Title: Grim Dawn
Developer: Crate Entertainment
Type: Action Role Playing Game
Platform(s): PC (Steam)
# of Players: 1-4 Local & Online
Grim Dawn is an action role playing game (arpg) in the same vein as Diablo, Torchlight and Path of Exile that was created by Crate Entertainment. The game began as a kickstarted project some time ago, then spent over 3 years in Steam's early access program and was recently released. Despite this extended development period, the game launched to "Very Positive" reviews from the player community on Steam.
Grim Dawn follows a similar play sequence to the aforementioned for-bearers of its genre. The player creates a character and is dropped into the game world with minimal equipment and skills. Npc's in the game world give out quests that are completed for rewards and experience. The player encounters gear found, rewarded, or looted from the dead and gains experience which is used to enhance the character. In Grim Dawn the character begins classless, then the player selects a class a few levels into the game. Each of the six classes has multiple trees of active and passive skills and stats that are selected and increased as experience levels are gained. Grim Dawn adds to this formula by allowing the player to select a second class for the character at level 10. The six classes contain synergies with one another within certain skill trees. The player is left to trial and error or external research to discover these. The end result is a great deal of variety within each character class, and nearly endless diversity in hybrid dual class characters. The likelihood of creating a character identical to, or even similar to one your friends have created is nearly impossible.
The story contained in the game is pretty typical fair. A great catastrophe is caused by a great evil, and you are tasked to choose which factions of npc's within the game to align yourself with and start going on missions for them. Most of these are typical "kill named enemy x" or "collect resource y". However the fun is more in the journey than the destination, as the combat system is fluent yet feels impactful, and the endless cascade of loot exploding from the corpses of your fallen foes creates a constant sense of progression. The loot system is similar to other games in the genre in that it is procedurally generated within certain guidelines defined by loot qualities and affixes generated by the game. The diversity of loot is nearly infinite, and at time presents challenging decisions on which pieces to keep and equip.
The game was created by a small independent team of less than 9 people over a relatively long period of time. This has been a labor of love and it shows in the exquisite detail, diversity, and overall quality of the game. Several videos can be found on youtube discussing whether Grim Dawn is Better than Diablo 3 or not. The fact that this is even debatable considering the relative sizes of the dev teams speaks volumes for the game. The game world is massive and hand crafted (not procedurally generated), and is meant to be played through multiple times, in two "game+" modes that allow you to continually develop the same character at escalating difficulty levels and loot quality. Additionally there are some end game rogue-like dungeons that can be played repetitively similar to the rifts in diablo 3. Lastly there is an expansion in the works as well as an extensive set of mod tools that the game's large and dedicated player community is sure to create a great deal more content with. All told, if you are a fan of arpg's, you can't go wrong with Grim Dawn and you will find the $24.99 price of admission to be money well spent.
Grim Dawn Site: http://www.grimdawn.com/
Grim Dawn on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/219990/
Grim Dawn Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Grimdawn/
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