It is a time of ancient Gods and fierce monsters, of heroes born from the blood of battle. It is a time for another RPG to add to the veritable slew of choice that has spewed forth from the maw of the Game Industry ever since the dawn of gaming immemorial. Diablo and its clones has been a staple of industry developers and publishers for a long time.
Each one has been looking to put the famed "hack and slasher" well and truly in its grave.
Now it is the turn of Loki, a brutal 3rd person "hack and slash" RPG that allows you to take on the role of four distinct heroes: The Norse Warrior, the Aztec Shaman/Priestess, the Egyptian Wizard and a Greek Warrior, who is a balanced melee and ranged fighter. Each one of these heroes comes with a different starting area, three separate Gods for them to worship and perform tasks for, as well as their own quest lines.
It is a generic RPG in many ways, but it doesn't paint itself to be anything but. Loki is one of the few Diablo-clones that I've liked for a long time, it's got a few rough patches (or the code we had did) and might not interest people who're looking for depth of story and breadth of character. This is action and adventure in an ancient world, pure, plain and simple.
Each of your heroes has a diverse set of abilities, skills and magical powers that can be unlocked/bought during the game. You earn XP to advance in levels by performing quests and killing creatures on the fairly large area maps. You also earn various 'deity' points as I call them. For example: Tyr points for the Norse character. These can also be used to upgrade your character with specific abilities based on their particular skill-tree.
The story is a typical fantasy affair and unfolds differently for each character. It is a fairly big game and it doesn't take long to learn the controls, holding down shift will allow you to shoot a bow or swing a sword from a stationary position. If you've played a Diablo-clone then you've likely got all the skills needed to play this game. It even takes a few hints from successful MMO's in the way it presents the GUI.
The Inventory System leaves a lot to be desired however, it's one of those systems that I'm still puzzling over, it's long-winded and there are more elegant methods to do things. Having a big long list of items is always a bit troublesome, look at Oblivion for instance. I would have expected an Inventory Grid ala most other RPG's in the genre.
There are the occasional glitches with some of the missile weapons, the disc (chakram) for the Greek character has an unpredictable flight path and sometimes decides to take an odd route to its target, or it will completely fail to hit even though it's actually struck home.
There is a possible reason for this of course; the game relies on an RPG like mechanic that allows you or the monsters to dodge, so perhaps the dodge message isn't showing up when it should when you use the chakram. Regardless of this (glitch or no) the game is surprisingly fun and should provide quite a few mindless hours of entertainment in the single player.
Monsters don't respawn either, once they are dead, they stay dead - so you can't farm an area for more XP than you could get by killing everything stone dead.
That about covers the gameplay mechanics for single player, apart from to mention that the game allows you to regenerate your health when your character puts their weapon away and is no longer in combat.