Path of Exile Game Review

Path of Exile Game Review

A free-to-play, online RPG with an emphasis on crafting and exploration. With six new acts and a dark and gritty feeling that is definitely unique, there's never been a better time to play Path of Exile!

This action role-playing game takes place in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It has by far one of the darkest and most unique backstories (and they even provide a video that explains it for those who might be interested). Once you actually get into the game, there are no hand-holding or tutorial levels. You're thrown right into the action with some equipment and a bare-bones explanation of your controls.

Path of Exile Screenshot

Combat is as fluid as any good Diablo-Esque clone should be, and despite not having a ton of skills at a time to choose from the tree for each class is expansive enough that you can create some interesting builds with very few "wrong" choices.

The graphics are pretty good considering the art style. I don't think it's quite as flashy as Diablo 3 was, but it definitely has a much darker and moodier tone which I think fits the game much better. The sound effects are crisp, and though not much in terms of music or voice acting there's enough background noise that it doesn't feel too barren.

There is a well-polished tutorial for those who want it, but if you've played an ARPG before you'll feel right at home. The UI is easy to understand and it's clear that this game was made by people who know what they're doing. I definitely feel like the free-to-play model doesn't hurt the game, but adds a lot more replayability with different character subclasses.

Path of Exile Screenshot

The skill tree has everything you'd expect, starting with your class choice (seven in total, each having three subclasses unlockable through questing). As you level up you can put points into it to make your abilities stronger or unlock new ones. There are also four categories of gems that make up the majority of your damage; melee, spells (fire and lightning), cold (ice), and chaos damage. Of course, certain gems need other types to go with them to be effective which adds another level of depth to the game.

The economy is very well balanced as well, at least from what I've seen so far. Each monster drops loot that matches its power level (so if you're fighting a weak monster it'll drop junk loot, and a level 50 will drop items that are actually useful). There's also no gold to worry about so you can just spend your Orbs of Transmutation/Augmentation/Chance on the gear you want.

Path of Exile Screenshot

There are some minor complaints to be had though. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm playing on a Macbook but the framerate can be an issue. It hitches every once in a while, and even when it's smooth it just doesn't feel as buttery as Diablo 3 did on my PC. The level design is good but just lacks a certain flair that would really make it shine.

I definitely recommend giving Path of Exile a try if you're a fan of action RPGs. At no point does it feel like it's trying to nickel and dime the player, and the unique setting along with a well-made combat system make for a satisfying experience. I hope this review helps convince some of you to give this free game a chance!

More articles

Get the latest MMO news in your inbox

A monthly newsletter about the top 3 games of the month.