Last Epoch – A Worthy Pretender to the ARPG Throne

REVIEW – A breath of fresh air on the ARPG scene, Last Epoch brilliantly straddles the friendly waters of Diablo 4 and the depths of Path of Exile, while adding its own flavor of innovation to the gameplay. It’s more than just another hack-and-slash; it’s a game where every corner of the design is an outstretched hand to the player, offering an arsenal of tools to not only fight, but to triumph in the face of challenge.


After five years of development and refinement, Last Epoch is not just hitting the market, it’s stepping into the void between Diablo 4 and the upcoming Path of Exile 2 like an unexpected hero. It’s the creation of a group of people who found each other in the depths of the Internet through a shared passion, and the result? A game that will instantly find a home in the hearts of veterans and newcomers alike, while setting new milestones in gameplay, variety, and innovation.



The happy medium between two separate classics


Last Epoch is a game that strikes the perfect balance between two ARPG giants, Diablo and Path of Exile, while bringing a new color to the genre with its own unique ideas and approach. This game not only reinvents familiar mechanics, but also gives every player the tools to successfully navigate its many challenges and adventures. You’ll feel like you’re being guided through the game by an experienced companion, always on hand to give you the best advice throughout your adventure.

As you immerse yourself in the rich and varied world of Last Epoch, you’ll quickly realize that there’s something new to discover around every corner. The game deftly balances easy accessibility with deep, thought-provoking gameplay, offering new challenges and opportunities at every turn. It’s also priced to appeal to a wide range of players, fitting right in with the big-name competition on the market.

The real magic of the game lies in the fact that it’s there to help you in every situation, whether it’s interpreting equipment stats or devising the most complex strategies. It’s as if a wise mentor is guiding you along a perilous path, constantly shining a beacon of light in the darkness.

As you delve deeper into the game’s dark world and experiment with your own abilities, you’ll realize Last Epoch’s deeper message: you are the creator of your own destiny, capable of overcoming the greatest obstacles. The game encourages you to discover not only what kind of hero you want to be, but also what sacrifices you are willing to make to win.

The Last Epoch is not just another stop on the player’s ARPG adventure. It’s an exciting journey where every decision, every battle is an opportunity to grow and evolve, and where even in the darkest of darkness there is a glimmer of hope – if you have the courage to face it.



Customize your hero!


In the world of Last Epoch, character classes and their various specializations offer players a truly colorful palette. You don’t just become a hero out of the box; the game gives you the opportunity to create a completely unique character, whether it’s a mysterious Lich who conquers with his own poisons and shadow magic, or one of the branches of any other class, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Class choice is made early on, leading to strategic decisions: you choose a path that determines your hero’s skills and direction of development. The wide range of skills available ensures that everyone can find a fighting style that suits them, whether they are a master of destructive spells or a champion of direct combat. This part of the game is extremely flexible, allowing players to experiment and adjust their strategy as they play.

Last Epoch isn’t just about collecting powerful equipment and defeating enemies; the deeper layers of the game are about character development and fine-tuning skills. Of particular note is the crafting system, which allows players to customize their own gear, adding depth and personality to the gameplay experience. This element is like an artificial laboratory where the possibilities are limited only by your creativity.

In this sense, Last Epoch is an adventure where your choices shape the world and where you can discover the light in the depths of darkness. It’s a game that’s challenging but rewarding, especially for those willing to dig deeper than usual and shape the hero they lead in their own image.



Craft the way you want


Last Epoch’s crafting system is all about upgrading your gear with shards, which you can collect in abundance throughout your adventures. If you need a specific type of shard, simply smash the gear you don’t need to get the pieces you want. The process is governed only by the “forging potential” of the shards and items available: each time a shard is installed, the potential is randomly reduced, and when it runs out, the item can no longer be upgraded.

You can also trigger forging on the go, so if you find an item with good stats that you don’t want to use, you can dismantle it immediately. Your collected materials will end up in an unlimited repository, where you can drop off all your collected materials with a single click. There’s also a handy sorting feature that instantly organizes your inventory, making it easier to find what you’re looking for and leaving more space for more important things.

