by All About Games in

Last Epoch became one of the most high-profile games in February. It seems that everyone is talking and writing about it – the new Diablo killer, which started as a fan project and went through Kickstarter, has a peak online on Steam (more than 150 thousand players) five times higher than Diablo IV. Let’s figure out how good the game is, and in what ways it really is better than Blizzard’s latest brainchild.

About the plot and atmosphere

Many comments about Last Epoch boil down to the seemingly rhetorical question: Why did I spend money on Diablo IV? But if we talk specifically about the plot, then for us the answer is obvious – you paid to see one of the best (if not the best) plot productions in the history of the genre. The growth in in-game services also shows how popular the Last Epoch game has become. For example, the last epoch boost service is in great demand among players because it allows you to develop faster, complete events well, and receive cool prizes. 

Many players, however, consider the plot of the game to be quite banal. It is clear that the script of Diablo IV also is not so fabulous in the dark fantasy genre, but everything there is redeemed by the level of production and elaboration, atmosphere, and attention to detail. However, Last Epoch also has pleasant moments – an abundance of side quests and the ability to move between time eras almost at any time (according to the plot or at your discretion). We often find ourselves from dark casemates filled with undead into picturesque green locations, where we fight ancient creatures and lizards. And here it’s a matter of taste – do you like more concentrated dark fantasy or this patchwork quilt of different styles? In any case, from the point of view of a single playthrough, Last Epoch is really good. In Last Epoch, on your first playthrough, even in hard mode, you will quickly rush through crowds of enemies, shredding them in the most sophisticated ways, and will encounter virtually no strong resistance. There are, of course, slightly more complex situations – you can be transported to an ancient era and there you will come across a huge dragon, with whom you will have to work harder than usual. Or releasing sealed magicians from portals – this is where you can die for the first time in the entire campaign if you are not careful. However, in general, it’s also nothing critically complicated.

About endgame and co-op

Even at the beta stage, many asked to make the Last Epoch campaign more difficult. The authors have added a Masochist mode, where you take much more damage and deal much less, but it is not available on the first playthrough. And in general, it is obvious that Last Epoch is a game primarily for the endgame, and here it is already closer to Path of Exile, although it still falls short of it in terms of the amount of content. The main course in the endgame is the Monolith of Fate, which can be somewhat called an analog of the Atlas from PoE. In fact, this is a network of dungeons and tests in special locations, and timings, which are complicated by modifiers, as well as the mechanics of damage and shadow. Not everything is simple, but the point is that the higher the timekeeping damage, the more difficult the tests, but also the cooler the rewards. The main reward is the ability to choose blessings for the character, which constantly improves certain characteristics or increases the chances of rare items dropping. 

In fact, during the story campaign, by the middle of the campaign, the inventory is filled with a bunch of yellow items of increased rarity, many of which are sold or thrown away – although there is nowhere to put the money. But in the endgame, the increased drop rate is really important. You can also clear dungeons, which also have special conditions, modifiers, and four difficulty levels. They require special keys, and clearing such catacombs allows you to skip part of the campaign, which is especially useful when playing through the same Masochist again. Plus an Arena for leveling up your character by annihilating waves of enemies. The Monolith of Fate, the dungeons, and the entire story campaign can – and often should – be played in co-op (supports up to four people in a group). This will allow you to raise your friends’ levels (although there are restrictions there) and will give them access to the endgame, bypassing the lion’s share of the campaign – if you have accumulated a lot of keys to dungeons. But here you need to remember that the larger the group, the fatter the enemies. Only players on normal difficulty will be able to revive each other. At the same time, you are given one attempt to visit the Monolith of Fate, and after death, you will have to start all over again. And friends, as you already understand, will not always be able to help. In general, the endgame in Last Epoch is perhaps more hardcore and interesting than in Diablo IV, although in general everything is fine there. The game has 76 points on Metacritics and fans’ reviews are very positive.

Of course, in terms of overall gameplay and variety, Last Epoch looks preferable to Diablo. We are already not talking about the price – this is a more democratic and at the same time very deep action/RPG. It’s important that Last Epoch, originally a fan project, achieved such results by finding an almost perfect balance between the causality of the latest Diablo releases and the hardcore of Path of Exile and Grim Dawn – it is certainly a bright event in the genre. Now many people know what they will be doing at least until the release of PoE2.

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