Well, now that I’ve finished up Bioshock Infinite, I’m in a bit of a lull. No new games are really appealing to me so I’m looking through my backlog for stuff I’ve started but not finished. I wanted so, so badly for Diablo 3 to grab me and never let go, especially after playing Diablo 2 so much that I had to buy a new disc because my original got so scratched, but it just never happened. Path of Exile is a completely free-to-play action RPG that I played a while ago and decided to give another run. I’m really happy that I did.
Path of Exile is taking a note from mega-popular Minecraft in that it’s been in open beta for a few months now and will be for a while. It’s got an isometric camera (again, think Diablo) and some story that I couldn’t care less about. Action RPGs need to give you the feeling of “I can tear through these 10 mobs at once without getting scratched” and Path of Exile does a pretty good job with that. Path certainly does that, but the unorthodox game mechanics are what have pulled me in more than anything. For one, take a look at the passive skill tree: they claim there are 1350 nodes on the tree. It’s like the Final Fantasy X sphere grid on meth. The class you choose determines two things: your starting stats and where you start on the tree. After that, character building is completely up to you. If you want to make a 2-handed barbarian (my current character), you can go right ahead. Want to make a mage with a bow? Ranger with two daggers? Pantsless old man with zombies?