Ten, for some, is the perfect number. However, ten it's also the years since the release of Path of Exile, the famous roguelike online video game developed by the New Zealand Grinding Gear Games team, led by veteran Chris Wilson, who in this geological era for the video game industry has managed to thrill a large circle of players who have lived with Diablo, Sacred and other works of this kind. The production, which now has an ever increasing number of players, is one of the most played and long-lived in the world, in particular thanks to the vast number of additional contents spread in recent years.
I'm not just talking about the classic additions and various updates that Chris Wilson's work is famous for, but some massive and full-bodied DLC that add endless hours to a package that works very well on PC, as its real audience is actually on the most played platform in the world. After the attempt to bring production to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, however, the development studio interfaced with the console world, adapting the game system and controls to meet the needs of the many curious people who had heard of Path of Exile , but they had never explored it before. It was 2016, and at that time a full-bodied patch arrived, which gave players greater experiential stability on both PC and console.
On the other hand, the world created by Chris Wilson is fascinating and has a unique creation on its side regarding the creation of races and sources of power. His lands, distant but full of opportunities, in fact, there are three of the most iconic of the dark fantasy genre. The team, drawing directly from the imagination linked to literature and the inspirations of many productions, has succeeded in the complex attempt to build a land capable of fascinate, excite and accompany the players in the intricate way that leads to new alternative realities.
Wraeclast, the world invented by Chris Wilson, it is dominated by creatures of all sorts, a land of damnation and deprivation where few manage to survive and escape. The lore, which many know, is still expanding today as if it were a book by Brendon Sanderson that continues to offer page after page of new adventures to be discovered and experienced. After all, a lot of time has passed since I woke up on a beach, and my character is now a veteran of many wars and a thousand battles, fought for the greater good. In the land of the damned, however, there is no peace that holds, there is no silence that is not broken and there are no flames capable of not burning. An inhospitable world, ruthless and, for those who don't know it, fraught with dangers of all kinds. Although so many years have passed, Path of Exile still manages to draw me in, thanks to his way of telling stories through a gameplay capable of leading to addiction and excite in particular thanks to its changes and improvements.
Sacrifice of the Veal, Forsaken Masters, The Awakening, Ascendancy, Atlas of Worlds, The Fall of Oriath e The Lake of Kalandra: seven expansions, seven ways to tell a story and six ways not to leave the world of Wraeclast and its cursed lands. In recent days, however, I attended an event dedicated to the press where the new DLC dedicated to the work of Chris Wilson was shown, which responds to the name of The Forbideen Sanctum. And it's all a plan already, considering the slew of content that the New Zealand game designer has promised in the immediate future. But let's proceed in order, from the flames.
Discovering The Forbidden Sanctum
The Forbidden Sanctum (translated from English to Spanish) is an ancient enclave of the Templars, the strongest and most loyal warriors in the imaginative lands of Wraeclast. Hidden beneath the Fellshrine Ruins, inside is hidden an evil entity ready to show itself and threaten the whole world, waiting for the right moment to appear. The expansion trailer, in fact, opens with the herald entering a vast room similar to an immense hall that could accommodate anyone.
The protagonist, setting out towards the unknown, has a sword on one side and a shield on the other, and is already aware that the journey will not be easy at all. While watching the first part of the teaser trailer, I immediately noticed that the place is much darker and gloomier than the others I've played in the pastas well as distressing. The air is thick, the breath is heavy and the footsteps break the silence, while drops of water fall from the ceiling, as if they had entered the cracks in the walls as if they were looking for a source of redemption, impossible to find in such a place. littered with corpses, death and blood trails depicting still strong and powerful characters, able to both live in harmony, than to be at war.
But returning to the gist of the matter, The Forbidden Sanctum is certainly the most ambitious and courageous expansion of the team. I am referring, specifically, to the type of approach to tell the stories, leaving nothing to chance and consequently deepening their knowledge of the work. If in the past the production had set itself as a classic alternative video game to the Doom-like, The Forbidden Sanctum nevertheless embraces a roguelike style, a genre that is now gaining more and more success, especially thanks to some talented developers, who are treating the current in an original, different and sometimes even too ambitious way.
The Forbidden Sanctum, unlike the many other additional contents of the work of Chris Wilson, it is a structure that could test anyone who underestimated it. In playful terms, I'm talking about a roguelike and the presence of several Hades-style rooms to be tackled intelligently, considering every single gesture and type of approach. Of course, said so it seems easy, but it is not at all: the work, according to the mind behind the infernal wounds of Path of Extile, will in fact be complex to deal with and it will take many hours before seeing its conclusion. The timesor, since it cannot be considered otherwise, it is full of monsters, nightmare creatures and beasts ready to appear at any moment. It is inevitable, on the other hand, one cannot escape one's own fact, not even on it based on lies.
