Marty here with another medieval review, this is more of a first impressions review as the game is still in early access.
Today we're looking at something exciting and that is a brand new ARPG, Last Epoch developed and published by Eleventh Hour Games.
I got to say, now is a fantastic time to be an ARPG fan, we have Diablo 4 on the horizon, diablo 2 remastered and path of exile 2 is still showering us with new leagues and trailers for its new expansion.
If you like ARPGs consider joining the Medieval Army, either the website or the discord. However, these games are still far away, so I was looking for something new to try rather than play through season 23 of diablo 3.
So Last Epoch, what is, is it fun, should you buy it or is it a broken early access mess? So let's get into this. Broadly what is Last epoch?
Last Epoch came into early access on steam in April and has released a lot of content fleshing out new chapters of the game and added, improving and balancing their characters. The ARPG side plays like most others in the genre, you pick a character, progress through the prologue and then each chapter (similar to diablo 3). The difference here is the Era system, throughout the story you will get the opportunity to travel across different time zones, so fighting dinosaurs in a prehistoric era to some post-apocalyptic future era. and the zones and maps you play are spread among these different eras.
Last Epoch Characters:
The characters in Last Epoch are a real breath of fresh air because they do something I like and that's sub classing. Some games do something similar with gear or skills. But in this game it's very similar to MMORPG's like World of Warcraft, where you can be a druid, but can spec into a shapeshifting animal, a natural healer or a mystical damage dealer. And the characters here do the same thing, once you hit the 4th act you have to choose a spec for your class.
Due to this being early access, not all specs are completed and available, but right now we have the following 5 classes
The Acolyte which is one of my favourites can spec into a warlock, lich or necromancer. warlock is not available so you choose between lich or necromancer, I turned mine into a lich and had a spell that turns you into a grim reaper, this was super fun, and the build played off being at low health and cursing enemies, I'd recommend this for everyone to try.
Then you've got the rogue, that can be a blade dancer so upfront DPS, or a marksman with arrows. The third slow again is locked being the falconer.
A super cool class next is the primalist - this was the first class I tried and it's so fun. You can go shaman where you're a nature damage dealer, beastmaster, where you summon raptors, tigers, and more. I turned mine into a druid and got the ability to transform into a werebear, a really cool idea, but I just didn't like the playstyle.
Next is the sentinal, a very cool idea you can go paladin or void knight, basically dark paladin or forge guard - not too sure what that one is.
And finally you have the typical mage, where you can be a runeblade, sorcerer or runemaster, but he seems to be the least developed out of the 5 classes.
Overall, I LOVE the classes and the class system in Last Epoch, I think they could take more risks, with the rogue and the mage as they feel the least unique. But I mean we still haven't seen the third spec for them both, so that could be a unique play style. But yeah overall the classes in Last Epoch are incredibly unique and fun to play.
Skills and Stats in Last Epoch:
The next big thing that I wanted to cover is the skills and stats in Last Epoch because they're very different to how most other ARPG's do it. So you unlock skills from levelling up - and then you have a branching skill tree, nowhere near as advanced as Path of Exile, but there is something special here.
You unlock skill tree points as you progress to unlock addition skills and then you have a separate system to level up your skills. You can choose a skill and master it, and start morphing it. So for example on my primalist, I chose to specialise in a savage leap ability, and after putting loads of points in it, I unlock an ability that meant when I leapt all my pets would leap with me - very cool.
Another example on my lich, I had a spell that summoned ghosts in an area, by specing you could change it to the ghosts fear the enemy, or they spawn on you instead of the enemy, they throw spells at the enemy, or they deal a different kind of damage - super cool stuff. You can spec into say a spell and increase its damage, increase its area of effect, turn it from holy damage to fire damage. Really cool interactions, I can't go over them all because literally, every spell in the game has a unique skill tree with bespoke abilities.
This is easily my favourite and coolest feature of the game and something that is making me want to try tons of different builds.
The gameplay of Last Epoch:
If you like ARPG's this is everything you come to expect, some bugs here and there, some polish needed with a couple of spells, but overall, it plays great!
Fighting mobs feels impactful, smash the ground they fly away, you throw a fireball they react and the bosses are awesome - I found a really good challenge most of the time, and I rarely feel like it's too easy. like I mentioned as well with the different types of era's there are plenty of different maps with different monster types. The aesthetic of the game is just very dark and eerie, much like PoE style and I'm all for an edgy game like that.
You get 4 spell slots, which in my opinion isn't enough and you a left-click right-click, so it's basically the same as diablo 3 - but for some reason, maybe my builds have had big cooldowns because I've always wanted another button. Nevertheless, the combat is great, with tons of spell and stat varieties and aside from it being in early access, it absolutely slaps!
There are many other systems which I cover in my video review, so please check that out to see the gameplay and for a more detailed review:
Overall Review of Last Epoch:
My first impressions of Last epoch in early access; the classes and subclasses are some of the best I've ever seen in an ARPG. I love picking a subclass and speccing into specific spell trees. The world and story is awesome jumping from prehistoric to weird dark world futures is so cool.
The gameplay feels as smooth as you would expect from an ARPG and it not only meets expectations but it has its own really unique style on top of that.
Picking flaws, the game does still have bugs and the price feels a little steep compared to competitors. However, the game is in early access and every day and every patch on from here the flaws will be removed and the game will just keep getting better. I'm really enjoying this both on and off stream and I'm going to keep playing it for sure! I want to get fully invested into endgame and want to level all the different characters to at least act 4 where you pick their specialisations.
So yeah amazing game, even in early access, I highly recommend getting Last Epoch even now in early access, if the price puts you off just wait till its finished or goes on sale. If you like ARPGs there is definitely a lull right now between the big IP outside of the new PoE league, so this definitely scratches that itch.
Again feel free to check out my video review for further details and consider subscribing to my YouTube channel for reviews on games like this as soon as they are released!
Medieval Marty is the creator of the Medieval Army and has an unhealthy obsession for medieval fantasy games and MMORPGs. For more coverage of medieval game reviews, guides or news please check out the YouTube channel:
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