Life After Diablo: Grim Dawn Soldier Trailer

By Nathan Grayson on May 18th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Pfft, they're probably all just Old Man Jenkins in a costume.
You waited more than a decade. Diablo III’s finally out. You can even play it when the server gods smile upon you. And it’s fun! But it won’t last forever. Randomly generated or not, you and the big red Lord of Destruction (no, not that one) will eventually grow apart. And then what happens? What do you hack? Whom do you slash? Where do you find undead creatures carrying cracked pants? Well, there’s Torchlight II on the horizon, but let’s say you have an irrational vendetta against colors and smiling. That’s where Grim Dawn comes in. I mean, it has “grim” right in its title, and titles never lie. Perhaps somewhat more concrete, however, is the new Soldier Demolition Melee trailer, which is about as spooky and soul-crushing as they come. It crushes other things too – mostly spines, near as I can tell. But with former Titan Quest folks at the helm, I suppose that’s to be expected – and, so far, highly anticipated. Check out the full trailer below.

So then, charging, smashing, and constant reminders of our own mortality. And I’m not just referring to the graveyard setting on that last bit. Crate Entertainment told John that Grim Dawn’s designed to be tougher, deeper, and more “casual-player hostile” than similar games. This bit, especially, sounds positively wonderful to me:

“I love systems that are asymmetrical and chaotic, where the player can’t easily see the tell-tale structure and patterns of deliberate, organized human design. The real world isn’t always perfectly planned or sensible and I don’t think game worlds should be either, otherwise you see the hand of the developers everywhere you look and it erodes the magic of feeling like you are in a living and unpredictable world.”

Me too! We should be friends. Can friendship be purchased with money? Because Grim Dawn’s Kickstarter is winding down in less than a day. So if you still want to chip in, now’s the time. And if not, well, somehow – by the grace of some benevolent deity – I think Crate’s going to be OK.

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89 Comments »

  1. undu says:

    It’s pretty off-topic, but I don’t understand why developers makes games’ physics so floaty, we’re not in 2004!

    Furthermore, this game is supposed to be gritty, why would they use the moon’s gravity for the game?

    • Wolfman says:

      Because it makes the game look more dramatic. I bet if they had realistic movement of things you’d be complaining that the physics was boring.

      • undu says:

        I bet if they had realistic movement of things you’d be complaining that the physics was boring.

        How much?

        • Phantoon says:

          I’m guessing about five posts and a response to every response to you.

          • Coriolis says:

            I sure hope you had your tin-foil hat on while making this statement.

    • f1x says:

      I like monsters flying away like lifeless manequins when I hit them with my Axe / Mace

      Its satisfying as much as hilarious

      But then again, I think Titan Quest had very similar physics regarding monsters

    • Urthman says:

      Have you played Titan Quest? The exaggerated rag-doll physics when you overkill enemies (every point of damage you do beyond what’s needed to kill a monster adds more knockback) is possibly the most entertaining part of the entire game.

      It may look silly in a video, but in the game? It feels great.

      • undu says:

        I’ve just been playing diablo 3 which has this kind of rag-doll physics and it looks very silly.

        • mr.ioes says:

          Can’t wait for this to be released. After diablo 3 fiasco, I’m kind of slash deprived ;(
          Is there a release date yet (or aim)?

        • Phantoon says:

          Don’t compare these sorts of games to Diablo 3.

          These people actually want to make games, not just take all of your money, ever.

          • Grundig says:

            Wow, isn’t it incredible how comments like this arnt getting old and tired at all.

          • Nevard says:

            Yeah, clearly when Diablo implemented a feature they were doing it in a fit of greed and money-grabbing lust, whereas when any other game implements the exact same feature it is because they are radiant saints who do things for the sheer joy of it.

          • PopeJamal says:

            “These people actually want to make games, not just take all of your money, ever.”

            Ouch! Of course, it only hurts because there’s some truth to it.

        • Urthman says:

          I’ve just been playing diablo 3 which has this kind of rag-doll physics and it looks very silly.

          But how does it feel?

      • chackosan says:

        Oh hell yeah, watching some enemy grunt in TQ go flying off a cliff or into a rock face was definitely one of the reasons why the combat felt so satisfying.

