Let’s face it. No imitator will ever capture the magic of playing Diablo 2 for the first time. That old loot machine feels a bit antique today, but the first time with your first character was pure heaven.
It’s no surprise so many games basically try to do just that, even coming up with UI’s and control schemes that are so similar as to practically skirt copyright laws. Here are some of them.
Double Yes: Grim Dawn
Probably the best example of the Diablo-likes I’ve played so far. Like Titan Quest before it, there’s a repetition of levels and enemies that dulls things down a little. Skills can be a little difficult to figure out at first glance. Your build won’t really come together until much later.
But it has style, ideas, and feels good. Probably not going to stand the test of time, but the best bet for your fix if you need the sweet, sweet sound of epic loot dropping right goddamn now.
Yes: Torchlight 2
A lot more refined and varied than the first one, but still fails to grab me in a lot of ways. Maybe I’m being an edgelord, but the art style might be part of it. Everything is colourful, sure, but every enemy looks and feels the same. My memory of playing through the game is like a hazy fever dream at this point, with every level and encounter basically feeling the same.
Still, it’s good stuff and worth going through once at least. Workshop support is a big plus for extra content and mods.
No: Path of Exile
I know this has a big fanbase, and for good reason. It’s free, for one. Like, really truly free. It really nails the grim, unforgiving atmosphere. And it has a lot of new ideas to build on the D2 formula. There’s a certain kind of gamer that this is perfect for.
But wow is it not for me. This is a game clearly targeted to people who thought Diablo 2 would be perfect if it wasn’t so accessible. The obsessive, speed-running, loot-trading, build-perfecting types. It’s incredibly easy to build yourself into a corner, and has no tolerance for newcomers whatsoever. One of those games it’s entirely possible to screw up your character for good by level 2.
I also despise the living hell out of the bartering system.
Double No: That One New MMO That Your Friend Says Isn’t Like Other MMOs