Intro and Gameplay
I remember the day. I remember the day I fired up Diablo for the first time on my old Windows 95 gaming box. I believe it was a Pentium 133mhz with 32 megs of RAM and a 400meg hard drive. I should fire it up because I've got it sitting right next to my 4K gaming rig, complete with the 17" CRT monitor I played that day. It was a day I started to fall in love with ARPGs, as I am sure was the same for millions around the world. I have played Diablo II more than I care to admit and while I enjoy Diablo III, there's just something... missing. I started following Grim Dawn years and year ago, (2009?) when it was first announced. While I was stoked to see a true ARPG come to light, I was starting to give up hope on the project.
Well, here we are and the fully funded, Kickstarted, tweaked, tested and polished product is here and oh what a doozy it is! Let's cut to the chase: Grim Dawn is the game that Diablo III should have been! It's got tons of great loot, ghastly baddies, a huge world filled with beautiful vistas and dark, dank dungeons and it's got skill trees. SKILL TREES!! Yep, it's the classic ARPG near perfectly balanced in a fresh coat of paint and a few tricks up it's sleeve. Yes, your clicking finger will need to be exercised and prepped. Yes, some of the areas wear out there welcome a bit too fast but overall, this is an immense and detailed world, ready to be blasted, blooded, and plundered. It feels solid and the weapons, feel and sound oh so powerful just as they should be. The selections of classes is also fantastic ranging from Warlock to Shaman to Soldier and since you can choose two classes a la Titan Quest, the possibilities are endless. I won't spoil any more for you but let's just say if you love old school ARPGs, stop reading and get this game. NOW.
Graphics and Sound
Titan Quest was released 10 years ago and it still looks fantastic. It also natively supports all aspect ratios and configs that I tried. Since this is an upgraded engine of the that game, and as you can see from the screenshot above, this is truly a piece of eye candy that I will keep sucking on for the foreseeable future. As I mentioned, the vast amount of ground you cover in your adventures and lopping off of heads is mind boggling, especially for the small team that pulled this off. In 4K @ 60FPS, I have very little to complain about but moreso, I caught myself staring at the art before me. This game is DARK meaning, it's not afraid to have very little light in a dungeon so take that you rainbow colored and low poly competition!
If there is anything that is a bit lacking, it's the hit and miss voice acting. I was expecting AAA and while some characters are great, I hereby volunteer to voice any of the characters that are not currently recorded. Hit me up Crate ;-) Otherwise, this is a powerhouse production of solid club bashes, spells that sizzle, beasts that growl from the depths of Hades, and frogs and crickets buried deep in the swamp. This is a stunning achievement in sound for once again, such a small team. Props!
Fun, Value, Conclusion
Well, this game was a long time coming and to sum it up: It's well worth it! Not only is the game extremely fun, it's lengthy, meaty, and $24.99 on Steam, it's an absolute steal. Honestly, while some games release at double the cost, this is true gaming value and a trend that I can't wait to see others (try) to live up to. In a day and age where there broken, unfinished games releasing at $59.99, this is the title that deserves our support as gamers. Well folks, this is the ARPG I've been dreaming about and I'm stoked to try another class to completely switch up my style my second time through. Trust me peeps, this should be in every gamers library and is a towering success for Crate and their team. Expansion much?