Last Epoch: An Early Access success?

Better than D4?

I bought Last Epoch the other day, and already I've sunk more time into it than I think I have Diablo 4!

It's an independently made ARPG very similar to Diablo (1-4), Path of Exile, Lost Ark etc. It sits in a middle ground between Diablo 4's very simplistic approach, and the PhD you need to maximise your time in PoE...

Levelling is fast, and the gameplay is pretty smooth. And so far I've been levelling a Sentinel, which is the Plate class in the game. As each class is levelled up you can further specialise in one of three different choices.

For Sentinel those choices are:

Paladin: Exactly what you'd think it is. Holy Plate Warrior dealing Holy Fire and Melee damage.
Void Knight: Think Death Knight on steroids.
Forge Guard: A spec that can summon weapons to do damage.

The Masteries of the Sentinel Class
Choosing your Sentinel Mastery

Each class in LE has similar choices, and there are 5 classes currently:

Sentinel: Paladin / Void Knight / Forge Guard
Mage: Sorcerer / Spellblade / Runemaster
Rogue: Falconer / Marksman / Bladedancer
Primalist: Shaman / Beastmaster / Druid
Acolyte: Necromancer / Lich / Warlock

As you can see there are some spec and flavour overlaps with World of Warcraft, which lends a sense of familiarity, even if the gameplay is completely different - for example Beastmaster is more like WoW's Survival in how it plays, as it's a melee spec that does indeed use pets like Bears, Raptors etc to do damage.

Better complexity

The increase in complexity with Last Epoch comes from its talent trees. Each class and mastery have their own talent trees, which are similar to World of Warcraft's in that you choose certain abilities, go down different branches and flavour your spec to your personal taste.

Going further than that, you can specialise up to 5 skills as well, which gains those abilities their own Talent Trees, which are handled in a similar manner:

I've put about 7hrs into the game already over the past 24 hours, which needless to say means I've been enjoying the game immensely. Because of this I sprung for the Ultimate Upgrade. This just features a bunch of cosmetics such as pets (think non-combat pets in WoW) and armours, but helps show support for the independent studio Eleventh Hour Games that created the game.

It's actually still in Early Access at the moment, but not for much longer. The full 1.0 release goes live on Weds 21st of February.

Is it all positives?

Not entirely. The graphics aren't quite on a par with the fidelity of Diablo 4, and changing maps can take a bit longer than you'd hope (sometimes up to 20 seconds) which the Devs have said is on their to-fix list.

Other than that though? It appears to be a lot more fun than Diablo 4 in every other way. To say I was disappointed with Diablo 4 after pre-purchasing that Ultimate Edition is a massive understatement.

Experiences like that, and pre-ordering Starfield are the main reasons I'm ultra-wary of pre-ordering other games now, but that's a whole other article in and of itself.


The game is pretty cheap and comes in three different flavours:

Standard: £29.50
Deluxe: £42.50
Ultimate: £55

Compare that to Diablo 4, which was roughly twice that amount...

Each Edition comes with increasing number of cosmetic pets & armours, so if you're not a fan of cosmetics then you can safely skip the higher cost versions and go for the standard edition, and not worry that you're missing out on content - there's no season pass or battle passes here.

In Closing

Overall it's a really solid purchase, with plenty of content. Similar to Baldur's Gate 3, this has spent a considerable time in Early Access, which has ensured that there is that good amount of content, that there are no show-stopper bugs, and that gameplay is fun, fluid and fast. 

Well worth a purchase if you're an ARPG lover!