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While the graphics have received updates over time, a lot of the visuals still lack polish you'd see in most AAA games. Some textures are fairly low res, certain character models look weird when they have armor on, and the animations feel somewhat stiff and clunky. You probably won't notice this during active gameplay, but when you stop for a moment to look around it becomes painfully obvious. See More
While the gameplay might feel a little slow and clunky in the beginning, it gradually picks up speed as you progress, allowing you to swiftly destroy large groups of monsters with any skills you choose. Whether you're shooting ice arrows with your bow, freezing and shattering every enemy on-screen, or if you're cleaving enemies with a massive axe, causing them to bleed and explode on death, it just feels incredibly satisfying. See More
The game heavily punishes any experimentation for new players. Unless you have near perfect understanding of late game and the various viable build-options you are more or less unable to experiment your way into viable builds (and the options for correcting mistakes are limited at best). So, unless you are fine with having to scrap a bunch of characters for being sub-optimal, you are more or less forced into following player-made guides to learn the game rather than through engaging with the game itself. This may or may not be a problem for you. See More
Path of Exile is set in a dark fantasy world where everything is gradually becoming worse. At the foreground, you have the massive continent of Wraeclast that once was the home to a flourishing empire, but now is a place filled with the undead, evil spirits, ruins, and echoes of the past. To make matters worse, malicious entities from another dimension seek to corrupt the world and its inhabitants, giving birth to disfigured monstrosities that seek to end you. The end result is an immersive setting with dark motifs, body horror, loads of gore, and a very tense atmosphere, which is refreshing in an era dominated by family friendly content. See More
It takes an exceptionally long time to get any wealth, useful items, or access to endgame bosses in this game. You endlessly farm the same maps, hoping you'll get lucky with a few good items, but that usually won't be the case, which can be really discouraging to keep playing. This is made worse by the fact that your character progression comes to a grinding halt near the upper 80s of character levels, requiring you to buy insanely expensive items to feel any progression at all. If you don't like grinding, you'll get quickly bored of Path of Exile. See More
There's quite a lot to learn when starting to play Path of Exile. There are the mechanics, the crafting system, and the skill gem system. However, the most intimidating factor is the massive skill tree with over 1000 skill nodes, 6 classes and 19 subclasses, allowing you to create hundreds of unique builds. Unfortunately, creating a functional build is really difficult, taking hours of theorycrafting, so it might be better to stick to guides as you're starting out, unless you're fine with possibly messing up. See More
You can just download and install the game without any purchases. On top of that, there are no pay-to-win mechanics and the only things locked behind paywalls are cosmetic effects, pets, and additional storage space. You can easily play the game for hundreds of hours without spending a dime. See More
There's a staggering amount of builds and skills you can try out in Path of Exile. There are 7 classes, 19 subclasses, 194 active skill gems, 107 support gems, and over 1000 skill nodes on the expansive skill tree. As a result, there are hundreds of possible combinations, allowing you to spend hours theory-crafting just to create the perfect build. Even if you don't feel like planning out a build from scratch, you can just look up one of the many guides online and get straight into the action. See More
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Interacting with certain objects starts a long, drawn out animation. For example, when interacting with the front door to walk outside, Chris puts on his coat and boots very slowly, and this animation is repeated every time you want to venture outside. Similar repeated animations are used throughout the game on various objects and quickly become annoying. See More
Utilizing the Unreal 4 engine, it looks fantastic and is a definite step up from previous entries in the series. Environments are highly detailed with a level of polish that really helps draw you in. Especially notable is a sequence during which Chris "visits" an alien world to face his nemesis - the backdrop and scenery are absolutely incredible and beautiful. See More
There is a noticeable absence of story related choices. While there are dialogue choices peppered throughout the game, none really have any long term effect or change anything. There is only one major choice you have to make near the end of the adventure, and it doesn't influence the way the story unfolds nor the ending. See More
The central character dynamic is Chris's relationship to his father Charles, and how they're both coping after the death of Chris's mother. Chris often loses himself in childish superhero fantasies, but tries his best to still help his father with household chores. Meanwhile, Charles is having trouble getting over the death of his wife and has turned to alcohol and hangs on to old memories of his sporting days to cope. The interactions between the two are often impactful and emotional, with his father often quick to anger, and Chris retreating into his fantasy world. See More
For example, at one point Chris wants to break into a storage locker he finds in the garage. If you do, there are additional story elements, but it is not required to complete the game. Only by paying attention to the environment and the objects you examine will you piece together the combination for the lock. There are several puzzles like this that reward you for being observant of the game world. See More
When interacting with objects, Chris sometimes has the option to use his "superpowers" on it. When throwing a log on the fire, he pretends that he is starting the fire with his mind. When turning on the TV, he intently stares and focuses as it turns on, but then the camera pans to show he is holding the remote control in his hand. These "superpowers" can be used on many different objects throughout the house, and gives what would be otherwise boring interactions a level of charm and humor. See More
The adventure revolves around nine year old Chris and his superhero fantasies, which he uses to escape reality, as he goes around the house playing with his toys, getting into mischief, and doing chores for his drunk father. For example, when the hot water heater is out and he is tasked to turn it back on, Chris pretends it's an evil monster in a fantasy world. His dad's truck is a spaceship used to visit far off planets. He acts out mini-adventures with his toys who become evil villains. The garbage pile out back is his maze with a hidden treasure. Almost every otherwise mundane situation is shown from the viewpoint of an innocent and creative child, whose superhero dreams manifest in everyday interactions. See More
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