Ever since Grinding Gear Games first released Path of Exile on PC all the way back in 2013, many fans of Diablo-style loot grinding games have put thousands of hours into it, learning the ins-and-outs of Path of Exile’s combat and spell crafting. While I have not put as much time into the game as some mega-fans, I still enjoy the game’s addicting gameplay loop and deep RPG mechanics.
This year at E3, I was able to meet up with Grinding Gear Games and fight a couple of bosses from Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath, a free upcoming expansion that adds several new story acts to the game alongside some gigantic and intimidating new bosses, items, and areas. I played the expansion on the upcoming Xbox One version of the game, which felt good to control and will probably entice even more players into Path of Exile’s addicting gameplay loop when it releases this Summer.
I started in Act VI, one of the new story chapters, and found my character on a damp beach. After a brief dialogue exchange that showed I had once again been exiled from my home land, I began to fight my way through a ton of enemy crabs with my overpowered Duelist.
Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath doesn’t bring any new classes to the game, but that didn’t prevent me from having fun with the Duelist, spawning totems and destroying hordes of enemies in the process. I eventually made my way to the boss: a giant crab named The Brine King.
I had to get really close to deal any significant damage to The Brine King, and the Crab had some really powerful attacks that could kill me in only a couple hits, so I played it safe and used my health flasks often. As I started dealing more damage to it, it summoned a giant torrent of water and a large swarm of crabs that I had to fend off against while it was in an invincible animation.
Finally, after doing this a couple of times, I was able to defeat the boss (with tons of dead crabs around me). My loot roll was pretty bad, so I didn’t get much from the boss; luckily, I was quickly changed to a lighting focused Elementalist and moved on to the next boss.
I spawned inside a Cathedral, and got used to my new build. I could now shoot bolts of lighting, create an AOE electricity attack, and create a ball of lighting that could disperse my electricity attacks among a large group of enemies. After fighting my way through some enemies and getting used to this new character, the developers teleported me to the boss of that area.
It started off as a glowing statue; the boss wasn’t anything too tough, but would occasionally make the other statues come to life or spawn enemies to attack me. I thought I defeated it when I depleted it’s health — you know, like every video game ever. But just when I though it was down, it busted out into a godlike figure of light and attacked me. This was much harder than the previous phase; he would occasionally shoot out beams and balls of of energy that I would have to hide behind statues to dodge or risk taking massive damage. After a few deaths I was finally able to take it down, and I moved on to the next area.
I was now on a rooftop that was falling apart. I rushed across it, taking down any enemies that were in my way. I eventually made my way to the end of that long rooftop, and saw the boss of this area, a giant statue. It slammed its hand on the ground, dealing massive damage when it made contact. It was a really tough boss, but well designed. I defeated it and it fell, making me think I had won.
All of a sudden, the boss reemerged, apparently possessed by a demon, with a more hellish design. It attacked more violently and frequently, and I kept dying to it. I tried again and again to defeat it, but I could just not get past its constant bombardment. Unfortunately, I was not able to defeat this boss within my time at E3, but I am now looking forward to picking up Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath so I can settle my score with it.
Playing Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath on an Xbox One controller also felt good. While many PC players will probably prefer the more precise controls that a mouse and keyboard gives you, the controls felt good as a more console-oriented gamer. The game also ran well on the console, even when there were tons of things happening on screen, so the game’s performance on console doesn’t look be a problem.
If you have spent a ton of time with Path of Exile and have seen everything it has to offer, you are probably already anticipating The Fall of Oriath, and it doesn’t look to disappoint. All of the bosses I fought were well designed, looked intriguing, and had me on the edge of my seat when I fought them. There were some cool looking parts of the expansion that I didn’t even get the chance to mess around with, like Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath’s new Pantheon system that allows players to wield powers of the gods the defeat, so there definitely seems to enough content here to keep players returning to Path of Exile’s ridiculously fun loot and gameplay grind — I know I will be.