Rounding out the system is the Last Epoch Loot Filter, which allows you to customize what loot you see. Developed by Eleventh Hour Games, the filter is extremely user-friendly, allowing you to quickly change settings even while you’re playing. This makes it easy to highlight or even hide certain equipment to enhance your gaming experience.

This approach takes the gaming experience to a new level, allowing players to tailor the game to their exact needs without getting lost in a sea of loot.



Story is sometimes frivolous – sometimes too clichéd


I know I’ve spent what feels like an eternity talking about equipment, abilities, and stats, but those are the heartbeat of Last Epoch; it’s a game about creating incredibly exciting, powerful, and personalized heroes, and it’s unbeatable at it. But what about the story? Last Epoch, thanks to the eponymous relic, gives you a special ability: you can travel through the cracks of time across five different eras – from the roaring of the mammoths, through the glorious age of the gods, through imperialist splendor, through the ruins of the future, all the way to the end of time (I said we’d get back to that).

This journey can be a bit confusing at times, especially in the early stages when you’re bouncing around in time, with each timeline throwing an avalanche of made-up names and factions at you. However, as if under a Final Fantasy-like spell, the story of Last Epoch later finds itself and becomes much more focused and streamlined, suggesting that this may be due to development during Early Access. If you were expecting the cinematic narrative of Diablo 4, you may be disappointed, but there are still some exciting highlights in the form of boss battles.

And then there’s the story, which can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a serious drama or just a fun game. You have to make decisions all the time, but almost every decision is infused with some kind of sarcastic or sometimes thought-provoking humor, which gives you the feeling that the characters themselves don’t take the events too seriously, but rather are just participants in a strange adventure. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – I even laughed at times – but despite the ominous threat to the world, there’s a sense of sincerity to it all that may not be to everyone’s benefit.



Diverse quests, diverse monsters


The world of Last Epoch offers a wide variety of adventures in which you’ll battle everything from dinosaurs to space gods. How I somehow managed to end up tied up in a sewer surrounded by rats – well, some things never really change.

If The Last Epoch is sometimes a bit confusing in its themes, it makes up for it with a lot of variety. This is especially important in a game that you want to play for hours, maybe even hundreds of hours – variety is refreshing. The visuals may not be up to the highest, triple-A standard, but personally I’m still captivated by the visuals.

The combat system is distinctly pleasing; perhaps not as precise and tight as its closest competitors, and noticeably lacking the dedicated evasive movement that Diablo 4 and Path of Exile 2 offer, but there’s enough movement to make it a non-issue. Special praise should go to the clarity of incoming attacks and threat signage – animations of major enemy attacks and “get out of here” signs on the ground are both easy to spot in the heat of battle, avoiding the frustration that an unexpected attack can cause. Descriptions of enemy modifiers are also clear and concise, so you can quickly gauge what challenges lie ahead.

Last Epoch’s campaign is a real test of the game, and it’s important to keep your equipment up to date – especially around the eighth chapter, where elemental resistances can be key. When you fall, the game will inform you of the type of damage you’ll take from the fatal blow. Fortunately, the aforementioned crafting system and loot filter make it relatively easy to fix any defensive shortcomings, allowing you to get a taste of the endgame content before you complete the main story. After a short detour, you can quickly get back on track.

The endgame is the part of the game where Eleventh Hour Games says you’ll spend most of your time, and it’s divided into three main parts. The Monolith of Fate is the foundation, where you progress through a web of levels, completing objectives and eventually taking on story missions to increase the difficulty and potential rewards. Each Echo presents you with unique challenges that sometimes persist across multiple levels, so you’ll need to plan your path wisely. After completing a full timeline, you can earn a permanent bonus for your character. This system is not new to the world of ARPGs, but if it works, why change it?



When the arenas are fun


The second stage of Last Epoch’s endgame is the Arena, where we get the thrill of surviving the endless waves. It’s also where we see the leaderboards, so if you want to show you’re the greatest king, this is where you can prove it. You can make the competition even more fair by filtering by class, mode, and number of players.

