Din's Curse Co-Op Review
Quests are dynamic, and the game is rather serious when it tells you to prioritize quests where you're told that you need to hurry. Wait too long to talk to that informant or townsperson locked away in the dungeon and the monsters will overtake them, dinging your rep. If you don't take on a quest that has a time limit, the NPCs can still die, so don't blindly grab quests upon entering town. Thankfully, a lot of the kill quests will grant you credit for killing their target before you snag the quest. I wish more games did this (I'm looking at you, WoW!).
Clearing all of the quests in a town will save it, and you will earn you a victory chest full of booty from Din, proving he isn't always a jerk. You may still head back into the dungeon to explore further, but at this point, you can bask in the glory of the victory screen (complete with fireworks) and generate a new town. If the game's feeling too easy for you, whenever you generate a new town, you can choose to beef up the enemies found within.
The co-op play works exactly as you would expect. Invite as many friends as you want to your game and go slaughter some kobolds. Reread that last sentence. There's no hard-limit to number of players in a co-op session. Players can initiate trades or revert the time-honored tradition of littering the town square with all the loot they don't want. The choice is yours! All quests and experience points are shared by the players, so if someone decides to head back to town, they can take care of turning in quests for the rest of their friends.
More games like this, please.
Players can connect to each other in a variety of ways: via broadcasting a server over the internet, over a LAN or even good old direct IP connection. Oddly enough, in a reversal of fortune for the Co-Optimus editors, we had no trouble connecting to each other. Bonus points for stable netcode!
I really only have one major gripe with Din's Curse, which is how it deals with player skills. I mentioned the character skill trees before, but that's sort of a misnomer. You have three sets of skills (two if you're a hybrid) to choose from, but rather than your standard tree of skills, you can take any skill out of a set, provided you have enough skill points to purchase it. While this feels like a nod to Diablo II players holding on to all their skill points until they're level 20, I can't help but feel this robs the high-tier skills of feeling earned. Of course, this is personal preference, so you might enjoy being able to turn into a Lich early on.
All in all, Din's Curse is a solid Action-RPG, a fun co-op experience, and though it's definitely not the prettiest girl on the block, it scratches the loot-whoring dungeon hack loving itch quite nicely, and the unpredictability that the game's random elements provide keep the replay value high.
Din's Curse plays much like any good Diablo clone should. You make your way through dungeons killing tougher and tougher enemies while collecting better and better loot and spending skill points in the various skill trees in order to turn your character into an all-out one-man, or one-woman, wrecking machine. What really stands out with Din's Curse, though, are the quests. The fact that NPCs can be kidnapped and killed by the dungeon monsters lends the game a bit more dynamic feel than all the other action-RPGs out there. The ability to create your own hybrid character class also allows for some very interesting possibilities when teaming up with a pal, such as an assassin/healer or a hunter/druid. While Din's Curse may not be able to rival a game like Torchlight in terms of overall polish or control, it does have the advantage of allowing players to co-op their way through the game and share in the fun together.
The Co-Op Experience: Grab as many friends as your hardware can handle, then hack and slash your way through a randomly generated world, collect gear, rinse & repeat.