Tag: PC gamer

Classic PC Titles That Continue to Withstand the Test of Time

Classic PC Titles That Continue to Withstand the Test of Time

Timelessness is the one characteristic that separates a classic title from games that come a dime-a-dozen. For a game to truly stand the test of time, however, it needs constant innovation. Moreover, it needs to do so without compromising the core qualities that made it such a standout in the first place. It doesn’t matter if a game may seem dated because of grainy graphics or its mechanics are somewhat passé. It all boils down to the gaming experience that people can take from it. From niche crowds, right up to the mainstream, the world of gaming is strewn with titles that embody the word longevity.

Today, we’ll take a look at a few classic PC titles that continue to stand up to the test of time–80s and 90s PC games that embody versatility and longevity. While there are certainly others that fit the bill as well, we narrowed our choices down to the top three most relevant titles in terms of overall impact in gaming culture and current mainstream relevance.

Ultima Online

The Ultima series had already had numerous iterations—with each release proving to be more successful than its predecessor—under its belt before Origin Systems finally decided to hop on the online bandwagon. The result was Ultima Online which was rolled out way back in 1997 as one of the most highly-touted Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. To create a buzz, the game was kicked off with the assassination of (producer) Richard Garriot’s avatar during a stress test.

With multiple Guinness records and a rich history to boot, Ultima Online certainly fits the bill as a timeless masterpiece. While the initial subscriber expectation was set at a meager 15,000, it actually reached an excess of 120,000 subscribers after a year. With such numbers, it’s should come as no surprise that it still has steam.

Starcraft

Released all the way back in 1998, Starcraft is amazingly still being updated even two decades later. Though when you think about it, it really should come as no surprise. Gaining a solid fan base right from the get-go—to the tune of 1.5 million copies sold in 1998—it still rides high after 20 years. Starcraft’s appeal and cultural impact is undeniable as it is far-reaching.

A timeless game needs to change with the times while retaining the key components that made it appealing to the masses in the first place. With all the updates over the years, Blizzard Entertainment managed to make Starcraft as relevant today as it was back in the Nineties.

Genesis

Here’s the oldest of our trifecta of classics that refuse to succumb to Father Time: Genesis. In fact, Genesis is so old-school, it’s actually a text-based game! Back in 1989, very few people—if at all—knew about the internet. It was during such Jurassic conditions that a group of savvy Swedish students created the game. It didn’t stay a humble game, though. As the internet grew, so did the game. As a result, there are over 60 guilds for players to join, and a sprawling expanse of the world—including Middle Earth and the Forgotten Realms—to explore.

A great game can be found practically anywhere. You don’t even need to get in on the latest releases to enjoy a fully immersive experience. Do yourself a favor and indulge in these retro games before time finally catches up and snatches them away from us. Enjoy!

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Path of Exile – A Challenger Appears to Diablo III

Path of Exile

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Diablo III has accumulated plenty of sins since it was first released in 2012. From the Auction House debacle to the seasonal resets, there has been no end to the criticism leveled on Blizzard. Despite all that, Diablo III remains the king of the isometric ARPG loot grind and no others have even come close. Things are different now, however, since Path of Exile has come into the ring and is proving to be a tough and true contender for Diablo III’s crown.

The Classic System with Modern Roots

Path of Exile is not ashamed to say that it took its core gameplay from Diablo; naturally, there’s no way around the loot crawl without acknowledging the original. However, the Diablo franchise has seen better days in the heyday of Diablo II and the original, despite the arguable relative success of Diablo III today.

Path of Exile comes from the same family of games, but it does more to separate itself from its cousins and ancestry. For one, PoE manages to stand out by making some very unique classes and combat mechanics; these focus on gem equipment in order to determine skills in combat.

There are six basic classes in the game; Marauder, Ranger, Duelist, Shadow, Templar, and Witch. These all ultimately have an analogue in Diablo III save for some unique differences. Regardless, the game is easy enough to pick up by the Diablo veteran or the genre newbie since each class performs a specific role akin to the holy trinity found in ARPGs like these.

The one thing that PoE does well is its ability to imitate the tropes and trends of Diablo, without becoming too much like Diablo. Enemies of the same quality are there with blue-named enemies being a “rarer” genus than white ones. Gold would be the enemies that may or may not completely destroy you. From the basic shuffling demon to the irreverent demon, many of these enemies will be familiar to fans of the genre. This is a good thing. PoE manages to replicate the same things people enjoyed in Diablo and other isometric ARPGs, while being able to keep it unique with its Dark Souls-inspired aesthetic and feel. This way, PoE does not manage to alienate a whole player base who may think that the original did it better, and it manages to be intriguing enough to draw in the genre newbie.

Perhaps the only downside to PoE is its Xbox One port. It is not awful in any sense, but it certainly could be better. Diablo III’s console ports are very fleshed out and polished, but this is the first time Grinding Gear Games went for a port of their flagship game, thus this was expected. There is not any cross-platform play, but that is also expected. This is due to the different balancing of the peripheral differences for controller and mouse and keyboard. Being out on the Xbox One for only a year, PoE will still find plenty of improvements on a console and, if Grinding Gear Games finds enough reason, even cross-platform play.

The best thing about PoE, however, is that it is completely free-to-play along with all seven expansions currently released. You do not have to spend a single dollar to be able to experience the breadth of content it has. It does have a cash shop as is standard in F2P games, but everything that could be purchased there is mere vanity items that do nothing to improve your game. Grinding Gear Games is one of those developers that took an ethical stance with cash shops, by maintaining that there will never be an advantageous purchase over another player that does not want to spend a dime on PoE. Perhaps the only somewhat essential item on the cash shop is the extra bank space that would not normally be purchasable with in-game PoE currency. However, many players would find this forgivable as it is not a game-changing thing. It will make your dungeon crawling considerably easier though.

Just Like Diablo But More

It is very similar in scope and size to the Diablo franchise with its sprawling, loot-laden dungeons and drop-in/drop-out co-op where enemies scale according to the number of players. However, there is much more content in PoE due to Grinding Gear Games’ penchant for releasing updates and expansions on a regular basis. PoE is already up to its seventh expansion in the form of War for the Atlas. There is a whole slew of things to do and explore – much more than Diablo III’s meager vanilla game and its single expansion, Reaper of Souls.

With an interesting storyline and hours upon hours of fun, Path of Exile is proving to be a serious contender for Diablo III’s crown as the undisputed king of isometric ARPGs. It is a wonder how PoE does not have the same level of fame as its predecessor. Grinding Gear Games simply does not have the advertising power Blizzard has since it is an indie company. If you would like a break from Diablo III’s seasonal resets, you may want to give PoE a try for a fresh take on the ARPG genre.