Din's Legacy comes by way of Soldak Entertainment, the enterprising minds behind a variety of creative ARPGS such as Depth's of Peril and Drox Operative. Technically, Din's Legacy is a sequel to Din's Curse, a game released back in 2012 though I am unclear how they are linked beyond the trickster god Din powering your reincarnations. You embody different characters of the Mutated race, which Din has blessed as his Champions.
Soldak's central theme across all their games is the attempt at creating a living, dynamic world for your character to romp around in. This an ambitious notion, especially for an indie developer. Imagine if Diablo had factions that rose and fell in influence or power, or that your towns could be attacked, along with specific monsters that were out to get you and regularly sent you taunts through the message system. It's a fun concept that mostly works and definitely adds a more strategic layer on top of the regular hack n' slash business.
Any action RPG worth its salt needs to nail the core gameplay loop of slaying foes, leveling up and acquiring more powerful loot to repeat this process ad finem. I'm happy to report that Din's Legacy manages this quite well. What started out as my intent for a quick play session for this preview, turned into a few hours instead, as I kept exploring, leveling, and looting. Missions success Soldak.
But the real secret sauce in this game is the mutation system that aims to create its depth and real standout factor. This is a twist on the traditional multi-class system found in D&D or other RPG's. Here, however, I find it more intelligent as you discover mutations over time, both positive and negative, which makes it feel organic and also fits into the story. Furthermore, you can use skill points to buff or suppress mutations as you see fit. The mutations allow you to cross-skill in a variety of ways, so you won't be lacking for new skills or builds to try out.
Even more, these mutations can unlock brand new classes to play. Another way to unlock classes is by performing specific actions like if you dig up 20 graves, you can choose to start as a Graverobber class.
There are lots of other options for creating unique playthroughs, with fully randomized worlds and a variety of win conditions per world, as well as granular control over how that randomization occurs there's no end to the diversity. You can even opt to replay the same world again with a different character if you enjoyed it.
Combat in the game seemed solid. I tried out a mage, a fighter, and an assassin type classes and they all played suitably different. New skills were a blast to try out, and some can send enemies flying. Pyro mages will also enjoy setting the terrain on fire and seeing the enemy scurrying around while on fire. While it lacks the visceral brutality of something like Diablo 3, for an indie-ARPG I would say it's excellent and kept me entertained for the hours I played.
There's plenty of other details I haven't covered in particular - there's town's to build up and defend, a bunch of different NPC's to recruit into your party. Secrets to discover, waypoints to unlock, I believe I saw crafting benches as well. There are heaps of quests and unique monster hunts which has tinges of the nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor, though not as fleshed out. Also, mind the terrain! Running up hills will slow you down, which is pretty cool.
Din's Legacy is in early access. EA doesn't have the best rap, but this developer has made lots of games before and there's no reason to believe they won't finish this one. The updates seem frequent, so you can follow the game's progress on Steam, and also check out the Forums on the developer's website directly.
If you're looking for an alternative ARPG, I would highly recommend giving Din's Legacy a try. It offers something truly different from standard ARPG fare, and that's enough to capture my interest and see how the final product finishes up. Or should I say, see how it mutates…