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Diablo > Diablo 4Mar 21, 2024 8:00 am CT

From Diablo 4 to Last Epoch, just what makes a good ARPG?

I am rapidly becoming convinced that I am the most contrary human being to exist, because the more people complain about Diablo 4 Season 3, the more I seem to be loving it. I blasted to level 100, I’ve been killing Echo of Varshan to get myself ready for Uber Lilith and beyond — I’m hoping to kill Uber Duriel before the Season ends. I have tried other ARPGs, and some I really like — I’m a big fan of Darksiders Genesis for example, and I think Last Epoch has some cool ideas — but I’m just really digging what Diablo 4 brings to the table. Getting to repeat the campaign really helps bring home to me how much better the storytelling is in Diablo 4 that in almost any ARPG I’ve played outside of Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance, and really, better even than those games were due to their tendency to end on cliffhangers.

But I’m curious about why I seem to be so completely isolated in this fashion. Is it because people who are happy with their current games aren’t likely to say anything? A lot of the hype for other ARPGs seems to be, at least to me, due to their being similar older games like Diablo 2 and frankly, I don’t even think Diablo 2 was the best game in the Diablo franchise before Diablo 4 — that would be Diablo 3, which in my opinion was significantly more fun. Fun is why I play these games, after all, so if I have more fun playing D3 or Darksiders Genesis than Diablo 2, then I consider those games better.

So now I ask you — what, to you, makes a great ARPG? Are you someone who loves games like Wolcen or Path of Exile or do you prefer games that try and eschew that whole “the real successor to X” mentality the way Warhammer: Chaosbane does? What are you looking for — fast and furious combat, character customization depth and individuality of talents and specs, an endless loot pinata? What makes a good ARPG?

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