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Path of Exile 2 Impressions at Summer Game Fest

Path of Exile 2 artwork of a heavily armored knight with a serrated cross-shaped greatsword rallying unseen troops

My time with Path of Exile 2 at Summer Game Fest began with the age-old question: among warriors, archers, casters, and the like, what character class would I choose to play? To help with my decision, the menu came with nifty previews of the skills that each of the twelve classes would unlock down the line. I chose the Sorceress, and had a great time spamming fire, lightning, and ice spells at hordes of enemies.

I’m glad I chose the Sorceress, because trying out these spells and how they interact with each other became one of the highlights as I played through the introductory sequence of the isometric action RPG sequel. For example, conjuring a wall of flame and shooting sparks of lightning through it would charge those lightning sparks with fire as they bounced toward enemies. Another particularly fun spell involved the ability to raise two undead skeleton pals that followed me around and helped me in battle, often protecting me in fights before I even realized enemies were coming!

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. In the portion of Path of Exile 2 that I played, my character navigated mostly dangerous environments while engaging in combat, looting items like equipment and other goodies, fulfilling quest objectives, and leveling up to strengthen spells and attain passive upgrades via a skill tree. Loot and inventory management seemed to be the name of the game here, with new spells even being tied to staves that my character equipped.

After a short opening area accustomed me to the fighting mechanics, I came across a small camp of downtrodden NPCs, with one member of the group describing their dour conditions as “they were surviving but not living.” They pointed me to my next objective of exploring the forest and introduced some lore regarding the surrounding area. The NPCs were all fully voiced, which was a nice touch.

One quest involved hunting a vicious monster called the Devourer in a nearby set of tunnels, which proved to be my first look at a substantive boss fight in the game. These serpentine tunnels contained various mud monsters that would leap from the walls and often catch me off-guard no matter how many times it happened.

From spawning various smaller enemies for support to erupting from the ground and projectile vomiting poison at me, it made for a hectic and fun fight. Conveniently for me, a checkpoint was available right before the boss, allowing me to jump right back in after a failed attempt. After a couple of tries, I managed to beat the boss and got some cool loot to boot!

In my remaining demo time, I also explored the forest for a bit. While I only saw a small portion of the game, what I did get to play showed me Path of Exile 2’s appeal. Blasting through enemies, getting new gear and spells, and otherwise strengthening my character was a great deal of fun. Though I played solo in this instance, the fact that the title will allow for couch co-op and cross-play with friends down the line makes me excited to imagine the chaotic possibilities. The combat felt honed and responsive, the world interesting and full of surprises to discover, and the progression satisfying and rewarding.

Path of Exile 2 is expected to enter Early Access on PC, macOS, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 by the end of this year. You can wishlist the game now on Steam. Thank you to Level Infinite and Summer Game Fest for the opportunity to check out this demo build!

More Path of Exile 2 Screenshots

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Mario Garcia

Mario Garcia

Mario joined the Social Media team at RPGFan to help spread his love for RPGs. When he's not hopping between a bunch of games and growing his ever-expanding backlog, he's running, traveling, and spending time with his loved ones in true power of friendship fashion.

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