Like any self-respecting roguelike, The Forbidden Sanctum just seems like an extremely characteristic and special work, because it does not give up its peculiarities at all, even if in this case, to better understand the progress of the site, it is necessary to begin to understand where everything has been ours and how it can be treated. Meanwhile, I emphasize it once again: it's a rogulike. And to understand how one progresses in experience, the solution to every problem is Resolve, useful for anyone who has lost their way and doesn't know how to go back. Losing Resolve and dying instead returns you to your most recent save point, with game over always threatening and just around the corner.
The gifts, relevant to proceed inside the rooms, they will be of two types and will also passively involve Resolve. The minor ones, in addition to making things simpler, can even slow down the enemies and guarantee excellent maneuvering space, thus allowing the character to move more agile in the various arenas. The greater gifts, however, are very rare to obtain, but they are still useful because they give more strength to the Resolve and to the protective shield, which can be upgraded as the adventure progresses, che could be complex to live if the necessary countermeasures are not adapted.
A ruthless and fun roguelike
Some rooms of the Sanctum will also contain a fountain, utiles to restore the adventurer's vitality and stamina. And there are some, however, who can ask for a blood sacrifice. In this sense, the team was inspired by some of the most famous roguelikes on the market, thus making many of the mechanics present somewhat derivative from other productions. The final result, however, seems convincing to us, because there is a cure for them that rivals certain more famous productions.
I am referring to the Aureaus currency, the gold coins that the Templars used inside the Sanctuary to trade valuable goods, weapons and fabrics, which can be obtained from chests or from enemies, which can also be spent by the trader, an individual with great business acumen. This, however, is not the worst thing, because inside the Sanctum the player will be forced to enter into pacts that can give him bonuses or, alternatively, even malus. All'interno del Sanctum, obviously, it will be possible to obtain coins to spend in the original adventure.
Furthermore, each floor will contain a different boss to beat to advance in the adventure. Without spoilers on the plot of the game, the team ensures that there will be relics that can be unlocked at an unspecified moment in the experience, ensuring so many hours of entertainment. As for the endgame, there will be different contents and various improvements in view of the publication of Path of Exile 2, the next chapter in the magnificent epic created by Chris Wilson.
Furthermore, the team has promised further changes to the various Altars scattered around the game world, improving their effectiveness and simplifying concepts that could have caused enormous problems for anyone who has never heard of Path of Exile. Another curious addition, which replenishes the Memoria Atlas, directly concerns The Lake of Kalandra expansion: once the sequences have been applied, these unlock memories that tell the story of various NPCs. While it has nothing to do with The Forbidden Sanctum, it is still something to underline, as it further expands the imaginary and theirs of Path of Exile and one of the best-made additional content of this long epic.
Another novelty, which could appeal to many, is the introduction of the new skill gems, with some of them enhancing the melee combat needed to get rid of enemies quickly. Two new skills, however, are the beating heart of the experience: the Volcanic Fissure, a new fiery slam to be used with Staves, Maces and Axes and with unarmed attacks. And just hit the ground, causing a chasm that silhouettes towards enemies, swallowing them into oblivion.
Frozen Legion, on the other hand, is an unusual spell that instead summons a ring of ice statues capable of vanquishing enemies. However, it is better to use it with knowledge of the facts and intelligence, because anything could really happen during the experience and the most impervious combat phases. Fifteen unique items will be introduced, each different and powerful in its own way, obtainable during battles with the expansion's bosses and others throughout the Path of Exile experience. One of the best examples, in my opinion, concerns Progenesis, a unique amethyst flask made by Ben and available to Uber Maven, which grants a good defense against beastly attacks from enemies. Chris Wilson also declared the addition of an Alpha mode called Merciless, a more difficult and brutal way to deal with both the Path of Exile experience and the expansion The Forbidden Sanctum, which dramatically increases the hours of game within this immortal production, now in its tenth year in absolute top form.
What to expect from Path of Exile?
I talked about the biggest news, the most curious additions and a roguelike system that could excite new players as much as the veterans of all time, che has been playing Chris Wilson's production since 2013, year of its publication. Since then, as I mentioned before, a lot of time has passed and the video game of the New Zealand development studio has undergone improvements and new important additions.
The future of Path of Exile, now projected towards the second chapter of the franchise, is absolutely in good hands. In fact, there is everything we could wish for from a work that still has so much to say, from a close-knit and talented team that has always enhanced its flagship video game in the best way, never falling into petty and brutal microtransactions. which is great news. The Forbidden Sanctum, which has already presented itself in an exciting trailer, could be a valid reason for many players to pick up the adventures set in the Wraeclast. Considering all the additions, it might be a good time for me to sharpen my blades and put on my armor once more. Fight, However, awaits me.