Lately I’ve been getting the bad feeling that I’ve lost interest in action-rpgs. I say “bad” because it’s meant to be one of the topics I write about here. To be clear I’m not giving up on RPGs in general, just that click-to-kill sort, influenced in the past decade by Diablo 2.

See, last year I launched into Titan Quest, hoping for some monster-slaying fun. The sort that has you playing for hours, thinking “just one more dungeon” or “until I get a better sword”. Yet by about halfway through I was bored. It was a slog, endlessly clicking my way through one wave of goat-men after the other. Shoot lightning, they all fall down. Here come some more, shoot lighting again. Click click click. The reward for completing one section being… another wave of goat-men. And that staff with an extra +10 mana (or whatever) really not that thrilling a reward.

Then a couple months ago I fired up Diablo 2 itself again, with the aim of being vaguely topical and tying in with the release of the third game in that series. Now this is one I definitely played a fair bit back in the day, even if only tooling around on normal difficulty. Once again tho, it’s a slog. My character is stalled on act 2 after a few hours spamming the same few spells over and over and over. (if you diversify it weakens the character).

Recently picked up Torchlight 2. I like the art style, and it has some good ideas to add variety. Like, your characters are at first glance the warrior\ranger\mage archetypes, but in fact each can be figured to mix that up with other roles. The warrior can ehance himself with magic, the ranger can be more a melee-rogue type etc. However after a brief play it’s been utterly forgotten since I got Skyrim.

I can see where the appeal of these games is meant to lie: addictive gameplay that satisfies our twitch urges and basic effort-reward responses. Then on the slightly more intellectual side, the goal of putting together a great talent build to optimise your character. I mean, this worked for me, once.

Now though i can’t motivate myself enough to care. All these games feel like a tedious grind. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the genre, or if I just got old, or what.

Anyway this is why you haven’t seen a Diablo 2 review yet. Sorry! Also I’m not in a hurry to play Diablo 3. Although I hear it lets you swap your talents around more freely? Which would help – I might be doing better in D2 if I could casually change my ice mage into a lightning mage, then back again, just for variety between dungeons.