I found that the Path of Exile was a stimulating and engrossing game. It’s a free-to-play game, which practically speaking, is a splendid way to enter into any game. If you wish, you may buy the game's “currency” from the game application, which will allow you to build up your character. It’s possible to buy weapons and armor from outside vendors, at moderate cost, to increase your capacity for destruction, while remaining safer in specialty armor. All the way up to ridiculous prices for specialty weapons and armors that will provide marginal increases in performance. In or out of game, cosmetic facades are available which only affect the appearance of the characters, but have the panache of Champions. In some instances, of prices over $500 for a single expenditure?! You would be surprised at how many of those are sold.
There are multiple versions of the game. I’ve gotten the impression they have been produced using Microsoft’s Visual Studio’s game functionality. Who would have thought that an off the shelf programming application could produce this level of complexity and graphics?!
The game starts with a royal court judging the character for some crime, the character is then sent to the prison island of Wraeclast. The ship is wrecked and the character is forced to fight his way to the safety of a small gathering of mutual Exiles. Equipment is available, along with some guidance from certain characters. If you’re a fan of Heroic Fantasy, this is a game for you. It’s pretty much non-stop combat. There are a great many more areas to get through, after the first area.
Being a free to play game does have advantages. Interested parties may fly and not worry about needing to buy. One of the disadvantages is that towards the conclusion of the game, the operating system starts to really go after the player. The aggression of the characters is intense. Which I found was still mostly avoidable and if I was very careful, manageable. Still, 10, 12 or more opponents rushing the Hero, from off screen, at once is a challenge. However, the game also starts to crash, which takes points from the player, essentially making it impossible to proceed to the next higher levels. There is no way to prevent that. One possible solution is for the game to be sold instead of remaining a free to play release. Then better servers could be used to solve the crashing difficulties? (I hope.)
There is an enthusiastic fan base, both in game and on YouTube. With in-depth strategy and character development advise. The level of expertise is remarkable. All those hours of playing online, while they live in their parents basement, has been well spent. They can give detailed directions on how to upgrade the weapons and armor, all from picking up the objects dropped by the foe’s you defeat. Victory has never been sweeter. You may have to replay their video’s a few times to get it all. But the directions are there, across a wide range of in game objects.
Strategy is provided with much needed graphic demonstrations. A large part of the fun of these games is doing the combat by yourself, learning and winning. This is a lengthy and complex game, on multiple levels. The experts on YouTube can save lots of time and effort, they have spent a lot of time making videos on what to do and how to do it, and then show us an example of them actually getting it done against specific opponents. A few simple suggestions on which control to use and when to use it, can be, well, life savings. All along the way, there are methods which can be used to survive, until your attack can be effective and show the player how to save on effort.
For enthusiasts looking for a new game to play, this is a sure bet.