PAX South 2019: Last Epoch hands-on preview

Is this loot-based, crowdfunded dungeon crawler shaping up well? We go hands-on with Last Epoch and find out.

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Last Epoch from Eleventh Hour Games drew enough of a crowd to get over $250,000 pledged on Kickstarter on a goal of $210,000 and it also consistently drew a crowd at PAX South 2019. A solid loot-based action RPG can really get the blood flowing, so I had to check this one out.

My combat and exploration experience was pretty straightforward. I wandered through a conflict between two sides, helping to defeat enemy units as I can across battles. There were also non-aggressive creatures that wandered the dungeon and I fought against a couple of them. When I chipped their health down, they took on the dark form of monstrous creatures I’d come across, but that’s something I’ll have to learn more about in the full game.

I only got a very brief taste, but there were a handful of quests available in the opening area. Conversing with NPCs was slightly clunky, but I imagine this is something that will be addressed as we get closer to launch (the game is currently in alpha).

The most intriguing aspects of Last Epoch thus far are the parts that will allow me to shape the unique character of my choosing. The game features five classes: Knight, Mage, Primalist, Rogue, and Acolyte. Each of those has three Mastery Classes that allow players to specialize. For instance, Primalists can focus on being Druids, Beastmasters, or Shamans. Further, every ability in the game has its own skill tree. I played as a Mage, but I didn't play enough of the game to really get a feel for the different types of builds.

last epoch loot based dungeon crawler action rpg

Early animations and models are rough, but there’s a lot of intriguing depth to the character classes, mastery tree, and individual skill tree. I got a glimpse at the specialty trees and, overall, it feels like players will be able to shape exceptionally unique archetypes as they progress through the game.

If you’re interested in checking out this title, there are some post-Kickstarter Last Epoch supporter packs available for purchase on the official Last Epoch website. Certain tiers feature alpha demo access, so those that really believe in the game and are willing to invest can try it out and help the development team polish the project before launch. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.

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