The galaxy experienced a loss recently. As if the Infinity Gauntlet had been disturbed, abused or assaulted. The loss wasn’t initially apparent. A bit of background noise disappearing from the cosmos. It wasn’t until days ago the impact came careening home to Earth, Marvel Heroes Omega would be closing down after weeks of the developer, Gazillion, being uncommonly dark. The Silver Surfer had other plans. Moons after the shocking divulgence saw Radd deliver Galactus weeks ahead of the initial plan. On November 28, 2017, Galactus consumed the world of Marvel Heroes.
As you can imagine, this left the Lorehound Pound with a hole in our gaming repertoire. We immediately began brainstorming options to scratch the left clicking, loot hauling, bag stuffing, damage maximizing, twink generating itch that Marvel Heroes scratched so effectively. Our team came up with replacements new, old and inspiring in no particular order.
Diablo III – Can you name another game that you’ve still kept installed and updated for five years? Okay, well, can you name another that isn’t made by Blizzard? In case you missed it, check out the Necromancer expansion, because what’s a better way to reaquaint yourself to the warm, inviting handshake of Diablo than exploding corpses and seeping, skin shoshing, flesh golems? It’s scientifically proven to be the most fun to get carpal tunnel!
Warframe – “Hey, you got your Destiny in my Phantasy Star Online!” “Hey, you got your Phantasy Star Online in my Destiny” “Wait a minute…..” WARFRAME! Plays like an over-the shoulder Destiny, but with instanced gameplay like Phantasy Star Online. This game absolutely does not feel like a free to play game, it’s got the polish and finesse of a late-in-the-game AAA title for Xbox 360, which isn’t the insult that it might sound like. Plus, link your twitch account, watch Warframe streams and get free drops!
Titan Quest Anniversary Edition + Ragnarok – No one saw this coming. THQ Nordic ninja released Ragnarok, a second expansion to Titan Quest, a full decade after Immortal Throne. It’s obvious why now, Anniversary Edition had more than 1.6 million owners a month after hitting Steam. Get back into the mythological world starting from scratch or instantly jump into Ragnarok with a character boost. Patched up, bigger bosses, new abilities, new mastery and a higher level cap as players enter the domain of Norse mythology. THQ Nordic have a few more pantheons to add to catch up to SMITE.
Grim Dawn – You saw this one coming I’m sure. Grim Dawn is based on the Titan Quest engine coming into existence thanks to a tactful appeal to its fans – those being of Iron Lore Entertainment – for financial support before becoming on of the early backed games of Kickstarter. One that actually came out with positive reviews to boot. Enough history. Why should you care? Simple, Grim Dawn checks all the boxes, fast-paced action combat, loot and dungeons. Crate Entertainment expands said boxes with crafting, location specific damage, faction, interesting (relatively speaking) quests and Ashes of Malmouth, a brand spanking new expansion in the dark Victorian era universe!
Crashlands – This game definitely fills a niche, and that niche is grinding. In Crashlands, you play as a purple hero, on a quest to rebuild his space ship that done got rekt, and you need to use all the resources you can find on this planet to craft those parts. If you like to click on things to make them disappear, and then use what they leave behind to make stuff, this is the game for you! Tons of crafting, large variety of enemies each with their own tricks, and a sense of humor that isn’t great, but won’t get you mad. AND, if you have the mobile version and PC version, sync cloud saves between devices, for when you’re in the middle of creating your Xanadu on PC, but you really need to make a Xana-poo, you can just switch to your tablet and take it with you on the toilet. I won’t judge.
Path of Exile – Multiple people brought Path of Exile up, but somehow no one has actually played it. Must be Lorehound’s Star Trek Online of action RPGs. The interest is obvious. PoE leans heavily on Diablo II, including dynamic content, a high-level of instancing, socketing, tons of difficulty levels, including Hardcore, and a collection of distinct classes.
Livelock – Drop you bows, daggers and swords. Drop humanity too. This isometric shoot-em up plays much like everything else on the list but with robots and guns. Fine, Livelock is not a perfect ARPG, but the list needs a little science fiction love. Every list does.
Torchlight 1 + 2 – If you’re not worried about seeing additional content then pour one out for Runic Games and grab two of its gems. Their boast that Torchlight 3 would be out before Diablo III never came true, because the dev wanted to mix things up probably, but Torchlight captured the hearts of many. A fearsome ferret pet, need we say more?
Honorable Mention: Neverwinter – Cryptic Studios dubs its Dungeons & Dragons title as an action RPG, but it’s more MMORPG than action RPG in our opinion. Marketing was probably worried about applying the MMO label due to the genre being past its peak at the time. No matter, Neverwinter passes the Lorehound Trio of Must Haves with flying colors, lore, dungeons and loot.
Marvel Heroes Omega is gone. It’s unlikely to return due to the simultaneous death of Gazillion Entertainment, required licensing and Disney’s spotty career with game development. Pick up that lower lip, wipe away the tear and head into one of the eight and a half games we recommended above. They’re sure to cure what ails you. Especially if you come play with us!
With additional contributions by iTZKooPA.