Grim Dawn Review

Grim Dawn was early access for awhile and it finally released this year. How is this Diablo II clone? 

The Great:

Gameplay:

Grim Dawn is a top down CRPG that plays a lot slower than Diablo III, but at the same speed of games like Path of Exile, and Torchlight. It’s a dark fantasy game that has us travelling around a open world killing a ton of different enemies. Grim Dawn’s gameplay is fantastic and it’s not as over the top as Diablo III’s.

The skill tree might look simple at a first glance, but when you consider the fact that this game has a level cap and that you can’t max out every skill like you can in some other games you’ll be more careful about what you spend your skill points in. Once I reached level 10 I was able to choose a second class to specialize in and that opened the game up a lot more because I had access to a second tier of abilities from a completely different class.

Graphics:

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At first I wasn’t really impressed with the graphics in this game. I thought it looked okay, but was a little disappointed in the starting area. Fast forward about 40 hours later and I fell in love with the graphics. Every location has a distinct look and that really added to the experience that I had. I went from a dank swamp to zombie infested caves. Everything after the starting area looked fantastic and it’s one of the better looking CRPGs out there in my opinion.

Loot/Customization:

Customization and good loot is what CRPGs are all about and there is plenty of both options in this game. If you’ve ever played any other game in this genre you’ll know how important loot is in a game like this and thankfully there’s plenty of it. There are guns, swords axes, spears, shields, wands, tomes, etc. I could keep going, but I think you get my point. There’s a lot of shit in this game and it’s all good. Finding legendary items is awesome and really makes my character feel stronger after I equip it and they look really cool too.

The Good:

Sounds:

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The voice acting in this game is horrible. It’s easily one of the worst voiced games to release this year, but everything else is pretty good, but not really great. Every gun that I fire always sounded the same, the new skills that I unlocked and tried out in battle sounded okay, but it’s nothing that I haven’t heard before in other CRPG games. The soundtrack is good, but it’s nothing special and I won’t go out of my way to download the soundtrack. The overall sound quality is decent and that’s enough for me to put it in the good section of this review.

Boss Fights:

Grinding, getting sweet loot, and fighting big ass bosses is what CRPGs are about. They’re never about the story or voice acting. I’ll admit that I was little let down by the boss fights in this game. I expected more, but they’re not bad by any means. They just can’t compete with bosses from Diablo III or even Path of Exile. Grim Dawn’s boss fights were tough, on some occasions, but a good majority of them went down with very little effort. Having those moments on knowing that if I die that’s it in Diablo III is what kept me on my toes. I never really worried about that in Grim Dawn.

The Bad:

Story:

The story here is laughably bad. CRPGs have come a long way and I expect to play through a decent story these days. The Van Helsing Trilogy, even though it ended on a bad note, told a good story and it added to the game. The story here is horribly acted, and is bland all around. I never cared about the fate of the towns that I came across or what happened to anyone that I randomly ran into while out questing with Lunaliah.

Not A Fan Of Some Of The Old School Elements:

Diablo III changed the way I look at games in it’s genre and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still king. Path of Exile throws out a bunch of stats that I’ll never bother looking at because I just don’t care about them. How high is my defense, attack, and crit rates? That’s all I need to know because I won’t bother reading a wall of text about my characters stat screens. It was stupid back then and it’s dumb now too.

I also don’t like the clunky inventory management system. I was hoping for something more modern, but I guess the devs have to cater to that old 1990’s nostalgia crowd so…

It’s Really Slow…

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After playing Diablo III for so many years it’s hard to go back and play other CRPGs. Diablo III is a lightning fast game that plays fantastically. Grim Dawn’s gameplay is great, but it just can’t compete with Diablo III and I don’t see myself sticking with this game like I have with Diablo.

There’s No End Game:

This is the biggest problem I have with Grim Dawn. What does Path of Exile, and Diablo III have? A good end game that gives the players something to do after they complete the game. What does Grim Dawn have? A few high leveled areas after you complete the game, but that’s it. There is nothing to do after you complete the game that really affects it’s replayability.

The Verdict:

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Grim Dawn is a great game that does a lot right and little wrong. There’s no end game, but the game just released this year and it took Diablo III, and Path of Exile awhile to get to where they are today. I think that in another year or two Grim Dawn will be a fantastic game that can hold it’s own against other CRPGs, but right now it can’t. It doesn’t have enough content and has low replay value with it’s lack of end game content.

Even with it’s lack of end it’s easy for me to recommend this game to everyone. It’s great and it’s worth playing through. It’s also getting mod support soon and that’ll only increase it’s longevity.

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Author: Drakulus

I'm a hardcore gamer that enjoys every type of genre there is. I'm also a father of four kids, two girls and two boys, and love to write about whatever pops into my head.

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