    • Grimhound says:

      Grim Dawn uses the same engine as Titan Quest and presumably the same physics, AFAIK. I think a big bit of the issue you’re talking about falls to kill identification. It makes it very obvious that an enemy is no longer a threat so you can refocus your attack while wading through a sea of enemies.

  2. daphne says:

    I’m hoping that their stretch goals will not be a burden on their development schedule. Of course once the systems are in place, content generation probably isn’t all that difficult.

    Otherwise, a very promising project, and coming out at a very good time, as well.

    • karthink says:

      “The systems” are already in place. They’ve built a vertical slice of the game, so the tools are ready. It’s apparently a question of cranking out content for a few months, then polish, polish, polish.

    • WrongThinker says:

      As some who designs systems and levels professionally, I just want to point out: do not underestimate the time it takes to create good content. While it’s true that underlying systems are also a lot of work to create and balance, making levels (that are fun and take advantage of those systems) takes an obscene amount of time. In fact, that is frequently what takes the bulk of the time.

      Usually systems can be designed on paper and then tweaked as they are implemented in the game, but content creation is often the bulk of the work for us designers (at least in my personal experience).

      Take a game like Gears of War 3, for example (which I did not work on). The engine, systems, and mechanics are largely in place already. That means (for designers on the project) that most of that 2-3 year dev cycle was spent on content creation! And how long was that game?

    • Alceste007 says:

      Grim Dawn is one of the more interesting Kickstarter projects for me. I am hoping that their stretch goals do not over burden them as well.

  3. Kollega says:

    The Kool-Aid Man joke is one of the reasons why i read RPS.

    As for the game… isn’t “Soldier” a bit too modern for a fantasy RPG? When someone says “soldier” i imagine a guy in camouflage wielding an automatic weapon, not some guy with a sword and totally unexplained lightning powers.

    • twig_reads says:

      It’s actually not medieval fantasy but a western themed one.

      • Kollega says:

        Ah… that might explain it. So it has guns, amrite?

        • Phantoon says:

          I don’t remember Dark Souls having guns…

        • Caiman says:

          It does have guns [Grim Dawn, not Dark Souls]. Duel-wielding guns even. Also, expanding on what Titan Quest did, you can combine various different types of classes. The one in the video, for example, is a soldier + demolitionist, so you can blow things away and blow things up. Often simultaneously. This was one of the best features of Titan Quest and added huge replayability, so I’m happy to see they’re expanding it further with Grim Dawn.

      • PJMendes says:

        From the feel I got from what I’ve seen so far, it’s a steam-punk post apocalyptic victorian era game. With magic. And zombies.

    • Urthman says:

      Heh. I came into the thread to say lines like “What do you hack? Whom do you slash?” are the reason I read RPS.

      Mr. Grayson, I love your writing. I’m glad RPS was able to lure you away from that job helping Batman beat up the mentally ill.

  4. MrWolf says:

    There is an incredible embarrassment of riches right now for fans of aRPGs — Diablo III, Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, Krater … I’m sure I’ve missed one in there. I love the “casual player hostile” concept, I just hope I won’t have to play through the entire game one whole time just to get to the hard stuff….

    • killias2 says:

      Honestly, I don’t get it. The only hack’n'slash I’ve played lately that has held my interest is.. Divine Divinity, which is basically 10,000 years old in internet years. I played and beat Diablo 2 (for the first time). Meh. I played Torchlight. Meh. I played the D3 beta. Meh. They’re all exactly the same. I just don’t get the appeal. Divine Divinity at least felt like an actual RPG wrapped in a Diablo outfit. That is precious rare amongst the members of the genre.

      Sorry for this, any and all fans of the genre. I’m sure there are genres I enjoy that you don’t. Taste is purely subjective. This is just my opinion.

      • DickSocrates says:

        I haven’t played any of the games you mentioned, but Diablo isn’t meant to be an RPG. It’s a loot run, designed around getting stronger to take on increasingly stronger enemies. That’s the point, more RPG aspects would deflect from the core and put people off, like me, who don’t like RPGs. Although as I haven’t played them, they aren’t exaclty attracting me either.

        • mondomau says:

          I disagree, the Diablo series has morphed into a game where the loot run is the meta game, same way Starcraft went from a RTSto a build-order obsessed APM e-sport. Doesn’t mean other ARPGs have to follow the same evolution.

          • Phantoon says:

            And they certainly shouldn’t.

