What's Love Got To Do With An ARPG?

An experienced gamer gives his thoughts on the ARPG genre.

ARPGs have never really been my thing, despite trying several different titles. In an attempt to rouse my interest, my boyfriend and I rolled new characters on Path of Exile, a free ARPG made by Australian developers Grinding Gear Games. While playing these new toons, I asked my boyfriend a few questions to better understand his love for and interest in ARPGs.

What is an ARPG?

"Uh, Action RPGs tend to be third person, top down, point and click slaughter fests that have a lot of RPG elements such as: leveling, skills, classes, lore, varying enemies and monster types, bosses and loot/gear."

What ARPGs have you played?

"Torchlight 1 & 2, all three Diablo games, Titan Quest and it's expansion."

Do you have a favorite?

"Umm, probably just D2 out of nostalgia but PoE would definitely be a new favorite."

What was your first ARPG?

“Diablo 2.”

What about Diablo 2 pulled you into this genre?

"Well, it was, uh, really fun and it’s the first its type that I played. And it was kind of like League of Legends today, in the sense that you could just hop on and play with friends, make a passworded server. It was also one of the first games I’d played with a very dark art style, which was something I wasn’t used to, but enjoyed. On top of that, it was probably one of the first PC games I played aside from Runescape."

 How did you feel about Diablo 3?

"I dunno, it’s kinda hard to articulate my feelings on it. It was fun with friends but, it’s uh, death system made it so I pretty much only played Hardcore and once you got towards the higher difficulties made the early game boring. Because you’d get to like nightmare or hell and then normal is a joke. But if you die in harder difficulties, you have to start at normal again."

 What was after Diablo 3?

"Torchlight 2."

How was that?

"It was really fun. I liked it’s art style, environments, and monsters. Getting towards the end of the game was a bit tedious because I played on the highest difficulty from the beginning, but it was worth it. The game was only twenty bucks unlike D3 which was sixty and had a lot of bugs."

What makes PoE stand out from other ARPGs?

"Well, for one, it’s free, which I think not only appeals to people who have been burnt out on the genre, but those who have never tried ARPGs can get into it without having to spend money. It also has a cash shop that offers items you’ll never really need. It’s not pay to win like D3. It also has a lot of unique concepts, it has a passive skill tree (huge skill tree) and it’s barter system replaces currency. Unlike other ARPGs where you have to grind mobs for gold. You never have to go out and buy gold because there is none."

You’ve downed the last boss on PoE already, why do you continue to play with friends?

"It’s just, uh, due to the passive skill tree and the skill system. You can still put points in the skill tree and get stronger even if you’ve killed the last boss. They have multiple difficulty levels like other ARPGs so you can start on normal and keep going up."

Any sage advice for anyone that wants to try an ARPG?

"If you don’t like one, maybe try another one. The market is pretty saturated for ARPGs, so even if you don’t like one, you might like another one. And definitely try to play with friends."

Thanks, babe! I'll go ahead and apologize to my readers for all the "Uhs" and "Ums," killing zombies can be quite distracting.

"No problem."

As far as how PoE has made me feel about ARPGs, the jury is still out on that. But this avid ARPGer is really enjoying it, to say the least.

Featured Contributor

My gaming experience began with being introduced to strategy games such as Command & Concur and Age of Empires by my older brother with a sprinkle of fighter games like, Mortal Kombat. After that I ventured into the world of Japanese RPGs and fell in love. Today, I enjoy quite a few genres but stick to MMOs and MOBAs. I may add more to this later.

Published Jul. 15th 2013
  • GameSkinny Staff
    I tried D3, it was only ok and definitely not worth the $60 price tag. I must say that I'm a huge fan of Torchlight 2, such a cathartic game after a long day!

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