When Diablo II was originally released in 2000, it dominated the PC game market and inspired a whole new generation of gamers. Some of those gamers include the developers from Grinding Gear Games. Grinding Gear Games was founded in 2006 by a group of seasoned RPG gamers. The group was disappointed by the lack of new games coming out in the Action RPG genre at the time. To solve this problem, Grinding Gear Games decided they would make their own Action RPG, thus Path of Exile was born. Path of Exile has been in development since 2006, but was not officially announced until late 2010. The game has been received very well by gamers and hardcore Action RPG gamers alike. Grinding Gear Games promises that the game will be completely free-to-play, with players only able to purchase various visual upgrades to their characters and gear. Grinding Gear Games has even gone as far to make sure that no one will profit from these micro-transactions, stating that the various items bought by the player will be stuck to their account. With the recent disappointment of Diablo 3, hardcore Action RPG gamers have a whole lot to look forward to.
Players start out by selecting one of the six classes. Each class has a back story and certain alignments. Every weapon and piece of armor is able to be used by any character, but some characters will not be as proficient as other characters with certain weapons. I decided to first hop into the game using a ranger. After going through the first stage, you come across the first town. Here you can see other players who are currently in the town and do such acts as trade items, whisper to the player, and invite them to your party. The game starts to shine starting when you roughly hit level 15. Players can combine over 110 skill gems to create unique items within the dark world. Players will level up their character using the lubriciously large skill tree. The skill tree includes 1350 nodes, which can be applied to your character. The combat in Path of Exile feels great. Whenever an arrow is shot into a monster or enemy the arrow will remain stuck in the enemy. Enemies will even attempt to pull out arrows and other injuries that have occurred to them. The amount of detail within the game is exceptional and remains one of the high points in the game. The amount of ways to get past a certain stage in the game is enormous. Players can use an array of spells and attacks available to them. My personal favorite was a totem pole that shot out fire, with a gem applied to the totem pole, the totem pole teleports around the area attacking everything in sight. At the time of writing I have only had the chance to experience four out of the six classes. All the classes I have had the chance to play with have been fun and all feel like different gameplay experiences. The overall replay value of the game remains unknown at this point, but the devolopers promise a large amount endgame available with randomly created dungeons and custom game modes.
Grinding Gear Games has stated that they are most proud of there item system within the game. Players who have played Diablo will probably understand the frustration of having tons of life and mana flasks within their inventory. Path of Exile takes a different approach to this problem by having a set of dedicated flasks with your character. The flasks can be changed with the application of various gems and upgrades. Players have already started taking advantage of this feature and making it a dedicated part of their character build. The item system in the game is said to feature tons of different items all being upgradable and usable to the player.
Path of Exile will feature a constant online ladder system which can be ascended in every game mode. The game will also feature a PvP system in which players can battle it out, in order to call themselves number 1. Grinding Gear Games promises a vast array of endgame to keep you entertained with Path of Exile for years. For the amount of work that has gone into the game at this point, gamers have every right to be as excited for Path of Exile as I am. Path of Exile goes into open beta on January 23, 2013. For more information or to buy a supporter pack please visit the official website. https://www.pathofexile.com/purchase