Action and role with essence to the classic Devil. And also free! How to resist something like that? Path of Exile successfully begins its journey in the market, with an intense and dark hack & slash adventure that will keep you hours and hours in front of the PC. It’s not original, okay, but it’s addictive as the most.
Welcome to Wraeclast, exiled. Welcome to Hell. But also to the paradise of the passionate to the adventures of action and role of Diablo style. Because Path of Exile fulfills what was promised, which was no small thing, giving shape to an exciting, intense and very addictive hack & slash adventure of those that we like so much, which can not be put too many hits. Unlike. The result obtained by the Grinding Gear Games team can only be classified as admirable.
And not only because it is a surprisingly complete work at the content level, despite its free-to-play nature, which in itself is worthy of mention. With thousands of deaths behind us, after completing Path of Exile we can only say one thing: Blessed is the time when this independent development studio decided to create a work of these characteristics. Because his passion for the genre, and especially for the first two installments of the Diablo series, has led them to give shape to a title that does not lack anything, and also, for quality, can perfectly measure yourself to the greatest of the genre. That is already an achievement.
True to the hallmarks of the genre, Path of Exile is based on a simple premise. Massarate any enemy that crosses your path while improving your combat skills and locate new battle equipment to be, little by little, the most destructive and deadly Wraeclast warrior. Nothing original, you will think. And the truth is that it is not. Not at all. But it is fair to recognize also the interesting novelties that the title brings, which has them, all related to the system of personalization of our hero.
A somewhat risky bet, it is true; but seen the final result, and even in spite of its failures, it is undeniable that it exceeds what was expected. And it is that Path of Exile is a title full of game possibilities that stands out for granting us total freedom to design the warrior of our dreams, without caring too much about the kind of fighter we chose at the start of the game. How is this possible? The culprits are the gems of power.
Precious gems of three different colors, corresponding to the attributes of strength, intelligence and dexterity, which we must link in weapons and defensive equipment to acquire new combat skills, without restrictions of any kind when using them with any kind of character. Are we a swordsman who wants to throw balls of fire right and left? No problem. If we find the right gem and link it, we can do it. Do we want our witch to be able to deliver lethal blows to enemies who come close to her position? Or that our maraduer summon undead to accompany him? Well, exactly the same.
The only thing that should worry us, once we have them in our power, is that the battle equipment that we wear has the corresponding holes, and the correct color, to set these jewels. Gems of power that as our hero, will also increase their potential by unlocking increasingly destructive and eye-catching improvements.
Certain gems will work better with one type of hero than another, since in developing their power, they will demand from us certain higher physical attributes that might not be our protagonist’s strong point. And this is where the other great novelty of Path of Exile comes into play, which in a way to many of you will remind you of the classic Final Fantasy X: your passive skills tree.
An impressive network of improvements with up to 1,350 options at our disposal, which we will access with the experience points that we will obtain when leveling or completing certain missions, and that will be the ones that mark the innate traits that will define us. Strength, dexterity, skill with the use of certain weapons, intelligence, resistance to the elements – cold, fire, electricity… ability to evade blows, regeneration of health, mana…. The options at our disposal are impressive. More taking into account the degree of freedom that is given to us to advance on this map following the path we prefer, and even rectifying certain advances with a few points of “regression” special.
Tour that will vary depending on the type of hero that we incarnate, since each of the seven available heroes will begin their journey at a specific point on this map. However, as all these improvements will be linked together, depending on our progress we can even take advantage of certain advantages dedicated to other characters. The problem? That it is inevitable not to feel that there are too many unnecessary improvements, put there more to make bulk than to improve the gaming experience, sometimes slowing down in excess the progression of our hero. Nothing serious, that’s true, but maybe it would have been better to include less of these improvements, but more useful.
The Seven Exiles
As a good action and role game that is, Path of Exile attaches great importance to the figure of the heroes that we will embody. And in this case, although the program is quite conservative, the available options are more than good. We have up to seven different warrior types with options for all tastes that range from pure classes, specialized in strength, dexterity or intelligence, that is, marauder, rangers or witches; to the hybrids, which combine at least two of these routes such as duelists, templars, shadows, and the new Scion.
Warriors that will improve their combat potential with new battle equipment, the aforementioned power gems and passive improvements, following in this case a very conservative playable scheme. Sometimes, too much. Because one of the biggest problems with which we have found is that Path of Exile is excessively repetitive at times, to present again and again the same type of objectives without large differences between them. Something very usual in the genre, it is true, but seen the work done with more recent works such as Torchlight II, maybe we expected more about the team of Grinding Gears Games.
Exterminate hundreds of enemies, explore dark dungeons to find a treasure or kill the boss, chat with certain characters… except for the battles against the final enemies, which are really a challenge and a show worth mentioning, the rest of the missions of this extensive hack & slash adventure does not surprise in excess, and that is something that can take its toll in the long run, when once the main adventure is completed you start the game at the next level of difficulty.
