Our Path of Exile review is telling you if this game is worth playing still in 2021. A short word: it is if you’re okay with a bit of complexity.
Originally, GGG created the Path of Exile as everything Diablo III should have been. Both games have changed and improved a lot since launch, though. Still, presenting itself as a “Diablo II fan-made” sequel was enough to kickstart this indie title.
PoE is a hack & slash RPG that keeps evolving every year. At launch, it had three acts plus en-game maps for an overall 30-hour gameplay experience. Now, it has ten acts plus endless post-game activities.
The thing is the game keeps evolving and expanding. Every three, six, and twelve months, developers launch a “League,” an idea other games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Destiny has taken for themselves.
Platform: Windows 7/8/10, macOS, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Grinding Gear Games
Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
Release date: October 23, 2013
Path of Exile Review: Leagues
PoE’s leagues add new systems, challenges, rewards, and loot. You can always start a character on a league, and, by the way, there are no classes. Once the league ends, your character goes to the standard league.
Then, the developers may or may not add the new league mechanics into the core game. On top of that, Grinding Gear Games adds lengthy expansions every two years or so. The last one added four five acts into the game, whereas a follow-up is delivering Path of Exile 2.
One of the biggest PoE expansions was adding the game to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One in 2019.
Here is the current league trailer:
Go solo or go co-op
The plot doesn’t matter. It’s something about an Exile fighting against hordes of demons with fire, swords, and explosions. Its dark fantasy setting is exciting nevertheless.
You can go about your playthrough solo or co-op. As I said, there are ten acts, each one with about six quests. With deep character and skill customization options, crafting systems, and expansive loot, you have at least 100 hours of solo experience.
Otherwise, you can go co-op. The best part of the game is how you can play the whole story with up to four friends. Additionally, you can enter specific maps with other team members. Your foes will be proportionally more challenging the more people you take with you.
There are PvP tournament seasons, battles, and Capture the Flag worldwide events. On top of that, Race Evens and Daily Leagues are running as separate game worlds. These features come with their ladders, economies, and prizes.
Another co-op feature is the possibility to unlock and customize your hideout. After you pass specific special missions, your exile gains a select location that works as your hub for crafting gear, testing skills, and storing loot. You can invite others to your hideout to chat, trade, and enter end-game content.
Is 2021 a good time to play PoE?
Over its seven years of existence, PoE has evolved into the most complex slasher RPG in the world. Its many mechanics might overwhelm you, especially considering there are little-to-none tutorial sections.
Unwelcoming as it is, starting fresh is relatively easy. You select an “Exile” (Duelist, Witch, Ranger, Templar, Marauder, Shadow, or Sciom) and click your way to victory.
Each character starts in a different place of skill three. That means each one has access to various stats and passive bonuses from the beginning. For example, the Witch has access to spell damage, mana, or mana regeneration passive nods. Add to that the possibility of gaining an “Ascendancy”, a mid-game carácter specialization and the possibilities are endless.
It also means you can go nuts with your character customization. You can go through the passive skill tree as you want and end up with a ranger wielding an ice-cold wand.
It’s a very challenging game, though. Half-way, your character could either rule or be a total disaster. I advise you to check a couple of guides before you start fresh.
Consider each league introduces new skills and new balance tweaks, and new loot. Builds keep changing, then. Overpowered 2019 builds might be a thing of the past right now.
Wait for Path of Exile 2?
Otherwise, you could wait for the Path of Exile 2. It seems it’s going to be a friendlier, more polished version of what we have now. Notably, it packs a fantastic graphical upgrade.
Nevertheless, PoE 2 is not a sequel. It’s more of an expansion and update. You’ll get it for free on Steam once it goes live. In specific, PoE 2 it’s the game’s 4.0 version representing a massive overhaul.
Interestingly, though, the upgrade is also packing a new fantastic, single-player /co-op campaing. You would be able to choose which campaing you play (the original or the new one).
For all we know, Path of Exile 2 is releasing mid-2021.
Path of Exile Review: Final Say
Path of Exile remained as the top free game on Steam right until Destiny 2 released its free version. Still, PoE has been a leading game in the industry with its ever-evolving content, yearly leagues, and deep character customization options.
It has everything it needs to make RPG fans obsessed. If anything, this game is dangerously immersive. Remember to check in your bedroom to sleep once in a while.
Lastly, there’re no money gates on PoE. Every new expansion, league, and patch they release is free for anyone. There’s just no other game on the list with the same advantages.
Let’s face it: Path of Exile is the best game on Steam. Please take a look at how much it has evolved from its launch days!