Path of Exile – Beta Impressions

At the right angle, the witch almost looks pretty. Almost. Reflect elemental damage aura is such a pain.
BZZT. BZZT. Everything dies after a few shock novas. This boss spider's a big wuss.
I like the generous stash space. Specializing as a lightning + big area of effect witch.

I was fortunate enough to be granted a closed beta key for Path of Exile about a week and a half ago by one of my best friends. I have been following Path of Exile for over a year, and I was more than exhilarated when the game was finally installing on my computer. I have chosen a witch as my first character, beaten the normal difficulty of the beta, and just gained level thirty.
If anyone has even watched one trailer of Path of Exile, they would not object in describing it as Diablo 2.5. The similarities are almost unabashed, particularly in terms of character skills. That’s not to say the similarities are a bad thing. Diablo 2 was a fantastic game, and one of my personal favorite computer games of all time. It would not be an understatement to say that I have sunk thousands of hours into Diablo 2. Path of Exile, like Torchlight and Titan Quest, captures the essence of a Diablo-like ARPG. The isometric presentation, the dark and dank dungeons crawling with monsters, the gathering of valuable loot; the recipe for addiction is there in Path of Exile. Suffice to say, I’m having a lot of fun playing Path of Exile.
There are some flaws I want to point out. I feel the field of view is a little too zoomed in. I would love to have the ability to zoom in (for example, to check out my character wearing that cool armor I just found) and out, and freedom of rotation, with maximum zoom displaying an area with radius perhaps around 1.5 times larger than the current perspective. Also, the game doesn’t really have an overarching sense of plot. While Diablo 2 had a clear ultimate goal of hunting the greater evils, in Path of Exile the quests are more or less unconnected. So the game feels directionless. Fortunately the lure to kill and loot is strong, but if you are not interested in that, well, Path of Exile doesn’t have much of a story to tell, yet. Maybe the story will be fleshed out when the game is fully developed.
For a free game, I am fairly impressed with the amount of polish so far. The graphics are detailed, and the spells are even prettier. Action is smooth, and controls are crisp. I have not encountered any bugs. A Diablo-like clone worthy of your time, if you’re lucky enough to be invited at this phase of development.

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Published in: on December 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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