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Path of Exile Game Review

Path of Exile logo used as a featured image for the post of Path of Exile Game Review

Hello everyone! Now we will talk about the game worthy of Diablo fans: Path of Exile. If you want to read more of my game reviews, don’t forget to check the Game Review Category!

At a Glance for Lazy Readers

Is Path of Exile a masterpiece, good game, just an ordinary game, bad game, or a disaster?

For extreme Diablo fans, Path of Exile may be a MASTERPIECE. However, being objective, Path of Exile is a good game!

Positive Sides:

  • PoE has wide language support
  • Game guides you well with good affordances
  • It has a rich in-game story and plentiful background story available online.
  • Periodically published events enrich replayaability
  • Main menu soundtrack is appropriate with the theme

Negative Sides:

  • PoE doesn’t have wide language support
  • Being not able to change brightness settings affects gaming quality
  • Game mechanics aren’t appropriate for multiplayer gaming. Even if it is multiplayer, you won’t (if you are not in a party, or battling etc.) see any other player in game world except towns.

Neutral Observations:

  • Dark ambiance dominates the game
  • Diablo fans will love this game

Game Trailer

Though PoE has multiple events so far, every expansion has its own trailer. But don’t worry, I won’t bother you with all of them 🙂 At first, I thought to add the first main trailer. However, when I saw it, I have become aware that Path of Exile has come a long way. I add the first trailer too for curious gamers. Talking about curiosity, don’t forget to check our category of Curious Gamer :).

Language Support

Shot of language options taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Language options available in-game

From a language perspective, Path of Exile doesn’t have wide options comparing Portal. You can read my game review of Portal, here: Portal Game Review.

Negative Impressions from Path of Exile

1. Game Options Deficiency

Lack of brightness control is a huge insufficiency. When the darkness of the environment combines with improper lighting of a room: you might struggle to see darker areas in your monitor.

2. Is the Path of Exile Really Multiplayer?

Like I mentioned in the title of Multiplayer feature and player community when you claim that the game is multiplayer; there should be multiple players that you play with. If you don’t team up with other players, you won’t see them in ACT maps. And why do high-level players want to spend hours with you? Even if you are introverted, it is so hard -or even impossible- for you to find someone to play in Path of Exile.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Act 1 – Lioneye’s Watch

3. Character Customization Feature Is Not Provided

Yes, the title says it all. Characters have huge backgrounds and stories. However, they don’t have even a single customization option. You can only set your nickname -hopefully-. Creators of Path of Exile may claim that the customization feature is not appropriate for their stories. However, customizing hair color could be even enough for personalizing. What do you think?

4. Character Skills & Abilities Are Not Provided on Creation Page in Path of Exile

Lack of character customization can be acceptable for PoE. But, we have a much more serious problem here: Explanation. While selecting your game character, you are not provided the required class details which are skills & abilities.

Skills: For this game, you cannot talk about class-specific active skills. However, the Path of Exile crew should have indicated what passive skills (in general) classes have. This is essential to give players insight into what they are gonna experience.

Abilities: What is the main characteristic of chosen class? Is he/she agile? Is she/he tank enough to bear the enemy horde? These abilities prevent players to make blind-shots that affect their gameplay later on.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Character creation page in the Path of Exile

5. Party Page Has Simple But Annoying Bug

Fortunately, I have found my real-life friend to play with this game at the same party. Therefore, I could manage to test the real multiplayer feature of Path of Exile. Must-to-say that if you want to get maximum pleasure from the co-op, you have to communicate with your friend via Discord or some other communication tool you prefer. Hack and Slash games generally repeat themselves. Therefore chatting and directing while playing really help you to get rid of this monotony.

If we get back to our concern, the party feature has a bug not affecting gameplay but the affordance. When you try to change party settings, you obviously want to learn what they are for before altering them. I wonder too. So I tried to read about the Disabled option of Default Level Downscaling and unhappily failed. The window disappears when I draw my cursor to swipe text. I cannot swipe with arrow keys. So, I cannot actually swipe and read the rest of the text.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Small window on the right of the screen cannot be read properly

Positive Impressions from Path of Exile

1. Feature of Stash Similar to Diablo 2

If you have played Diablo 2 -the legendary game of Blizzard-, you should easily understand this topic. In Diablo 2, you had an option to transfer your weapons, armors, or goods to your other characters by placing them in your chest serving as a warehouse. Thankfully, we have the same option for Path of Exile! If your characters are in the same league, then you can pass your items to your other characters by placing them in your stash.

