Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Nov 8, 2013
    Path of Exile is one of the best FreeToPlay games action rpg at the moment. Deep, challenging and with a very dark ambience, the game is a worthy Diablo successor.
  2. Dec 13, 2013
    The best hack’n’slash I've played in recent years. If the visuals are not the most important aspect for you and what you crave is a juicy adventure in a growing world (subsequent acts are on their way) full of monsters to slay, skills to acquire and loot to collect, you need to give Path of Exile a try. [13/2013, p.60]
  3. Dec 19, 2013
    The world has a grimy, grungy, uncomfortable feel to it that constantly makes the player feel slightly off just for inhabiting it, which is appropriate given what goes on. Every person and object looks like it's at its lowest point.
  4. Oct 25, 2013
    I can't say what their future holds as I'm not much of an economist (nor am I really a magpie). But I can say I've had many, many hours of fun in a game that still has much more to show me and which all of us, right now, can play for nothing at all. We're being spoiled.
  5. Oct 24, 2013
    Deep, dark, challenging, uncompromisingly hardcore: Path of Exile is so much more “Diablo” than the official Diablo III. And it comes for free, too.
  6. Dec 20, 2013
    We recommend Path of Exile only if you already have solid group of friends, or if you just want a free pastime and don't want to spend money on better, albeit slightly unoriginal, titles like The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Torchlight 2 or the Diablos series itself.
  7. Nov 19, 2013
    Path of Exile’s loot collection and combat looks and plays like others in the genre, but its innovations have widespread effects separating it from the competition. Its multiplayer longevity is difficult to predict, but as a campaign-driven action-RPG, Path of Exile succeeds.
  8. Nov 6, 2013
    Path of Exile is a unique game. Not because of its contents, because we’ve seen all of that before and many times done better, but simply because it’s a full featured dungeon crawler that’s completely free. Especially Diablo 2-fans shouldn’t miss out on this.
  9. Jan 3, 2014
    Path of Exile surprises in many aspects. Speaking of an action Diablo-style RPG, it's considered a chestnut. However, the New Zealand developers pleased us with complexity, ideas, and especially with unique gameplay.
  10. Nov 8, 2013
    Considering that Path of Exile costs you nothing beyond some Internet bandwidth, it provides an embarrassment of pleasures.
  11. Feb 8, 2013
    I would have liked a bit more variety.
  12. Oct 28, 2013
    Path of Exile is a fascinating and a really big game and simply talking about it can take hours. The game is focused on online gameplay and even though you can play solo, the most fun comes from adventuring with some friends. Path of Exile is a must have for all Diablo fans. It offers dozens of hours of great fun and does that completely free of charge.
  13. Nov 8, 2013
    Path of Exile successfully captures the spirit of older action RPGs and updates it for an experience that's as visually appealing as it's fun.
  14. Nov 29, 2013
    A very solid ARPG that brings some of the genre's best elements together mashing them up into a melting pot of free to play goodness.
  15. 80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  16. Oct 23, 2013
    Path of Exile is a great alternative for the lovers of classic 'hack & slash'. It's an entertaining title with an interesting gameplay and completely free. The game is able to rival the great current references in the genre, despite just taking its first steps. Path of Exile has clear objectives and has managed correctly oriented toward them. Its use of the familiarity with the genre will capture the attention of many aRPG players in exchange for losing originality.
  17. Feb 15, 2013
    Path of Exile is an excellent addition to the ARPG roster. Easily competing with the likes of Diablo and Torchlight. This independent hack-and-slasher manages to surpass its idols, while carving out its own particular niche; and with an asking price of nothing, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't check it out: Path of Exile is the hidden gem of the year.
  18. Oct 30, 2013
    If Path of Exile were a priced game, it would have been very, very good. But it's beyond any expectations: fun, addictive, completely free to play and worth every penny Grinding Gear Games is not asking.
  19. Nov 4, 2013
    For a free title, knocked together by a small team, it's stunning just how much it blows the opposition away. They have taken what was wrong with the genre and fixed it; what was right, they have made even better.
  20. Jan 13, 2014
    An exceptionally generous free-to-play action-rPG. What it lacks in punch it makes up for in depth and value for money.
  21. Nov 18, 2013
    Hack’n Slay as its best. First you’ll think “this is just another diablo-copy”, but when you begin to get into the game deeper, you’ll be surprised. It has the most powerful and individual character-system you’ll ever see in an action-rpg so far. Moreover, all game-content is 100% free to play, no hidden “pay2win” in the shop.
  22. Nov 25, 2013
    Once you get a hang of the numerous systems, Path of Exile becomes one of the best action-RPG experiences you can have. [December 2013, p.88]
  23. Mar 11, 2014
    Hack & slash games are addictive because they follow a simple formula: kill, kill and kill some more. Path of Exile is no different in this regard. During your quest in the perilous continent of Wraeclast you need to slay thousands and thousands of monsters but it never gets boring because there are a plenty of fresh ideas like the very vast skill system and barter-based economy that differentiate it from other similar games. But it's not a perfect game. The story is weak and the difficulty level is too low in the beginning. [Dec 2013]
  24. Dec 30, 2013
    A worthy contender to Diablo and Torchlight as the premium hack 'n' slash experience.
  25. May 9, 2014
    Grinding Gear Games has created something special here, and given it gratis to the world.
  26. Nov 5, 2013
    Probably the best action gdr out there, much deeper than Diablo 3 and completely free. You can't miss this one.
  27. Nov 13, 2013
    For once, free-to-play means free to play. A solid experience that can be completed, and enjoyed, without spending a penny. Above all, a promising community hints at an even more promising future.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 327
  1. Oct 5, 2013
    POE is the deepest aRPG slasher ever made. It uses some tested ideas while introducing highly innovative systems and end-game mechanics. To put it straight
    Path of Exile is AAA+ game FREE of charge. No pay to win. Grind to win!

