of how they've positioned it in the gameplay.

It also has a pretty insulting and hilariously overpriced cosmetics system that has been in since day 1, and seems highly inappropriate in a very full-price game ($70 minimum), and which will have regular expansions which appear to be at least $40 if not $50 (I imagine there will be a $70 edition with the base game and the expansion, to help new people join). By regular it might be as often as once a year, too.

Give it 2-3 years of development, and the developers redoing the itemization and item upgrade systems, and entirely replacing the paragon/glyph junk, and I think we could have a truly excellent game, but right now? < fart noises >

As an aside, whatever one thinks of the dang JKR, the Hogwarts game should not be on any list of best games of the year, not even as a runner-up. It's an incredibly mid game, with zero innovation. No innovation is fine if you perfect a genre, but it's just low-grade Ubisoft style deal, with terrible combat and weak everything else. The only reason to even put it in a list of "best games" is sales, but the sales were not due to it being high quality for anyone but a serious HP aficionado, and even for those it's basically a guided digital tour of Hogwarts, competently executed as that.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Catching up on the Game Awards, looks like Baldur's Gate 3 had an exceptional night (9 nominations, 6 wins, including Game of the Year) but Alan Wake 2 was a runner up, winning 3 categories (Art Direction, Narrative, and Game Direction). I think I need to just buckle down and get this game.
 




Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top