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The most unique and exciting Diablo 4 contender is out now on Steam

Ambitious new ARPG No Rest for the Wicked is out now on Steam, putting a soulslike spin on the genre as a unique contender to Diablo 4.

It’s a fantastic time to be an action RPG fan. Diablo 4 has brought a fresh audience into the genre for the first time, and will introduce a wealth of upgrades with its next seasonal update. Promising newcomer Last Epoch has stormed out of early access to huge acclaim and success, and the upcoming Path of Exile 2 promises a whole-new evolution for the hardcore audience’s favorite child. Perhaps the most interesting and exciting new APRG of 2024, however, is No Rest for the Wicked, a smart evolution of the genre, infusing that beloved soulslike precision into the typically fast-paced format, and it comes from beloved indie developer Moon Studios, creators of the excellent Ori games.

While most action RPG games quickly descend into blasting your way through hundreds and thousands of enemies in a blaze of magic and steel, No Rest for the Wicked takes a much slower and more precise approach to combat, inspired by the likes of Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. It still boasts all the randomized, rarity-driven loot you’d expect from an ARPG, but uses a ‘soft class’ system where your equipment scales with its more Souls-style stats system.

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The death of King Harol echoes across the kingdom and his arrogant son Magnus takes the throne as an unholy plague, the Pestilence, makes a sudden, sweeping resurgence after a thousand years, corrupting all it touches. Meanwhile, the viciously ambitious Madrigal Seline takes this opportunity to prove her worth as an agent of god. As a member of the Cerim, holy warriors sworn to prevent the spread of Pestilence, you’ll have to fight amid spreading political strife and chaotic blight to restore order.

Ori and the Blind Forest felt like a really smart and distinctive twist on the Metroidvania format, proving that Moon Studios is a team more than capable of putting its own spin on an established genre. “For over 20 years we’ve been playing action RPGs religiously, and we always dreamt of where this genre could be taken next,” co-founder Gennadiy Korol explains.

While the team felt there was more to be done in the Ori universe – something it decided to prioritize and delivered on again with sequel Will of the Wisps – it “never forgot about our dream of creating our own action RPG,” fellow co-founder Thomas Mahler says. “We have left our mark on one genre before; now we hope to do the same for action RPGs.”

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The initial showcase for No Rest for the Wicked, which saw numerous YouTubers and Twitch streamers best known for ARPGs and soulslike games go hands-on for the first time, immediately secured my interest in what Moon Studios has created. In particular I was enamored by its very bold approach to item stats: stamina refills on parry, there’s a decrease to the weight of all your items, and you can wield powerful cursed gear with tradeoffs such as losing experience if you take damage or an inability to use heal over time.

No Rest for the Wicked is out now on Steam in early access, with a 10% discount for launch until Thursday May 2. That means you’ll pay $35.99/£31.49 if you buy it now, or $39.99/£34.99 after the sale ends. The version currently available includes the first chapter of its story campaign, along with additional quests, boss battles, the replayable Cerim Crucible dungeon, plenty of weapons and armor to find and craft, and even the ability to buy and outfit an in-game house of your own.

No Rest for the Wicked Steam Early Access roadmap - "Update 1: Multiplayer. Update 2: The Breach. And beyond: further updates."

A roadmap showcases the first planned updates after launch; multiplayer is top of the priority list, with ‘The Breach’ update next on the cards after that. “We’ve poured an incredible amount of blood, sweat, and tears into this project,” Mahler says, “and now we’re at a point where we need your help to shape and build Wicked into the best game it can possibly be.” Korol adds, “We’d like to invite all of you who love this genre, who grew up with it the way that we did and who are excited to see a new take on it, to join us on this journey.”

Looking for more of the best games like Diablo? We’ve got the lowdown on everything you should be aware of, along with our pick of the best indie games to play in 2024.

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