The final big hit is the Last Epoch dungeons, which reflect the genius of Eleventh Hour Games. Each labyrinth offers unique challenges and special rewards, such as the Lightless Arbor, where you must keep a flame alive during battles, or the Soulfire Bastion, where you must use an elemental shield to survive. And the real treat is the Temporal Sanctum, where you’ll have to jump through time dimensions to solve puzzles and defeat your enemies. Finally, there is the Eternity Cache, where you can craft the game’s most valuable items.

But Last Epoch has one more surprise in store: the Object Shards. You can choose to join the Merchant’s Guild, which allows you to trade, or the Circle of Fortune, which increases your chances of looting, but you can’t trade. This system strikes a fine balance between the needs of the community and the needs of individual players.

Last Epoch is not just about combat challenges and treasure hunts, it is also a rich, strategically deep world where every decision counts and players can choose unique paths to success.



Excellent interface


Last Epoch’s usability is also top-notch: friendly help is available in almost every corner if you don’t understand something about the game, and also in terms of usability. Think back to the Diablo 4 storage issue: while there are five storage slots available, Last Epoch generously gives us hundreds that we can buy for gold, customize, re-color, and even sort into folders. Not only does this system far surpass Blizzard’s title, but it also offers many more options than we had in Path of Exile.

This thoughtfulness and convenience is present throughout the game. If you’re looking for spells that match your ice-themed abilities, just type “ice” into the search box and it will highlight all of your relevant passive abilities. Not sure what level your items are? Press Alt to get all the information, including possible stat ranges. This transparency and accessibility ensures that you never miss anything and can experiment with confidence.

As you navigate through the campaign and endgame challenges, Last Epoch makes sure you see the path ahead every step of the way, rather than groping in the dark. This not only gives you a deeper understanding of the game, but also encourages you to return to the world of adventure with new characters. The game is not just a one-time experience, but an ever-expanding universe where there is always something new under the sun.

In terms of the endgame, Last Epoch offers plenty of options, but Eleventh Hour Games must continue to innovate with seasonal updates to keep the game fresh and exciting. The issue of load times and cosmetic microtransactions are still a point of contention, but they don’t detract from the overall positive experience.

All in all, Last Epoch is a game that offers something new not only for fans of the genre, but also for players looking for convenience and ease of use. With a promising start, the community can look forward to seeing what new adventures Eleventh Hour Games will add to this already fascinating world.



A true rival to the two classics


A common debate among fans of the ARPG genre is whether Diablo 4 and Path of Exile are true rivals, as each takes a distinctly different approach. However, the arrival of Last Epoch is a fresh new twist that has the potential to be a direct competitor to both games, while also offering an attractive alternative for fans of the genre. For those looking for more depth and variety than the immediate experience offered by Diablo 4, or for a game that offers the complexity of Path of Exile in a shorter timeframe, Last Epoch could be an excellent choice.

Future developments such as Path of Exile 2 or new additions to Diablo 4 may change the current situation, but it is clear that all three games can be played together, each offering a unique experience. Last Epoch is especially recommended for those looking for a deep, mechanically rich ARPG that can innovate and push the boundaries of the genre while bridging the gap between novice and experienced players.

In conclusion, Last Epoch is not just another ARPG on the market; it is a game that wants to stand out in its own right, inviting players to innovate and create a unique gameplay experience. The fact that Eleventh Hour Games has been able to create a game that balances accessibility and depth to provide an immersive experience for all is a truly remarkable achievement.

-Gergely Herpai (BadSector)-


+ Deep character development system
+ Player-friendly design and guidance
+ Innovative loot filter and crafting system


– The story can be contradictory at times
– Limited character models and customization
– Endgame content can quickly become monotonous for some players

Publisher: Eleventh Hour Games

Developer: Eleventh Hour Games

Style: Action RPG (ARPG), hack and slash

Release: February 21, 2024.

Last Epoch

Gameplay - 8.2
Graphics - 8.4
Story - 7.4
Music/Audio - 8.6
Ambience - 8.4



The Last Epoch is an ARPG with remarkable innovation, combining deep character development and player-friendly design. While there is room for improvement in terms of storytelling and character customization, the game's mechanics and innovative loot filtering system make up for these shortcomings. The Last Epoch could be a promising choice for both veteran and new ARPG fans looking for a rich and challenging gaming experience.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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