            I want a game that’s more like Diablo the First than Diablo the Second.

          • killias2 says:

            I generally did prefer Diablo 1 to D2. It seemed.. more atmospheric, and there was more openness in terms of classes.

          • Lunaje says:

            I agree, none of the sequels have that feeling that made me really like Diablo 1 – It was simple and fun. Maybe it’s just me, but when I played it, felt like getting a blue item was probably going to be an actual reward, and not mostly some garbage stockpiling or downtown pawning – even when those two last elements were still part of the game.

        • killias2 says:

          I actually agree, which is why I referred to it as a “hack’n'slash” rather than an aRPG. I understand that people enjoy Hack’n'Slashes, but, generally speaking, I prefer games with more of an emphasis on RPG mechanics. Divinity was a pretty successful merger of the two.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        Personally I’ve enjoyed Din’s Curse best. The graphics are a bit crunchy, sure, but custom classes make the game for me – well, they make the combat, the complex interactions of the world scripting and the resulting emergent narrative are what really charmed me.

        Looking forward, I have my eye on Krater, since it seems to be making the biggest jump into new territory. But honestly I just don’t care about collecting pixel loot in games, it’s like the absolute least interesting thing about RPGs for me – at least the way it’s presented in all these ARPGs.

        I enjoy getting loot in old time-y roguelikes, because it’s never clear if the sword you picked up is cursed or not. But beyond that, /shrug.

        • killias2 says:

          Depths of Peril is pretty interesting as well. They add strategic meta-game elements to the Diablo formula. It’s rough around the edges, and it gets predictable somewhat quickly. However, at least it points a way forward other than “Repeat.”

      • LintMan says:

        Divine Divinity – silly name but a great game. Much better RPG and story elements than any other ARPG I can recall. I’d love to see more ARPGs move towards this model. The whole “loot run to get more powerful so you can get better loot” just collapses into a pointless grind for me if there isn’t some larger purpose or story to drive things forward.

        Also – Thanks to RPS for bringing up the Grim Dawn kickstarter. I had meant to back it earlier, but forgot and lost track of it. So this was a great and timely reminder.

        • Kenseu says:

          Single-handedly why Divine Divinity was the best ARPG ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E7yNHS1wuc

        • Bweahns says:

          I agree that the collection of loot for further battles for loot is just a boring grind for me. It’s like when Erik the Viking is explaining to the woman at the start of the movie why he has to rape and pillage.

          I enjoyed the original Diablo an awful lot back in the day, it was kind of unique at the time. I’m not sure what these type of games need to do to get me interested again. It sure isn’t the eternal quest for new loot or heavy handed control over how I enjoy a single player experience.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      It’s just a shame that NONE of them are first person, and they all insist on immersion-breaking, impersonal, distant eye-in-the-sky viewpoints. Thank goodness for Delver.

      • UncleLou says:

        And I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely glad I am that the isometric perspective is back with a vengeance, after *every* game was basically first-person or over the shoulder for years. The change of perspective to isometric gives some much needed variety – often almost more important than a change of genre.

        I also don’t find them less immersive – quite on the contrary, even.

        Besides, there’s also Borderlands (2) for you.

      • Nick says:

        yeah, first person is the only way to be immersed in gaming.

        For you. I feel sorry for you.

  5. RoninStone says:

    This is my first time commenting here, I don’t know what I’m commenting on. I’m just making this comment to test if I’m logged in:(

  6. Skeletor68 says:

    Backed this one a while back too!

    I don’t know about you guys but even though TL2 probably has great mechanics, I got awfully bored of the first one when I bought it at the time and went back to D2. I think I am one of the weirdos who doesn’t enjoy the colours and smiling in my arpg’s. One of the main reasons I love Diablo so much is how nasty it is. Rogue Scouts being burned at the stake, the horrific mess in the Harem, the horrible body part architecture in Hell. Something about it unsettles and fascinates at the same time. Kind of like stories about people cheating on each other.

    It is possible that I have problems.

    • ankh says:

      I must say I also prefer body part sculpture ect over colours and smiles. However, I will pretend like it’s not a problem.

  7. Choca says:

    Just so you know, Diablo is Lord of Terror, the Lord of Destruction would be Baal.

    • Grygus says:

      NERD!

