With last weekend's Big Brand marketing event masquerading as a fan convention came the announcement--with no release date--of the fourth installment of its iconic isometric dark fantasy action RPG franchise. You know which one I'm talking about, and it's not the MMORPG. I thought I'd take the time to give you all some alternatives that you may have overlooked or forgotten about, beside Path of Exile and adaptation of other Big Brand properties. This is not an exhaustive list; most of these will be linked to their Steam entries, but I advise you to look at GOG also if you want DRM-free versions or see if you can buy used physical copies.
- Grim Dawn.
Enter an apocalyptic fantasy world where humanity is on the brink of extinction, iron is valued above gold and trust is hard earned. This ARPG features complex character development, hundreds of unique items, crafting and quests with choice & consequence.
- Titan Quest.
In this epic quest of good versus evil, players will encounter the greatest villains of Greek mythology, brave the attacks of Cerberus, and hazard the banks of the River Styx. Players will interpret the prophecies of the blind seer Tiresias, fight alongside Agamemnon and Achilles, and use the wiles of Odysseus to conquer this dark new adventure.Paid DLC incorporates Norse myth.
- Victor Vran.
Victor Vran lets you decide how to play the game. Forge your own personal version of Victor thanks to a vast array of powerful weapons, game-changing outfits, wicked demon powers and destiny cards. Use special moves, combine skills and weapons to wipe out hordes of hideous beasts and clever boss monsters.
- The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
Put on your wide-brimmed hat, grab your weapons and embark on an incredible adventure in the gothic-noir world of Borgovia, where mad science threatens the fragile peace between monster and mortal.
- Shadows: Awakening.
Shadows: Awakening is a unique, isometric single-player RPG with real-time tactical combat. You embark on an epic adventure with challenging gameplay, a gripping storyline and enchanting graphics.
- Torchlight/Torchlight II. Likely the most well-known competitors to the Big Brand you all know about, as it was made by some of the same people, and it is a worthy competitor. If you can find this used in physical form, do so.
- Dungeon Siege/Dungeon Siege II. Another old franchise that's gone to the wayside, but still worth playing the first two games. (After that, it gets iffy.)
- Divine Divinity. This is the origin of the Divinity: Original Sin property, and it's as old as the aforementioned Big Brand property I've been referring to. You can run this on toasters, and when on sale it's cheaper than dirt to get off Steam.
While these, by and large, are fantasy titles there are science-fiction ones out there. There are also turn-based games if you don't care for real-time gameplay, such as the early entries in Bethesda's post-apocalyptic Big Brand and an underrated title called UnderRail. Part of #BrandZero is to divert attention from those who don't need it to smaller, or forgotten, ones that do. Here's another post on that signal. If you have others--not a Big Brand; smaller or forgotten--to contribute, post them (with links) in the Comments below.