Why is this feature so critical? It has a tremendous effect on the replayability feature. Suppose that you are bored of your character at the level of 80, and you want to create a new one. Could you do this without thinking if you have left everything behind? Transferring items also means transferring some part of your past. You worked hard to earn these items. Therefore it is extremely natural that you don’t want to lose them. With the help of this option; your items are carried with your new character, so do your work!

2. Epic Music and Rain

This type of dark atmosphere requires proper background music to complete itself. Path of Exile is so successful at this point. Their trailers, main menu theme, and in-game background music dance together to publish this beautifully darkened world of exiles. You imagine yourself while listening to epic tones flying in the rainy weather. Actually, you don’t have to imagine. Open the game, go to Lion’s Watch, and stay AFK 🙂

Game Ambiance in Path of Exile

One word could be enough to describe this magnificent world: Dark. Walking deads, creatures like enemies from darkest nightmares, abandoned places, and so on! If you ever played one of the Diablo series and looking for a multiplayer version of it, then believe me that this atmosphere won’t disappoint you.

Emotion I feel while playing

Well, even it has a dark ambiance; Path of Exile is not popular with its scary tones. In fact, mystery and will of exploring do control the game environment. I cannot blame the multiplayer RPG for not being scary, actually. I felt the inner-will of discovering legendary items and see their special quotes. Even the multiplayer feature of the game is not enough, I think that -in some corner of my brain- reading the chat made me feel not alone in the game.

Multiplayer feature and player community in Path of Exile

The Multiplayer feature of the game is not enough to tell that this is a multiplayer game. However, I cannot claim that this is a single-player game; because it is not :). You only see other players in towns of maps -if you don’t party, or battle, etc.-. You are alone -only seeing chat- in most of the game where you generally continue the story or event maps.

In terms of community, I can tell that players welcome each other. They help newbies’ questions. As I touched, there is no real interaction, so that this claim is limited. And please don’t forget that I am talking generally, exceptions may occur.

Sound & Music

In-game music and sounds are very rich which supply the game world. The main menu soundtrack is also a good piece that combines with the main atmosphere of the game.

Story in Path of Exile

Path of Exile has an intense story that expands with each upgrade. It surely has dark tones in every corner of it. NPC’s and characters of the game also have immersive interactions, which makes them not only placeholders but also living beings in this world of Wraeclast.

Small Spoiler Alert (Screenshot)
Shot of game used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
NPC interaction of Path of Exile: Expedition pack

The background story of Path of Exile is also wealthy. You can explore them in the fandom of PoE. One example of them is the History of Wraeclast.

Replayability

Including custom events is a huge advantage of this game. Path of Exile crew periodically releases new huge upgrades that add completely new quests to the game. Trailers from some of these upgrades are below:

Path of Exile: Heist Expansion
Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas Expansion

Notes from My Path of Exile Journey

Facing ancient beings is a fascinating experience of Expedition expansion. You are excited with not only upcoming enemies but also goods inside excavated chests waiting for you. P.S.: As a nice implementation, you don’t have to spam the mouse button to cast a spell every time, if enemies are close. You simply hold the button and draw the cursor to the next enemy when the currently attacking one is about to die.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
We are fighting against monsters from Expedition

Path of Exile has rich in-game atmospheric features that enrich the game ambiance. Some of them are neutral animals and leaves flying on the wind. Animals for this example are also so realistic that when you run through them, they fly away:

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Leaves carried by wind and animals before flying
Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Animals are flying when I run through them

While you are playing the Path of Exile (also shortened as PoE), you don’t just face classical walking enemies. Some of them may jump on you. Some may dig from underground. These small but definitely important details give enemies one-of-a-kind characteristics. These enhancements also enhance Path of Exile’s world of creatures.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
The enemy is jumping on me

Gore is one of the key factors in Path of Exile. You will see so many examples of it through your own game journey. Cannibals, hanging corpses, and zombies can be counted as just the beginning of this bloody world. For example, this type of monster eats fallen enemies and spits your body parts, as one of its attacks.

Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Eating fallen skeleton
Shot taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Spitting body parts of the skeleton to me! (I touched the point that skeleton has no body part. This is nonsense. But pretend as it has)

Nice Details

One of the pleasant details that I come up with is talk of your character when you level up. Not only it helps you to get into the game world, but also allows you to know the character more. Your chosen character tells something specialized for his/her own personality or background.

Shot of chat taken in-game. Used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.
Your character tells something when s/he levels up!

While talking about details…

We don’t always see pleasant ones, do we? I noticed some not-nice detail. It is not a big thing but when I realize something like that, I cannot stop without criticizing :). Frost skill affecting skeletons sometimes shreds them apart. It is natural. But, it turns skeletons’ parts into frozen meats 🙂 Well, it is not-so-natural.

Screenshot taken in the game of Path of Exile. This ss shows Killed skeleton turns to meat parts. This screenshot is used in the post of Path of Exile Game Review.

As a game developer, I am aware of programming techniques and how they generalize to all instances. However, I am also aware that this little modification does not have a huge resource effect on the game.

Good to Mention

The skill page of the character is well arranged and doesn’t look standard. It looks like an oil painting of a skill web :). I played lots of RPG games that you personalize your character with your chosen skills. However, as far as I remember, I didn’t encounter any game similar to Path of Exile’s HUGE skill customization option.

Shot of skill page taken in-game.
Skill page of character

Legendary items have their own special quotes assigned to them. This makes it simply great! You don’t face items just telling it is a chopper ring or something. This small but extremely important detail shows us how the crew of Path of Exile creates even items. Do you remember so many games like your items have a personality? This feature does exactly this enrichment. It gives legendary items individuality!

Small Spoiler Alert (Item Example Screenshot)
Shot of a game item, taken in-game.
Item has its own quote of “Fear is highly infectious.”

Path of Exile Trade

Though it consists backbone of the game economy, I have never tested it myself. It is so important that even an Official Trade Page is available for players. In there, players list their items for sale.

We talked about the stash feature and its importance on replayability. Path of Exile keeps an eye on the feature of item transfer, it is obvious. Also, they carry this topic further by providing an online trading database.

Further resources on trading:

Reading: Path of Exile Wiki: Trading

Watching: POE Trading Guide! How To Buy & Sell For Beginners! | POE Guides P.6

Path of Exile 2 Release Date

We as PoE players are sure excited with this news: Path of Exile 2 is on its way. It will surely be a date to watch for extreme PoE fans. According to the Path of Exile crew, on the topic of PoE 2, they don’t expect to start a Beta of PoE 2 until 2022 at the earliest. However, they announced that continuing regular three-month updates will continue as it would.

Further reading: Official Path of Exile 2 Page

Where to find advice for Path of Exile Builds

As we talked about, Path of Exile has a huge game economy. It almost has countless possible item combinations. If you are a new player, you may be crushed under these combinations. Or as an experienced Path of Exile, you may want to get an insight into recommended builds to check and enrich your own build. In any case, you can use this link to take a look into possible builds:

Expedition Builds for Path of Exile

Path of Exile Skill Tree

It is understandable if you feel lost in a huge Path of Exile skill tree. If you don’t want to experience them on your own, I suggest you search for possible skill recommendations on Google for your class. If you want to highlight shortest paths to a skill or if you want to highlight similar skills, then you can use the official interactive webpage of Path of Exile to observe on your own!

Official Path of Exile Interactive Passive Skill Tree

Path of Exile Classes

As I touched, Path of Exile has poor in-game explanations of classes. Therefore, I suggest you get help from trustworthy 3rd party sources.

Character classes with simple and clear explanations: Path of Exile Fandom Wiki Character Classes

Explanations with recommendations. Therefore, consists biased opinions: Path of Exile guide: Which is the best class?