      *spends the next three hours reading Wikipedia entries on Diablo lore*

    • Etherion says:

      I’m amazed that actually only one person has corrected this while the hype of Diablo is still quite high. He’s referred like a thousand times in-game as the lord of terror, with the game coming out so recently everybody’s got to have heard it already at least several times ;)

  8. MaXimillion says:

    Why do people still keep using that stock lighting effect? Isn’t everybody tired of it by now? It’s bloody everywhere.

  9. GameCat says:

    AFTER Diablo 3? Did you mean “instead of”? Hell, this looks more Diablo-ish than Diablo 3 itself.
    I like it.

  10. Squire says:

    The ground is a bit too busy, kind of hard to tell whats going on, even at 720p res on the video. Looks fun but if your gonna have ragdoll physics at least make them silly like in D3, I’m nearly having as much fun making people and objects fly away and explode in D3 as I am looting stuff.

    As mundane as it sounds, making your attacks/spells/abilities have a visible effect on the world, be it a piece of cloth that moves when you swipe or a statue thats crumbles when you stomp, REALLY makes me enjoy playing the game more.

    If the whole point of a genre [ARPG] is endless, repetitive levelling, looting and killing then how can you go wrong adding in unique looking physics and destructibility interactions, it makes that repetitiveness look reasonably different each time.

    • mondomau says:

      “If the whole point of a genre [ARPG] is endless, repetitive levelling, looting and killing….”

      Says who? It’s (so far) been the prevalent theme, but that’s due mostly to the influence the Diablo games have had on the genre. Maybe Crate have something other than mindless repetition covered up with pretty whizz bangs up their sleeve. Maybe they don’t, who knows?
      Point is, you don’t speak for me and the last thing I want to see is a promising game like this head down the same ‘copy blizzard because they make money’ path that so many ill-fated MMOs have died along.

      • Squire says:

        I like it, the floor is too busy though. I’ve played games for nearly 20 years and I have Eyes, so I think I’m qualified to…oh wait its just my Opinion.

        You are right I don’t speak for you, I form thoughts in my mind based on experiences I’ve had in the past. Then I communicate the thoughts to others and they tell me their thoughts on the subject. Then we dance happily together.

  11. Strangerator says:

    “I love systems that are asymmetrical and chaotic, where the player can’t easily see the tell-tale structure and patterns of deliberate, organized human design. The real world isn’t always perfectly planned or sensible and I don’t think game worlds should be either, otherwise you see the hand of the developers everywhere you look and it erodes the magic of feeling like you are in a living and unpredictable world.”

    Whew, now I don’t have to become a game developer! Good to know there’s at least one of this guy out there.

  12. MythArcana says:

    This looks fantastic, but as I’m watching the video…I start to realize just how repetitious the ARPG genre can be; the same redundant moves over and over again with little depth. I’d like to see more RPG elements rather than the same Street Fighter moves, but the environments really look sweet here.

  13. Warlokk says:

    OK, I give in… while I’m enjoying D3 well enough, it really doesn’t do anything new. With a new suitably nasty-looking setting and some real innovations, this one looks like it will be really something. My 1st Kickstarter pledge! :)

  14. daraujo says:

    Oh god, the screen rotates!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      with an occultist class, I was expecting such witchcraft as rotating cameras

  15. mr.ioes says:

    Can’t wait for this to be released. After diablo 3 fiasco, I’m kind of slash deprived ;(
    Is there a release date yet (or aim)?

    Btw, all Blizzard servers seem to be offline for the past hour. Not a single person can play singleplayer atm. lawl.

  16. pilouuuu says:

    Not always on line = good!

  17. Velvetmeds says:

    “Randomly generated or not, you and the big red Lord of Destruction (no, not that one) will eventually grow apart.”

    No we won’t. You saying it won’t make it so. Think i’ll just stop opening your articles Nathan

    • Malk_Content says:

      So you are saying Diablo III is SO good that you will never ever tire of it? To be fair if that is your opinion I actually hope it comes true for you, having a game you can play for the rest of time happily will sure save you a bunch of cash. *Not Sarcasm*

      • Grygus says:

        To be really fair, “the big red Lord of Destruction” is not specific to Diablo III, so it only has to last him the twenty-seven years to the release of Diablo IV for his denial to qualify.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I live in the hope that he can cure his hemorrhoids

    • MaXimillion says:

      So you would like to be buried with a copy of Diablo III? Not sure what the connection to blizzard’s servers is like from the afterlife though.

