Now with end of free weekend for Grim Dawn, I managed to squeeze about 20 hours in and finishing normal difficulty with veteran setting.
But before i begin doing short review for Grim Dawn, i would like to stay when i replaying Titan Quest again 2 years ago, i cant get into it anymore because on how slow the game progression are, to a point where I have to mod the game myself to make it much faster (there is fastest setting, but still not fast enough) which I made potion cheaper, extra exp per kill and much faster movespeed / atkspeed / cast speed.
The short word I can say about Grim Dawn is : Im disappointed.
Not because it is a bad games, but the similarity between this game and Titan Quest is too much. And judging from design, it feel like a game from 2010s, from skill design, quest design, itemization, and lack of QoL that I have with several ARPG i played. I really want to go at least more than my usual review on why I felt that this wouldnt be a game that I want to purchase unless the game have some sort of GotY with all expansion.
World / Story / Setting:
I cant say much about the story because i mostly skipped all of the dialogue, but what I got from couple of the story is the world are suddenly invaded by green crystal? monster? ghost? that overrun the world. So human band together in group (or factions) to ensure their survival. I believe in order to prove yourself not an evil person, you walk around doing quests and slaying monster. As for world setting, this remind me so much of other ARPG i played. Everything feel dark and depressing but it feel doesnt big and grand either.
Pick 3 core skill, and get all passive or mana reserved stuff. This is main reason why I disliked TQ design when I think back about it. It is lacked of active combat skill (mostly mobility) where the gameplay is feel less tactical and more toward facetanking. I made a 2hand weapon druid (shaman and...i forgot the elemental tree, anarchist?) so I just pick 1 main skill, 1 secondary and 1 facetanking helper. And i killed the last boss with minor dodging. Speaking of bosses, it doesnt feel grand, and forgetable that it doesnt feel like end of act when defeat a boss. The devotion system i liked, which added much more customization which TQ lacked in general (stat + weak skill design), but... everything is Proc-fest.
Faction system and dialogue choice is neat addition, although Im not sure if it fit in ARPG world without much narrative aside from getting specific loot from specific faction. I didnt managed to fully utilize them since I didnt get too high faction rank. But I can see that there are even more customization option for your gear behind higher tier and level requirement. Additionally, I like the ability to craft certain component now, although I didnt use much aside from creating the ....artifact? charm? that give passive bonus. With addition of crafting component, there are several stuff that was added into the game as some sort of keys item (dynamite, shard) which i feel weird, because most of them are rarely hard to come by and it only limit from venturing that optional area, until you got enough level anyway. The one I couldnt manage to clear was the skeleton key area, which all 3 have been 5 level higher than mine, which is tough as I didnt focus on survivability.
Grim Dawn tread the same path like Titan Quest, that couldve do a lot of more improvement but didnt. Again, not a bad games but i dont feel it as modern ARPG should be (grimdawn release after 2015 iirc). I believe many aspect from Titan Quest overshadowed this game by miles, although grim dawn win on skill proc variety. If you havent play titan quest, I recommend this.
Alternative ARPG that I played: Diablo 3 (most casual, best combat engine), Path of Exile (more depth than many other), Van Hellsing series (ok this is quite bad optimized game), Victor Vran (which have several system I liked), Titan Quest (grander world setting, boss fight), Torchlight series (cartoony, but boss fight in no2 is neat)
Im sorry if I rushed this game too much and didnt give full analysis until third difficulty. But throughout there games, there are many times that I feel like want to stop playing and doesnt care about the game at all. Mostly lack of feeling that you progressed by getting new skill or getting new interesting stuff. Now this is done, I can go back trying to 100% Assassin Creed Origins and the DLC.