One’s a Doctor Who spin-off, the other’s a weird Diablo-MMO-thing.
There’s a significant demand for good, solid Diablo-style action RPGs out there, and for a while now, companies have been trying to fill that gap before Blizzard comes back with Diablo III and obliterates them all. Fate, Titan, Dungeon Runners, the sadly abandoned Mythos, the sadly underperforming Hellgate London, that other game from that other company… it’s not like people aren’t trying.
I was in the Mythos beta for a while, and absolutely psyched about its release — as were many others playing and following that title. It really was a sweet little blend of action RPG and MMO, and had great potential to rise above the failure that was Hellgate. Unfortunately, with Flagship’s demise, the only way we might see Mythos is if an overseas company brings it back, and even if that happens it won’t be the same.
So a lot of the hope for Mythos has found a new home in Torchlight, which is being created by many members of the Mythos team (including guys from Blizzard North and Flagship). We haven’t heard a lot about Torchlight yet — Runic Games has forums up, but that’s about it — but they’re looking at doing something new to the action RPG formula.
Apparently, Torchlight will launch as a single-player RPG — later this year, as a matter of fact. Top-down 2D/3D blend with lots of mouse-clicking action, pets, levels, etc. The really interesting thing is that about 1 to 1.5 years after the SPRPG launch, the game will switch into a full-fledge MMORPG. This is… intriguing. I’ve never heard of something like this being done, and it very well could be a spectacular failure (or just remain as a SPRPG). But that’s a cool concept, I’ll give it that. Get players trying it out, learning the ropes, all sort of like a single-player demo, and then once they’re good and properly hooked, spring the MMO monkey on them and ride their passion all the way to the bank.
It makes you wonder — what if, in 2003, Blizzard had released a single-player version of WoW, far more limited in scope? It also makes me have some wicked flashbacks to Age of Conan, who at one point wanted their 1-20 game to be a complete solo player experience (offline, even so). That didn’t pan out so well, but their vision for it was muddled from what I could understand.
I have no idea how this might go, but I’m rooting for them all the same. Me likee the clicky!