78 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 127.5 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 5, 2016 @ 1:56am
Updated: Nov 24, 2016 @ 1:10am

I've been playing ARPG's since Diablo, am a firm believer that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is the best ARPG ever made and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is not a true successor to the series. Besides that I've also put time and effort in Torchlight II and Path of Exile, which I both found to be better than Diablo III but which still couldn't satisfy my ARPG need. Now I've purchased Grim Dawn early on but due to performance issues I was unable to play it at that time (which have been fixed) and I left it until recently.

My experience comes from playing Act I in Hardcore Veteran mode, both solo and with friends in multiplayer. The difficulty at Veteran -which is a modifier to Normal difficulty, increasing the amount of "Hero enemies" and the rewards that you reap from them- is very solid. You will roughly level from 1 to 18-20 during Act I, during which I got the feeling that this game is quite well balanced. Sometimes you will feel weak, but most of the time that is to be fixed with reassigning your skills.

The overal look and feel of this game is, like the name implies; Grim. It's dark and "serious", like Diablo II and Path of Exile. No cartoon art-style as Diablo III or Torchlight II. Personally I find this to be a big plus, seeing as this gives the game a more serious presentation.

The unique point of this game is that you start the game without choosing a class, called masteries in Grim Dawn. Once you reach your first level you gain the option to select one out of six masteries; Arcanist, Demolitionist, Nightblade, Occultist, Shaman, Soldier. Each mastery has an unique and fun skill tree with enough skills to keep you trying out stuff for a while.

Just like in Diablo II you will have to assign attribute points to either Physical (health), Cunning (melee) or Spirit (mana). A lot of gear you will find will require X points into Physical and either X points in Cunning or Spirit, depending on the kind of gear (weapon type, heavy or normal armor).

This goes on until you reach level 10, at which the game presents you to choose a (optional) second mastery. You can choose to combine masteries to supplement your character with additional skills that would otherwise be impossible to get, or to ignore this and go deeper into your previously selected mastery. Based on the combination of masteries you've chosen, your character class title will change to something else. The option of adding a second mastery will stay definitely once level 10 has been reached. The current level-cap is 85.

All in all this game feels refreshingly good and comes close to the feeling I've got while playing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, but without the bots running all the games. If you need something different from Diablo III, Torchlight II or Path of Exile, this is it.
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