Aug 23, 2007
For a long while after Diablo II, the action-RPG genre was remarkably quiet, save for the Dungeon Siege series. Then Titan Quest was released, and since then it's seen a bit of a revival, with titles of varying quality being announced. Loki's jump into the arena is noticeable thanks to its mythological settings. Of course, Titan Quest beat it to the post on that score, but Loki does at least provide some refreshing alternatives.
Your setting is dictated by your choice of character: an Aztec shaman, a Greek fighter, a Norse warrior or an Egyptian sorcerer. While each character starts off in his or her own zone, after completing their particular missions, you'll be allowed to journey into the other zones as well, meaning you won't miss out. The game makes good use of the relevant mythologies, so, for example, the Greek storyline has you chatting to Athena, battling harpies and centaurs, visiting Troy and ending up in the depths of Hades. But it's the Norse and Aztec settings that really shine, with their unusual environments and mythical deities.
Ranging from the Minotaur in the Labyrinth of Knossos to the regally armoured Cortés, bosses here are big and seriously badass. In fact, Fafnir the Norse dragon - who, even fully zoomed out, doesn't fit onto the screen - must surely be the front-runner for the title of "biggest action-RPG boss ever."
The game is certainly no slouch in the visuals department either. Enemies are served up in glorious hi-res textures, and a lot of hits are accompanied by dazzling explosions of magical effects. Settings range from the comparatively dull Aztec jungle to glowing lava-filled caves, decorated Egyptian temples and even the galleons of Cortés and his Spanish cronies. Weapons and armour also offer lots of variation and some pretty cool outfits, from wings for the Aztec shaman to dark hooded cowls and scythes for the Egyptian sorcerer, should you ever wish to impersonate Death.