Grim Dawn one of the easiest ARPG titles in recent years
Published 19/03/2016 | 00:00
Grim Dawn is a hack 'n' slash action role-playing game set in a fantasy world that has been ravaged by a monstrous invasion. It has been stewing in Steam Early Access for quite some time but is now designated as 'content complete' and is due a full release next month - though you'll get pretty much everything if you buy it right now.
Grim Dawn is set in a vast world that never strays too far from a grim, gloomy, yet thoroughly appealing presentation. Disregarding the obvious lack of lack Hollywood-esque cinematic cutscenes, it wouldn't be a big leap to suggest that Grim Dawn shares quite a few similarities with the likes of Diablo II and Titan Quest.
There's nothing wrong with having similarities to such titles - they are fantastic games, and it is commendable that developers would create a title harkening back to the days of serious-minded gritty ARPG's, but Grim Dawn sticks to the tropes of these games of old with an unshakeable conviction that strips the game of any humour whatsoever.
That isn't to say that Grim Dawn is a bad game, in fact it is a great title - if you are willing to treat the story as a mere sideshow to the incredible amount of action and exploration. Grim Dawn's class system is so achingly perfect that it sets the game head-and-shoulders above pretty much every other ARPG out there.
Each of the classes: Soldier, Nightblade, Shaman, Demolitionist, Arcanist and Ocultist, can be mixed with any other provide a wealth of cross-class opportunities and unlike other games to do this (including Titan Quest, from which the idea was borrowed), there's an incredible amount of support for the various builds through the game's itemisation. Beyond this, the game's Devotion system, which allows points earned from restoring sacred shrines to be invested in star sign constellations, allows for further character development.
There's a huge amount of attention that's been paid to giving players control over their characters and creating a genuine sense of cause and effect in the game's decisions. Sometimes it can mean the death of innocents, or a betrayal from within, or even a quicker route through the game's story, but choices always have an impact.
Grim Dawn, whilst gritty is beautiful to behold, both in terms of the aesthetic and the extremely solid, balanced and tight gameplay. While the story, brutal difficulty and general darkness of the title might not be to everyone's taste, this is one of the easiest ARPG's to recommend to serious gamers in recent years.