Last Epoch is an upcoming hack and slash ARPG which has a massive potential and some interesting features that are worth looking in. Can this game potentially replace Diablo or Path of Exile? Let’s find out in this article.
Most of the games have the same Core-Gameplay and Last Epoch is no exclusion. But apart from these games, Last Epoch features Time travel between different Eras, in-depth variety of skills and passives customization, Monolith system similar to Diablo 3 Greater rifts, Reworked Idols (similar to Diablo 2) and simplified crafting.
Last Epoch features 5 playable characters: Acolyte – as Long-range necromancer who utilizes curses, minions, and dark magic; Rogue – Classic close/mid-range character with agile abilities for daggers and bows; Primalist – Known as a melee warrior who uses Elemental magic, Shapeshifting and nature to defeat enemies; Sentinel – Melee warrior or tank who can stand against many foes with his defensive and holy skills or become a void knight; Mage – Mostly long-range character with many crowd-control and area of effect abilities.
Each character has 3 unique classes that can be later mixed together to create unique builds.
What is Good in This Game?
After playing Last Epoch for 2+ hours, the game starts to offer a lot of different features to the players without overpiled information on the screen. In case you are lost, the game also offers a detailed in-game guide to explain everything. Below, you will find the most important features of this game. For now (in Beta 0.8.2) Last Epoch doesn’t feature Multiplayer mode, but it will be added soon enough in the next updates.
Skills and Passives
Players can progress naturally by doing quests and killing enemies, as in all other ARPGs. With each level, characters unlock new abilities and open the possibility to spend talent tree points into one of five “main” abilities for your hero.
All the skills have their own unique trees, but only 5 of the skills can benefit from this Mastery feature and after reaching level 49 for the 5th slot.
Leveling is also fast, so you can get to know your class better in no time. The game allows to respec all of your points for free in case you misclicked something or changed your mind. Last Epoch doesn’t punish players for their mistakes (at least until the end-game content)
Some of the characters (for Beta 0.8.2) are still in development and miss one final class specialization, but there is still plenty of room for experiments.
The crafting system is well executed and is less complex than in Path of Exile. You will not be overflown with massive amount of information to keep in mind.
The UI is pretty straightforward. You can play any item in the window (except for Legendaries) and change its attributes with the reagents that drop in the game world.
Each item can have up to 4 different attributes (2 offensive and 2 defensive) and can be upgraded to new tiers or replaced with something else.
The key feature of this crafting is Instability which adds with each upgrade to your item. Instability can be reduced by scrolls before crafting. Many of these items can be dropped from any enemies, including bosses.
If the item fractures, you will not be able to upgrade the item further on. But Fracturing an item will not destroy it completely. You may just lose some attributes and the ability to reforge it.
Any item (except legendaries) can also be destroyed for extra reagents or randomly rerolled to different affixes by using Runes.
If you have played Diablo 2 before, then you should be familiar with this feature. Instead of keeping these permanent buffs (charms) in your inventory, developers decided to allocate some space exclusively for Idols.
To place more idols in this window, players must play throughout the story. Plenty of these idols can be found later on randomly from enemies, bosses, or even Shrines. Some of these idols can drop for different characters.
Story in Brief
As for the story, the storyline is easy to follow but there is not much uniqueness here at least for now.
In brief, the story is tight to one world called Eterra which was for some reason corrupted by the void. Our hero is the chosen one and able to travel between timelines to possibly save this world from irreversible destruction by the void.
and while doing this task, our hero will search for the answers and participate in the local conflicts because of the mad emperor who rules this world.
Many of these zones are still inaccessible to the players (possibly for future updates) but you can get an idea of how big this world is.
Plenty of the zones to visit are located in the Ruined Era, while the Ancient era – is almost empty and mostly not connected to the story.
As for the Quests, the choice is predetermined. The player has no impact on the story, but it is still quite an interesting adventure to follow.
The whole end-game process is tied to 2 main activities – Endless Arena, and Monolith of Fate.
Monolith of Fate is the main end-game activity in this game. Similar to Greater rifts system in Diablo 3 or Expeditions in Wolcen this mode is endless and allows you to master your character.
In this mode, Players clear several repetitive maps at the increasing difficulty for different rewards – gear, reagents, idols, runes, arena keys, and experience.
These maps have a fixed layout filled with different types of monsters and objectives to complete. It is not necessary to complete all echoes on the map as they are limitless anyway. Many of these maps will only help you to reach the final boss of the monolith and receive new powerful rewards. If you die during the Echo playthrough, the reward disappears.
Each completed map called Echo will generate some stability bar. After reaching a certain point, it will unlock up to 3 Quest Echoes which must be finished to progress to the next Monolith. The final 3rd quest will challenge players with th boss fight and a permanent Blessing as a reward after defeating him.
These Blessings are stored (up to 10 max) in a separate menu and work permanently for your character. Many of these buffs provide additional bonuses such as experience, increased drop rate, resistance, or elemental damage. The complete list of all Blessings is available here
The second mode – Arena is self-explanatory – It features an arena full of enemies to kill until your hero eventually dies after a certain wave. To access this Arena – Players must gain the Arena key first, which can drop after completing Monolith echo.
As part of the end-game, you will also have to study crafting and idols in-depth to reshape and maximize the power of your build. I have already described these features in the previous section.
Few words about this game stability – It is average. Last Epoch is still in the beta stage and it is understandable that it might have some bugs and instability issues. In my case, I have not encountered any game-breaking bugs or crashes to the desktop at all.
However, there is one major problem with this game – GPU optimization. This game literally eats all 4Gb memory (in my case Geforce 1050ti) even after the initial launch and it occasionally frame drops (even on low graphic settings) during some of the boss encounters and huge mob density.
I know that my GPU is outdated but it has seen more visually impressive games than this one and with an appropriate FPS.
The developers are working on the fix for this problem
After playing this game for 20 hours I can highlight several pros and cons as follows:
- The game has a huge variety of different skills and talent tree customization opening more options for new builds and you can freely respec your tree at any time
- The atmosphere and music are done well for immersion, but this immersion is partially ruined because of the absent feeling of impact for attacking skills and minimal interaction with the objects
- Crafting system is intuitive and not bulky
- Fast leveling
- Plenty of different kinds of bosses throughout the story mode
- Monolith of Fate is a good time-killing activity to master your character
- Last epoch lacks impactful gameplay. There is no such feeling most of the time like in Diablo or Wolcen for example when you blast an enemy with a skill, and you completely feel the power of this impact
- Graphics look generic. First introduction maps and Ancient era look gorgeous but all other maps with sand and void look faded and empty
- As the game doesn’t have stunning visuals, it still manages to frame drop average GPUs and overheat it
- Arena mode is boring and not rewarding
- Animations and sound design is not perfect yet, but Devs are working on it
Last Epoch has enough potential and the developers are constantly updating their game. With these updates, additional chapters, new items, side quests, and timeline zones, it is definitely aiming for 9 out of 10.
For now, This Early Access version is still moving in this direction, and it is hard to tell, what the final product will look like. It is definitely worth every penny, and you should give it a chance and try this game for yourself.
I am definitely recommending you to try out this game. If you are interested, you can check out my video review down here.