In the dim chill of October 23rd, 2013, Grinding Gear Games unveiled a gaming masterpiece: Path of Exile. Free to play, absent any pay-to-win schemes, this ARPG plunged us into the ominous realm of Wraeclast. As avid gamers, we embraced the role of yet another Exile, navigating a labyrinth of challenges to seize power and exact vengeance. Amidst its complexity, we dove deep, determined to conquer this immersive experience and unravel its rich tapestry of content.


Path of Exile Game Review


Gameplay Experience: 19/25

Drawing inspiration from classic titles like Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo II (2000), Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile masterfully blends nostalgia with innovation, offering a gaming experience that resonates with veterans and newcomers alike. With a focus on player freedom, the game’s balanced gameplay across Standard and Hardcore difficulties ensures an inclusive experience for all. Its dynamic seasonal Leagues, each spanning approximately 13 weeks, inject fresh excitement by resetting progress and introducing new mechanics. While decisions in Path of Exile may not always lead to narrative consequences, they heavily influence gameplay through skill choices and character build optimization within the game’s intricate skill tree—arguably the most complex in the gaming world. Yet, despite its depth, the game remains remarkably accessible, boasting intuitive controls and an easy-to-learn interface that welcomes adventurers of all skill levels.

Presentation & Immersion: 18/25

We’ll be honest, Path of Exile isn’t about the story so much—it’s there, sort of, but it doesn’t really matter. The true essence of this game lies in the grind, leveling up, and obliterating mobs in wave after wave of destruction. The game’s randomized maps create a dark and visually intense environment, with each area boasting well designed visual aesthetics that enhance the immersive atmosphere. Additionally, the sounds of destruction add another layer of intensity, with audio effects engaging players in every encounter. However, if we must gripe about something, it’s the HUD. While polished, it can be overwhelmingly complex for first-time players, with a vast array of settings to navigate (more later).  Despite this, it remains functional and clean, ensuring a seamless interface for players of all skill levels.

Design & Technical: 22/25

In the realm of customizable settings, Path of Exile takes complexity to another level, requiring a guide just to decipher the nuances of each adjustment and its potential impact on gameplay. Navigating these settings can feel like pursuing a PhD in game mechanics—an endeavor both daunting and exhilarating. Despite the intricacies, the game impresses with its stability; amidst the myriad customizable options, we encountered no crashes or bugs, a remarkable feat considering the potential for disruption. Within the game itself, action abounds as the AI relentlessly hurls challenges at players, resulting in countless hours lost to immersive gameplay. This speaks volumes about the meticulous craftmanship behind the Grinding Gear Games development team, solidifying their status as a standout in the gaming landscape.

The Skinny About Path of Exile

Final Considerations: 22/25

Grinding Gear Games has forged a lore-rich, action-packed, and undeniably addictive role-playing experience in Path of Exile (Steam Link). The fact that it’s free-to-play makes it a game truly worth investing time and exploration into. While microtransactions exist, they are not mandatory for game progression, making Path of Exile one of the few games we at Player Opinion can endorse for their inclusion. It’s worth noting that while stash tab upgrades may become necessary after sinking around 100 hours into the game due to inventory constraints, they’re not imperative for early gameplay—just something to keep in mind. Our playthrough left us thoroughly satisfied with the game’s complexity, well-thought-out design, and accessibility. We recommend giving Path of Exile a chance and embracing it for what it truly offers—an immensely rewarding grind of godly destruction.

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