    The game is quite polished already future announcements make you connected to Wreaclast even more. Devs give their best, the rapport is great and from what i've seen in the past year the were 25+ patches, constant tweaking with the mechanics, skill tree* and skills.
    Dedication is the way Grinding Gear works. They way they introduce changes clearly shows how they care.
    *The sheer size of the skill tree is a guarantee jaw drop if seen for the first time
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2013
    List of things I don't like about the game:

    Trading is a terrible experience due to chat spamming and no interface for buying/selling

    General game balance, in particular the scaling of skills. For instance, raise zombie is useless until the very late game and it's been like this forever. The lack of cooldowns for skills means you only have to use one, the best one.

    Desync. Their refusal to modify their game to combat this menace means there is no solution in sight and either you can accept it or you can't.

    The passive tree is a great concept but it's just as unbalanced as the skills. Many nodes will never be used because of how bad they are.

    Leveling takes way too long at higher levels (40+). A playthrough of normal difficulty is fun because you can run through each area once and complete the game. When you get to Cruel you have to start grinding the same areas over and over so you can keep up with the level of the monsters. Testing new builds is the most fun part of this game but the slow leveling combined with no option to respec your character makes this a chore.

    Grouping with other players is made easy by the notification board in the game but there's a serious flaw. It shows people from all over the world instead of just people in your realm. There's no way of telling where they are at so when you join a group and enter their instance it's pure luck whether your ping will stay the same or skyrocket to 200-300 because they live in australia and you live in US.

    The races that they do periodically are a good idea but the problem with them is that you always start at lvl 1 and often times they are only 1-2 hours long. Why not have some races start you in cruel difficulty at lvl 35 with some starting gear and skills?

    You can just press esc and close the game if you are about to die. Very hardcore if you ask me.

    I'm giving a 0 because I feel 8.9 is too high of a score for all these flaws. A more fair score would be a 6.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 23, 2013
    At first glance, this is the Mecca of ARPGs, with its dark, sombre mood and unforgiving game systems. You will almost certainly have a good time leveling up with your friends. Then you reach endgame.

    PoE's map system, which is supposed to reduce the apparent repetitiveness of running the same high-end area over and over again (as in most other ARPGs), is prohibitively costly in terms of in-game currency for anyone but the most dedicated mapping groups. Solo players sadly get completely shafted and are forced to run the same story areas over and over again. Why they couldn't have a less rewarding, free tier of soloing maps is beyond me.

    The worst however, is the combat. It is complex, but almost entirely passive; once your skill-tree (or skill-forest as it is more widely known) is in order, the game is little more than a mindless click-fest. This is actually probably a good thing because the game's netcode is so egregious that anything requiring the tiniest bit of finesse can send you into a rage: there's nothing quite like getting one-shot by a boss's mace half a screen away. The developers claim that the problematic netcode is a result of their commitment to minimize the effects of bots and other undesirables, which is laudable, but one has to wonder if in the end it was worth it.

    You may also get turned off by the extreme reliance on trading that is a consequence of the frustratingly unrewarding item drops and PoE's annoyingly random orb system (they function as a sort of consumable currency, as there is no gold in this game).

    I award the game 6 points because it is pleasant enough to play through the story once. It is remarkably bug-free for a game with such complex systems and, save for the wonky netcode, you shouldn't have any headaches. It's free, so there is no reason not to give it a try if you're not bandwidth-capped.
    Full Review »