Let The Gods Out: Grim Dawn’s Final Act Has Begun

Back in 2010, when it was first announced, I was as excited about Grim Dawn [official site] as I was about any other game in production. It’s the work of Crate Entertainment, a studio made up of Iron Lore Entertainment veterans, and Iron Lore were the team behind one of my favourite ARPGs, Titan Quest. When the other kids were slaying demons in Blizzaro-Land, I was carving a path through myth and legend. Despite Grim Dawn’s availability in alpha form for some time now, I still haven’t played. The latest release, which adds a deity Devotion system and the first part of the final act, is awfully tempting though.

You won’t see Act 4 in that trailer but it’s the latest official video available, showing the state of the game in January 2014. Since then, a new character class has been added, along with the complete second and third acts, which expand the world enormously. There’s also a faction system, allowing you to track your reputation with various groups, and the level cap has been raised all the way to 60.

The big addition in the latest build is the beginning of the end. Since I haven’t played the game, I have no idea if this description of the world’s geography is meaningful in any way but it sounds like the opening of the kind of D&D campaign I would have written during The Goth Years:

“Hearken to the call! The time has come to leave the confines of Homestead, pass through the Darkvale gate and venture on through the unforgiving wilds of the Asterkarn Mountains. Within the desolate Fort Ikon, further mystery awaits and troubling events unfold…”

Grim Dawn’s world is a kind of Dark Victorian Era, with added ethereal beings and Chthonians. The former want to keep humans around so they can use us as batteries, Matrix-style, while the Chthonians just want to have us for breakfast. It’s a rum do.

The full, hefty changelist for build 28 is here; the other big feature is the arrival of the Devotion system:

“Devotions provide a new layer of skill customization, changing the feel of character progression, greatly expanding build diversity and adding hours of theory-crafting! Devotion points are earned by restoring broken or corrupted shrines found throughout the world and then spent among a giant sky map of constellations. Each constellation has its own lore, adding to the flavor of the world, stat bonuses on each star and the potential to unlock Celestial Powers, which are attached to your class skills and triggered in different ways. Access to higher tier constellations is unlocked by accumulating devotion among 5 different affinities: Chaos, Order, Eldritch, Primordial and Ascendant.”

Time to jump in, or should I wait for the final part of the final act? Probably the latter, given how much else there is to play at the moment. The worst thing about writing this post is that the mention of Chaos powers in an ARPG has left me wondering why there isn’t a Warhammer ARPG yet. Given that everything else Warhammer seems to exist, a Diablo-like seems inevitable.

15 Comments

  1. RCoon says:

    I did an interview with Crate a few months back. One of the few developers that really get personable with their playerbase. It’s been a long old slog in Early Access, but most definitely worth the time for the additional content/polish.

    • bstard says:

      As a rule I dont do pre-orders or early access, but never regretted this Crate title. They listen, deliver and make a great product. One of the examples how such projects should be done.

    • geisler says:

      Any ETA on release? This decade would be nice.

      • epmode says:

        The developers estimate that they’ll finish off the last part of Act 4 by the end of the year. Not much longer now!

    • epmode says:

      I absolutely love that Crate added UI scaling to Grim Dawn. I figured that the Titan Quest engine would be too old or unweildy for updates like that but it’s working fine. Great developers/

  2. Sandepande says:

    It’s good, if Titan Quest is a thing.

    Which it is. For me. A reasonably large and delightful thing.

  3. 2Ben says:

    I’ve been waiting a loooong time for an aRPG that would grip me as much as Diablo2. The Torchlights were rather good but too cartoony, Diablo 3 is meh, and my Internet sucks too much for Path of Exile.
    Then came Grim Dawn. I love it to bits. It’s dark, gritty, combat is really satisfying, difficulty is just right, the general setting is great, loot is good with occasional Epic and Legendary items that are not impossible to get while not being showered with them either…
    Well basically it’s the best current aRPG , period.

    • widardd says:

      How bad is it? I am running PoE fine on 2mbit in predictive mode.
      If you are a fan of deep aRPGs PoE is a must, even better than D2. (I know that sounds ridiculous, right? :)

  4. LintMan says:

    I backed Grim Dawn when it was in Kickstarter, but am waiting until it’s done to play it.

    Titan Quest is the only aRPG I’ve played that felt like they prioritized the single player campaign (I don’t care at all for mp), so I have big hopes for Grim Dawn’s campaign.

  5. vorador says:

    I’ve invested a few hours on it on the Early Access. It is really good, and i cannot wait for the full release. Even now, they’re introducing new mechanics to the game like the Devotion system.

  6. Dushanan says:

    Hey, if Age of Decadence can come out, so can this.

  7. nuclearunicorn7 says:

    This really is the closest thing to a sequel to Titan Quest that you can get. I mean, the game has incredibly similar systems to TQ.

  8. Tycow says:

    I totally recommend Grim Dawn; it’s a crate game.

  9. daphne says:

    It really is very good, and because it doesn’t prioritize the player economy the same way PoE does, is more rewarding of one’s time than its formidable contemporary. I have both installed — between Grim Dawn and PoE, I don’t really need any other traditional ARPG.