Ever since Diablo came out and solidified itself as the king of the Hack’n’slash ARPG genre, many have come and gone trying to topple it. Some built on top of the Diablo formula while others tried to reinvent the genre, and while extremely good contenders for the spot, like Path of Exile, remained prominent to this day many have failed to meet expectations or live up to the “Diablo standard”. In this Last Epoch review we will try to understand which is it: The Diablo IV killer or is it just another project simply aiming too high?
Last Epoch is an upcoming, currently in Early Access, ARPG game from the indie developer Eleventh Hour Games and it combines time travel, exciting dungeon crawling, engrossing character customization and endless replayability to create an Action RPG for veterans and newcomers alike. Unlike the popular approach, Last Epoch does not boast in the player’s ability to create a class of his own choosing, but rather lets us feel the uniqueness of each of the base classes.
Last Epoch Classes
Last Epoch incorporates a system of “base classes” on which players can build upon and expand. Players have 5 characters to choose from, 3 base classes per character and 3 mastery classes per base class. This means a total of 45 potential classes or builds. To add on top of that, each skill can be selected for specialization which then becomes the player’s primary skill on top of which they build their character.
- Mage – runemaster, sorcerer, spellblade
- Sentinel – Paladin, void knight, forge guard
- Primalist – Shaman, druid, beastmaster
- Rogue – Bladedancer, falconer, marksman
- Acolyte – Necromaster, warlock, lich
Each of these classes wields a set of abilities and spells unique to the class itself making it stand out significantly on the battlefield.
You can read about it more in our article about Last Epoch Classes.
Last Epoch Multiplayer
At the time of writing this Last Epoch review there is no multi player mode for this game. As we have seen earlier in other projects (looking at you – Wolcen) a multiplayer mode for a game like this is something that needs a long(er) development cycle. The bugs and infrastructure load should be thoroughly tested before even beginning to apply any class balance changes. Last Epoch devs are hard at work on this and are planning on releasing the multiplayer mode to the public before v1.0 of the game. The game’s Steam Page would probably be the best place to follow the progress of the game development and testing.
Last Epoch Gameplay
Humans are relatively a young race in the world ravaged by strong elemental forces and the void. Legends say that the world of Eterra was barren and empty before its namesake goddess decided to imbue growth and vitality into the wilderness. The world that was protected by the lights of creation did have a flaw, a virus – the void digging deeper and deeper into the light of creation as it slowly brings about the end for all.
The players travel throughout the timelines of this doomed world in an attempt to fix whatever can be fixed, whatever can deflect the void from ultimately running over the entire world.
Connecting the dots for this basic concept that sets the world of Last Epoch into motion was a tiresome task. Humans exist in this story for the sake of existing and the motives behind the Gods’ actions, namely for and against humans being humans, are absent.
Admittedly, very few people care for the lore in these types of games but personally we like to know why our brave heroes do what they do.
Itemization & Loot
This is where it gets interesting. The items are divided into the usual common, uncommon, rare, legendary, etc. tiers but each item has a specific task and a specific tier to it. There are “purple” items which surpass any craftable tier and give the players advantage, but on that later.
Our heroes have their standard helmet, body, legs, boots, gloves, trinket, and rings slots which provide the ability to equip each of the item type. However, in addition to that there is another system of items, similar to the charms in Diablo 2, called “Idols”.
The player can carry additional idols, each with their own affixes that helps the player in their adventure at the cost of free space. So eventually, having more idols means having to go back to town more often. This isn’t much but it’s an interesting mechanic and which be both rewarding and punishing.
Crafting is very similar to Path of Exile’s already excellent system: you get a base item and apply affixes to it with currency and mods obtained during the endless dungeon crawling. However, as we previously stated, this method is limited by the tiers that a player can craft.
The high tier items can drop and then modified similarly to any base item to gain the best affixes for the current build. This brings a genuinely nice balance to crafting vs dungeon crawling as some of the most powerful items can only be obtained via drops.
We, here at gamersden.gg, feel this is great and more games should have some sort of a system to push players between different types of content.
Skills, builds and theorycrafting
All of those are there, and then some. To be honest, there are just too many to go over in our Last Epoch review, but it is safe to say that it is there, it’s diverse and it’s very powerful.
As we previously say, every base class starts with their set of skills and abilities (usually 6) that play and stack in some way. After that, every mastery class or skill specialization can drastically change the way players approach their characters.
The endgame is Last Epoch is a very fresh change from the traditional approach of spamming greater rifts or maps. Here, the chosen approach is very much similar to rogue-like games. There’s a “tower” onto which you climb. Each map scales up in enemies count, difficulty and item drop chances. Once you die, you will need to start the climb all over again, and after each encounter you have the choice of continuing the climb or going back to your town and check out the loot you grabbed.
Last Epoch vs poe
We know a lot of gamers out there constantly compare games of this type to the industry giants: basically, Diablo and Path of Exile. However, it is important to note that Last Epoch is different from Path of Exile: every class has their own strength and weakness, abilities, and passives.
In PoE, you can theoretically make a bow build with a Templar which is not the case in Last Epoch. Last Epoch lets you concentrate on the items you find and craft rather than worrying about your build.
Of course, all these elements do exist in Last Epoch, they are just not as dominant as they are in PoE and as of this moment not worth covbering in this Last Epoch Review.
For veteran PoE players, this game will seem a bit “too simple” but not uninteresting. There is a place for crafting and theory-crafting on almost every item, build or skill. While the skills are not interchangeable between classes, they can be heavily modified in a way similar to support gems in PoE.
Last epoch vs Diablo 3
The UI and particle effects are noticeably similar to diablo 3’s. It is evident the developers of Last Epoch drew their inspiration from the ARPG giants taking the best of all worlds and combining it into something better. Admittedly, Last Epoch is not played as fluidly and smoothly as Diablo 3, but it does add a nice twist to inventory allocations, skills/builds and character scalability. In terms of lore, as of this moment, the story is pretty dry at the moment of writing this review. There’s an evil force; the evil force is trying to erase all living things. You are our only hope, Obi Wan. For those who liked Diablo 3 will feel rather at home in Last Epoch. At least at the start of the game.
Last epoch vs Grim Dawn
Grim Dawn players will feel right at home in Last Epoch. While Grim Dawn utilizes a different resource management system, the skill tree and character scalability are very similar: character attributes are driven by stat points and the skill trees built upon one specific base skill. Much like in GD, Last Epoch utilizes specific base items to allow character-specific spells or abilities (like guns in GD). Similar to our previous comparison, Last Epoch is not as polished as Grim Dawn but the potential and the essence of the next best ARPG are there, Hence our Last Epoch Review.
Last Epoch puts a nice twist to the traditional ARPG we’ve become accustomed to with Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, but it’s still rough around the edges. It’s clunky and buggy at times which, if you enjoy the fluidity of Diablo 3, is a bit cumbersome. It offers new ways to dominate the battlefield and control your character. It shines in originality but lacks in technicality.
With all this being said, we strongly recommend you play it just so you can feel for yourself the immense potential this game has to offer. We hope that this Last Epoch Review helped shed some light on this title
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