Last Epoch - PC(Steam) Review

Last Epoch by developer and publisher Eleventh Hour GamesPC(Steam) review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes 

A tale across time and space, in order to protect the future of the world. Last Epoch is a sort of more traditional hack-and-slash with some modern amenities added in. A good old action RPG with a lot of customization and plenty of options to play your character. Let's take a bit more in-depth look at it.

Last Epoch tells a tale of traveling through time to prevent the end of your known world. Using shards of an artifact left by a long departed being of great power, you are flung through time, attempting to make the world a better place, one step at a time. Along the way you will meet some interesting characters and learn more about the fate that plagues your future. Are you up to the task, or will your journey end in nothing but another dead end future?

Last Epoch is a very interesting title that gives me a lot of nostalgic vibes from some of the games in my my aged collection, albeit with a much more modern presentation. Old school Diablo, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, and a little bit of Chrono Trigger thrown in as well, mostly for story related purposes. You'll be exploring a number of different biomes, fighting off different types of creatures; some natural, and some not, as you explore on your quest.

The control scheme of Last Epoch consists of point and click movement with different attacks being assigned to the Q, W, E, R, and right click. As you defeat enemies, you'll be earning exp that will let you level. As you level, not only do you earn stat points, you also earn points for your abilities, both passive and your active masteries. While you may start out with just your basic attack to get you by, as you level you unlock more skills to be used. Some of these are "free use", and others come with resource costs and cooldowns. Once you hit a certain point in the game, you also unlock a "class" mastery, giving you access to new attacks skills and passive trees.

In addition to the skills earned from leveling, you also earn skills by putting points into your passive trees. A set number of points will unlock a new skill. In addition to this, you can choose skills to "specialize" in every set number of levels. You have a big skill tree full of nodes you can put earned points into, which can alter your skills in certain ways, such as changing the elemental damage type of the skill, to improving it, such as more damage on hit.

Basically what I'm trying to get at here is that there is a lot of customization. For example, I built out a wizard that focuses on fire damage, but you could specialize in lightning or frost instead. Or you could go for a more up close build. There are three different class masteries per basic class type, meaning there are fifteen different classes among all the character types. Add into this the amount of different builds you can work with and there's a lot of room for customization to do what you want to do.

Last Epoch functions are largely similar to any Diablo type game you've maybe played. You roam around exploring and fighting monsters and enemies, collect loot, wear loot, sell unneeded loot, reforge loot with ability shards to bolster your gear, and go back into battle again. You have a lot of different equipment slots and abilities that can be affixed to your gear. A little frustrating when you only get physical damage bonuses while playing a purely magic based wizard, but what can you do?

As a cool side point, while most of your skill points are probably earned through standard combat, there are also side quests that award character stats or related unlocks or bonuses, which is a nice incentive to actually complete the side quests other than for just basic rewards. I know one of my personal; biggest pet peeves in a game is completing a side quest at a time when it's relevant and receiving very little worthwhile for it. Thankfully that isn't an issue here.

Whether you decide to play on your own or with friends, Last Epoch is definitely and action RPG that delivers. The combat felt fun and making builds was exciting, the storyline is interesting and not just there for filler, the loot drops felt pretty decent, despite my poor luck, and the crafting system is basic enough not to be frustrating, but with enough utility to make it certainly worthwhile.

To add to the package, the ambiance, graphics, and musical tone play nicely together to frame the area you're currently making your way through. Whether it be gardens overrun with killer plants or a cavern full of eldritch horrors, the areas definitely suit their themes.

Good news to all you new to the style of gameplay: it's accessible for both those used to the genre and those new to these types of games. There's an in-depth in-game reference guide that helps explain things, which can be linked in the in-game chat so you can reference things, or have them referenced to you. Also, based on what I've seen, most people in the community are more than willing to chat about questions you have or their experiences.

Overall, I'm extremely happy to have had a chance to play Last Epoch. The sheer amount of customization available to you, the different build types you can make, and the engaging storyline all great points to highlight the quality you get from Last Epoch. I can definitely say, if you're a fan of ARPGs or Hack and Slash type games, Last Epoch is certainly a title to have on your radar.

Score: 9 / 10


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