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Path Of Exile Review (Xbox One)

August 31, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
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Path Of Exile Review (Xbox One)  

For PC gamers, Path Of Exile should be a fairly familiar title. The free-to-play dungeon crawler launched around the same time that it’s spiritual predecessor Diablo 3 was facing backlash for the auction house “pay to win” failure that alienated established fans and made it extremely daunting for new players. Path of Exile may be daunting for new players, but pay to win, it certainly is not.

Choosing from a cast of 6 different plays on the standard RPG character tropes – templar, marauder, shadow, witch, duelist and ranger can be substituted for your standard barbarian, rogue, wizard and so on – your character finds themselves stranded almost naked on a beach, with little more than your wits and a rusty blade to defend yourself with. Now, this almost put me off immediately as I died extremely quickly. Once I figured out where I was going wrong, I got a little bit further and then died some more. This is not a game you’ll find easy to pick up and batter through.

Now, my only real experience with this style of game has been Diablo 3. I did play some of the second, however not enough to realise what made it “so much better” than the third instalment in the series to the faithful community. For my part, I did enjoy Diablo 3 an awful lot, starting off at a lower difficulty and increasing it through each subsequent playthrough. The point I have reached with Path of Exile doesn’t suggest that it’s the type of game I’ll want to make numerous runs at, as everything seems very challenging and I’ve had to work for everything that I’ve been able to get so far.

Moving back to character creation and development, this is one thing that Path of Exile does very well, not to mention something I’m not surprised isn’t implemented more often in similar titles. Using a Final Fantasy style levelling and upgrade system, you’re fairly unrestricted about what type of character you’re able to build. If you want a barbarian with high damage but also a good sneak level, you’ll be able to build it, for example. This lends a tremendous level of depth and freedom to the the player, meaning that it will be very unusual for two characters to follow the same development path. Perhaps it’s this freedom that will lend itself to multiple playthroughs for the more dedicated dungeon crawler.

Unfortunately for me, and it may be down to the fact I was playing through the beta program, I did notice a fair few issues with the game that prevented me from wanting to spend too much time with Path of Exile. I found there was a lot of clipping issues as well as extremely frustrating hit detection problems. I felt a lot of my deaths were down to issues with the game rather than with my reactions. Another issue some may have is with the inventory system. It’s extremely daunting to get to grips with and whilst the game does hold your hand a little bit at the beginning, there is a lot you’re left to discover on your own, and it does seem a lot better suited to a keyboard and mouse set up than an Xbox controller. Thankfully, with the game having 3 or so years on the PC already, there should be plenty of reading you can do on how to get the most out of the majority of potential character builds.

Graphically, the game is nothing to write home about. A lot of dark colours with a large amount of gore is something you’ll have to get used to here. The characters are well rendered and the game does run happily at 1080p and 60ps, with this apparently being upgraded with the arrival of the Xbox One X. Thankfully, the game is a lot darker than Diablo 3, with some of the areas and monsters genuinely unsettling. There are some genuinely ugly beasts you’ll have to take on here, even in the lower levels. A few dungeons may even have you reaching for the light switch, if you’re of a more nervous disposition.

For a free to play game, Path of Exile seems like a total no brainer for at least a download to try it out. Unlike some others that hide the game behind massive paywalls, this really does well to avoid any such nonsense. Whilst I did have a few issue with bugs and such, it’s hard to really criticise when you’re getting so much game for absolutely no money. This isn’t a pick up and play title, so make sure you can dedicate a good chunk of time to the experience and you know, you may just have found one of the absolute bargains of the current console gaming generation.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Whilst there are issues with this port of Path of Exile, there is little doubt that it is worth a download considering it won't cost you a penny. If you can get past some issues and a bit of a steep learning curve, then you're in for a treat.

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Path of Exile, Stewart Lange