Path of Exile is a dark fantasy hack ‘n’ slash action RPG currently available on PC. It’s a Free to Play title from developer studio Grinding Gear Games.
Those of you who are familiar with the Diablo series will find many of the base mechanics familiar; dark grimy setting, top-down isometric perspective, click to move/attack, several classes to choose from (Templar, Duelist, Ranger, Marauder and Witch) etc.
There are many similarities, but there are also several aspects of this game that give its own uniqueness. One major difference is how skills are acquired. In Path of Exile, skills are linked to gems of a corresponding color. Red gems relate to strength based skills, blue is for magic based skills, and green enhances your dexterity based skills. Skill gems can be obtained in several different ways and can only be used when placed into available slots in your equipment, when available. Equipment slots come with varying numbers and color combinations. They can be linked, added, or even changed to a different color using special items. It’s a familiar system, but with an entirely different function.
Another way Path of Exile differs from other games in it’s genre, is the currency system. Path of Exile does not have a traditional currency. Instead it relies on an elaborate trading system. Town portals and scrolls of wisdom are the lowest ‘value’ and therefore the most commonly found and exchanged. Higher value items are more desirable and have a more advanced function such as improving armor and weapons, changing the number of equipment slots, or changing the color of slots. These same items can also be used at crafting benches to improve equipment even further. For more info on the currency system, visit the Currency Wiki.
In addition, the leveling system in Path of Exile is also improved upon. The player character is leveled using a passive skills sphere grid. The sphere grid system is synonymous with Final Fantasy 10. Each level grants a skill point which can be used to move along the grid. This sphere grid differs slightly from Final Fantasy 10. Instead of being forced in one direction, you may branch out into multiple directions when activating nodes. This enables you to level into other aspects of the grid simultaneously. For this reason, you can essentially have any build using any type of character.
Path of Exile is free to play, but not pay to win. Starting with only 4 stash slots you may obtain additional stash tabs. The other microtransactions in the game are armor, weapon and footstep effects which are purely cosmetic and do not change the stats of your gear.
If you enjoy hack ‘n’ slash RPG action with a dark fantasy theme, give Path of Exile a shot!