Looking at 2011 and beyond, the action role-playing genre is very much alive and well. Between Torchlight II, Dungeon Siege III, Darkspore, and Diablo III — whenever it winds up being finished — there are a lot of cool games on the way. One of the more promising is Snowblind’s Lord of the Rings: War in the North. In case you’re not familiar, the folks at Snowblind were responsible for the gleefully addicting Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. Based on what they’re saying about War in the North, it sounds like they’re doing everything right.

But hang on a second. Do you know what an action-RPG is? Basically it’s a game like Diablo where you run around dungeons and kill tons of stuff at a fast pace. That stuff then drops equipment and items you can use or sell, and in the process you gain experience to level up and learn new skills. Mix in the occasional vendor visit to clear inventory space, stock up on restorative items, and advance the story, and then it’s right back into the field to hack away at swarms of enemies and powerful bosses. More..