  18. Bobby Oxygen says:

    For me, Diablo 3 didn’t meet the standard set by Diablo 2. Grim Dawn looks a bit more like the game I was hoping for.

  19. Hoaxfish says:

    I think it’s probably me, but I have three problems with the game that have stopped me backing it.
    1. The videos so far look like someone poured radioactive sludge over some zombies. I think I need to see more variety in terms of location and monster-types.
    2. Guns/ranged weapons in ARPGs usually work only slightly better than guns in MMOs…. you spend most of the time shooting someone in the face, while knee-deep in a swarm of his buddies. I would love to see proper “gun range” in an arpg, but I’m not sure I’m going to ever see it (unless looking to Borderlands/Hellgate as a close cousin).
    3. I think I might be crap at ARPGs (specifically left-click for both “move to” and “attack that”).

  20. Vinraith says:

    This is the only project I’ve ever Kickstarted. I spent $20 on Titan Quest and got several hundred hours of play out of it, I figure kicking Crate $40 for their new project is the least I can do.

    • LintMan says:

      Yeah, same for me (though I’ve backed a few other KS games) – Titan Quest and its expansion was a great game and I certainly got my money’s worth, so I threw in some extra bucks.

      • Vinraith says:

        Considering the similarity of our tastes I’d be curious what else you’re supporting.

    • Nick says:

      the only reason I didn’t kickstart it is that I already backed it years ago after paying $5 that they didn’t even get royalties for for Titan Quest I was happy to give them money, glad they are getting the funding to finish it sooner rather than later, absolutely loved.

  21. Tejasrex says:

    This my first post here. I had to reply because I read this review early this morning and I felt strongly opposite end of what the reviewer wrote. As a whole I like the reviews on RPS but at times I felt the reviewer was playing a different game than what I was playing.

    One thing I have to strongly disagree in the review is the story telling and the hirelings. I have to say the story in Diablo 3 is not Planescape Torment by any stretch but it is definately a leg up on the first two games in the series. Out of all of the ARPG’s I have played, Diablo 1&2, Titan Quest, Sacred 1 &2, Darkspore, Torchlight and Path of Exhile I think it has a more engaging story line. Some of it is a bit cliched but there has been a couple of surprise moments.

    I feel the dialogue by the followers is good. The quantity and variety seem to be on par with Skyrim. I have had a lot of fun listening the interaction between the Hirelings when they are together.

  22. UncleLou says:

    This looks so much like TQ, it makes my muscle memory twitch – which is a good thing, because I never grew tired of the game’s mechanics, I just knew the environments by heart after several playthroughs. I hope they keep up the frankly insane number of unique looking gear, it’s still the genre king in that respect.

    Shame that TQ didn’t sell so well, at least in time, most people only seemed to become aware of it after Iron Lore had already closed down.

  23. drewski says:

    Ianteresting. I wonder if the engine will work properly, unlike TQ.

    Are ARPGs the new cover based third person shooters? Answers on a postcard.

    • Nick says:

      the engine worked fine in TQ unless you pirated it.

      • drewski says:

        lulz

        Try googling “titan quest rubber banding”.

        • theleif says:

          I wouldn’t say a problem with the expansion limited to some players merits calling the engine not to work properly.

      • alseT says:

        No it didn’t work fine at all. It had consistently bad framerates on a wide range of computers especially if you played a summoner, and it didn’t look that good to begin with.

  24. RegisteredUser says:

    But after this, what do you hack? Whom do you slash? When you come un-dawn?

  25. Metalhead9806 says:

    After buying Diablo 3, Path of Exile, Torchlight 2 and reinstalling Titan Quest, TL1, Diablo 2:LoD on my PC once I purchase Grim Dawn ill be set for life on Action Rpg… lol

  26. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’ll be fine with it.. as long as they release an expansion called ‘Dark War’.

  27. smeaa mario says:

    titan quest and immortal throne are still installed on my pc and I will play them tirelessly every now and then. but then I also remember how overlooked tq remained back in the day. all I would like to ask of everyone out there is not to let tq’s spiritual successor be overshadowed by the big guys out there :cough:bigredhornedlordofhellthethird:cough: when it comes out.