Grim Dawn Discussion
As for the review, the game runs off the rather interesting Titan Quest engine for appearance and class-building. You can stay solely in your first class you choose, though after level 10 you are given the opportunity to blend a second class. These choices are permanent, class-wise, though the game offers an in-game option for 'buying back' skill points to redistribute. There are honestly no "bad choices" for class-building here. You can go pure Occultist and be a master of the chaotic energies inherited by the class, summon a powerful hellhound and have your raven familiar at your side for defensive boosts and damaging lightning blasts. On the other hand you could be the sort to blend Occultist with Nightblade and be granted a dual-class title of "Witch Hunter". Blending the aspects of Nightblade's high-damage swordplay and dual-wielding specialties with the Occultist's life-stealing glyph and weapon-speed boosting aura.
Now, on to challenge. The game starts off rather weak-feeling. They sorta swat you with a pillow-laden bat. Though after the first ten to fifteen levels the game definitely takes the pillows off and starts smacking you with that aluminum bat - depending upon your class. Typical tank-builds might find it easier to solo-play, though people taking the glass cannon route might find themselves fine-tuning often. The challenge thus far into my 15+ hours invested within the game is good. I am playing solo as a rather flimsy but high-damage character who wreck his opponents before they can do much damage. Though I'm not helpless, I have my summons to distract lesser minions and my heal-skills. So it's much like any RPG, training wheels make you feel awesome until they get pulled off and you're expected to know the game. There is a downside to this as the game doesn't explicitly give a tutorial on classes, most of this I had to find out on my own. So that is a massive con for those not versed in Diablo/Torchlight style gameplay.
Now for what you're all waiting for, graphics! The game looks dated sometimes, though is exceedingly charming in how much detail is invested into the little things. I found myself swirling the camera view around to read the sign to abandoned shops and various places of note. Giving devotion to actually scrawl down the bar's name on it's sign out front does well to give the game some form of living background. After all, it's the end of the world and this used to be a thriving town, lets see evidence it -was- a town in those small details. Character appearance is rather dated, though stylized very well. Looking at clothing and armor that is styled to the gunpowder-era style world we're in, long trenchcoats and junk armor from scrambled bits recovered. The appearance over all is dated, but in that charming way to lend the appearance of "yes, this world is on it's last threads, you won't be looking like a clean-washed shining hero".
Blending with graphics is the overall atmosphere. I'm only 15ish hours into my solo playthrough. Atmospherically the game does it's task in looking like a dark fantasy setting like Diablo. Demons, wraiths and undead run amok just as the beasts and mutations of this world on the edge crawl closer towards the dwindling light that is the final survivors and refugees. You get chances to actually voice a character-style opinion no less. Moments when you can actually say "no" to a quest and go on your own or respond to a sadistic remark with noble-style thinking. The inverse is present as you can choose to be out for yourself at a few choice moments, after all, it is the apocalypse. Though thus far the actual "choices impact the world" feature of this game remains to be seen, and I will comment upon such if I'm able after I beat the game!
Now, to the nitty gritty. Is it worth buying? Being a 25 dollar game and all? Well, I gladly say it is, I popped the cash to buy three copies for my friends and was eagerly shouting "Look at my dark fantasy, it's got guns, magic and a unique world - try it with me!" So here I am running two characters, one for solo play and a second one for co-op. Which is fun. The cooperative play increases rewards, loot is instanced so everyone gets gear, and enemies get stronger to keep people working together. In the end, the game as it sits is worth it with it's bleak setting. The story is very bare-bones in telling you much, though I can only say that at least it explains why very early on, and leaves you open to interpret your character as you see fit. Which is a big, massive win for the Role Playing element in Role Playing Games.
So yes, I recommend this game!
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