In this sense, we believe that the design of scenarios is too poor in the first two acts of the three that make up the adventure, with outdoor environments not very inspired as opposed to most dungeons, which in this case do distill essence Diablo for all its pores. Dark, dark, extremely bloody, of enormous proportions and with a magnificent labyrinthine design, in these environments we will enjoy intense and exciting battles against dozens of enemies that will make things really difficult, with a well-adjusted difficulty curve, although at moments of a level of enormous fierceness.
And is that despite what it may seem at first glance, this is not the typical crushing mice in which to kill the enemies without rhyme or reason. It must be done with a head, always hitting the most dangerous enemies, either because they invoke new creatures or because they cause devastating zone damage, to avoid dying in the most cruel way. Something that, at times, may involve having to travel long stretches of land if we have not opened a portal to the city in the area. With the assessment that if we take too long, the area will be automatically regenerated by modifying the distribution of your points of interest and enemies.
Details that denote the passion of this study of development for the dark adventures of action and role of yesteryear, which have borrowed most of its playable bases with much skill. However, as we say, a somewhat irregular level design and a certain shortage of enemies, who suffer from the same thing, reduce the attractiveness of the final set, which is certainly true in the third act of the adventure, absolutely spectacular. for the hardness of their confrontations and the design of the dungeons.
In Good Group
Another of the great virtues of Path of Exile is that it allows us to face the game with five other friends thanks to its cooperative side, which works very well in most combat situations. Of course, the more players there are the harder it will be to defeat the enemies, but also much more fun and spectacular because of the possibility of combining so many combat styles in the same game scenario.
In this sense, the Grinding Gear Games program gives us the opportunity to create our own list of friends to go to them whenever we need it, or access a very useful bulletin board in which we will have direct access to all the games in course at that time. We even have the option to create our own clan – after paying a small amount of real money – which is the ideal option to try the also fun competitive battles for up to six players, which will be unlocked once enough has been advanced in the adventure.
That said, in relation to the feared microtransactions, we really can not help but take our hats off the work done by the development team, which offers us a free video game that can be enjoyed from beginning to end without investing a single euro in he. What is even more admirable considering that this is an adventure that can take us about 20 hours to complete in a first game, to which we must add the presence of other characters, its multiplayer side, or the possibility of repeating missions in a higher level of difficulty.
In the latter case, it is true that the progression of skills slows down once you reach level 40 more or less, making it increasingly difficult and sometimes heavy to reach the maximum possible level, which is 100. Also the inventory management it seems a bit archaic, keeping intact the old style of “puzzles” in which we have to design ourselves to constantly match a lot of objects with very different shapes in a very small space. In this case, we are given the option to expand these options, as well as acquire various aesthetic improvements, paying money; But the truth is that this is something that could have been worked with more success.
We have also encountered certain latency errors in the connection, which can sometimes significantly hinder the party, causing even the death of our protagonist, who without wanting to or drinking it can be surrounded by enemies who were not there before. Obviously, this being a title that requires a permanent connection to the Internet, we understand that it is an error that should be corrected as soon as possible; but it is also true that these failures are somewhat sporadic – perhaps caused by times of greater influx of players – and no doubt will be solved soon, so they should not worry much.
The Darker The Better
To finish, we can only applaud the great work done by Grinding Gear Games in shaping the fantasy universe Wraeclast, which to the most veterans will undoubtedly remember the classic Diablo and its direct sequel. The reason? We are facing a title that makes dark and dark one of its hallmarks, considering us to explore a wide variety of cursed temples, dark and labyrinthine caves, desolate ancestral ruins and even extermination camps full of corpses and rivers of blood, all with a realistic style that is far from the somewhat more cartoon and colorful appearance that we have seen in recent productions.
They also highlight a truly worked effects of lights and shadows that help to form an exceptional setting, which is only somewhat tarnished by animations for the characters and enemies not too worked, and the aforementioned design of exterior levels, which is too irregular. As for the performance of the game, it works quite well on a wide variety of equipment, with a rate of images per second that usually does not drop below 60 fps or even the greater the number of enemies on the screen; except in the cooperative Path of Exile items, which in this case we have noticed some other slowdown.
If we talk about the musical accompaniment, you can not put too many hits on Path of Exile, because the soundtrack, with clear dull tones and something more epic in the final stretch of the adventure, marries perfectly with the dark and depressing tone of the world from Wraeclast. The biggest problem, at least for now, is that the game has not been translated into Spanish, so those users with few notions of the language, will lose the interesting plot background that shapes this fantasy universe. Yes, Complete the adventure can be achieved without understanding anything of the story, since the game knows how to guide us from one side to another.