Path Of Exile Review: Lost In The Skill Forest

EXT. The Mud Flats

Pete trudges through a swamp. Every few paces, he stops to fire an arrow at a reanimated corpse aimlessly wandering the area. Each topples over with a groan and hits the muddy water with a loud splash.

Pete: Hey, I've earned a few skill points. I wonder where I can use those.

Path of Exile: You put them in the skill forest. Here, look:

Pete: What the hell is that, a circuit diagram?

Path of Exile: It's a map of all the passive skills in the game! Your class determines your starting point on the map. Just click the adjoining nodes to purchase skills.

Pete: Sounds simple enough.

Path of Exile: Ew.

Pete: What's wrong?

Path of Exile: Nothing! Nothing at all. The whole point of the game is that you make your own unique character. There are no wrong decisions.

Pete: Okay.

Path of Exile: I'm rethinking the whole "no wrong decisions" thing.

Pete: Where am I supposed to be putting these points?

Path of Exile: It depends on your goal for your character.

Pete: I've been playing for an hour. Ranger seems fun.

Path of Exile: Elemental Bow Ranger? Frenzy Crit Ranger? 2H Spectral Throw Ranger?

Pete: I shoot arrows.

Path of Exile: ...

Pete: I'm gonna grab Ballistic Mastery. It sounds useful.

Path of Exile: No, don't do -

Path of Exile: Fine, whatever. Have fun in Merciless Difficulty. You're gonna get torn to pieces.

Pete: Can't I respec when I finish Normal mode?

Path of Exile: Respec? This isn't Knitting Simulator 2K13. This is a hardcore game.

Pete: So I'd have to make a new character?

Path of Exile: It'll only take you like 20 hours to beat the campaign a second time.

Pete: I don't have that much time.

Path of Exile: You could farm Orbs of Regrets to clear your skills, too.

Pete: How long would that take?

Path of Exile: 19 hours.

Pete: Fuck that noise.

Path of Exile: Well, I guess you could get by with a sub-par spec if your gear is top-notch.

Pete: Is it hard to get good gear?

Path of Exile: It's much easier than Diablo 3. It's not all luck-based. You can find currencies that let you tweak your items so they're perfect for your build.

Pete: That sounds convenient.

Path of Exile: For example, you can get an Armourer's Scrap to improve the quality of armor or a Blacksmith's Whetstone to improve a weapon. Or a Glassblower's Bauble to improve a flask.

Pete: Okay

Path of Exile: Or a Jeweller's Orb to reforge the number of sockets on an item. Not to be confused with a Chromatic Orb, which lets you reforge the colors of the sockets on an item. Also not to be confused with an Orb of Fusing, which reforges the links between the sockets.

Pete: Is that everything?

Path of Exile: There's also Orbs of Transmutation, Orbs of Chance, Orbs of Alchemy, Regal Orbs, Orbs of Augmentation, Exalted Orbs, Orbs of Alteration, Chaos Orbs, Blessed Orbs, Divine -

Pete: I don't -

Path of Exile: - Orbs, Orbs of Scouring, Mirrors of Kalandra and Eternal Orbs.

Pete: I think I'm just gonna beat it on Normal and call it a day, okay?

Path of Exile: Okay. Having fun at least?

Pete looks back the way he came, at the long trail of undead corpses riddled with his arrows.

Pete: Weirdly enough, I am.

Players: 1-6

Platforms: PC

Developer: Grinding Gear Games

Publisher: Grinding Gear Games

ESRB: Mature


Pete Haas

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.