Last Epoch: An Endorsement For Early Access Gaming

When it comes to early access gaming, Last Epoch gives you a lot of value for your investment.

I’m a time travel geek. If that theme is in a book, movie, television show, anime, or video game; then I’m interested. That is the reason why Back to the Future is my favorite movie trilogy, Steins Gate is my favorite anime, and the original The Twilight Zone is my favorite television series. All three included time travel as a significant element though The Twilight Zone explored many other sci-fi themes. So when I came across Last Epoch on Steam last year, I was curious to see what it was about. And thank goodness I did.

Though the alpha of the early access action role-playing game was released in 2018, I didn’t find out about it until it was much further along in development. Loving what I read about the story and what I saw from the pictures, I gave the game a shot. It also helped that this was an indie game developed and published by Eleventh Hour Games. When I see indie game creators putting the effort into a project as I’ve seen with Last Epoch, I’m more than happy to support them. I wouldn’t normally pay $34.99 for a game in progress, but what is already included in the game can give you hundreds of quality gameplay hours.

Like the action RPGs that came before it, Last Epoch allows you to create a character to take on the adventure.

From what I’ve heard and read over the years, the Diablo series is considered to be the gold standard when it comes to action RPGs. Typically, gamers would suggest a game such as Last Epoch if you’ve played Diablo games before and enjoyed them. The reverse ended up being the case for me. It was because of how tremendous Last Epoch was to play that I finally ended up giving the Diablo series a try.

When you play the game, the action is basic enough to pick up and get into fairly quickly. It is the looting and skill/ability building that allows these types of games to have depth. If you love to loot, this game is a dream come true. Items drop all the time and I ended up running out of space very quickly because I didn’t realize how generous the game was in regards to items. I learned you need to prioritize the items you want for your character and to leave the rest alone. When I glanced at the skill tree, I was a bit overwhelmed at how many options there were to build up your character. There are a lot. What’s nice is that it makes for a great reward for all the grinding you will do in this game. To get the most out of this game, you need to grind. As with most games in the Action RPG genre, you will spend most of your time in battle. The dialogue, story, and character development are secondary.

At the time I’m posting this, I’m early into the game’s fifth chapter and I have logged about 20 hours. With the emphasis being the action, you will not find a deep narrative that you would find in other RPGs. That type of storytelling is typically for Japanese and more traditional RPGs. The premise is that the world of Eterra will eventually succumb to the Void and you are the one chosen to save humanity because of your ability to travel through time. It’s very simple but it works for me because I knew going in that this game was going to be a “dungeon crawler.”

If you’re ready to grind and battle, Last Epoch has you covered.

Eleventh Hour Games deserves a lot of credit, not only for the game itself but how well the company has connected with its community. Thirty-five dollars is a steep price tag for a game that hasn’t yet reached version 1.0. But Eleventh Hour has fulfilled my three criteria when it comes to early access titles. They are that what is initially offered has enough content to keep the player busy while it is being worked on, consistent and clear communication between the developers and the players, and a roadmap that is being followed. All three requirements were beyond fulfilled when I researched Last Epoch last year.

There is nothing like watching a game evolve for the better and feel like you played a part in the process. Where the game is today compared to where it was a year ago represents astounding progress. Because I’ve played Last Epoch here and there, the improvements in the graphics, user interface, controller support, and expanded content have been easily noticeable when I boot the game up after months away. Like many other great indie games I’ve discovered over the past few years, it is a shame that this game isn’t getting more attention because it is a tremendous package.

I’m still really cautious when it comes to investing in early access titles. But when I have an experience like I have with Last Epoch, it causes me to be more open to purchasing a game that is still in progress. I’ve taken a chance on games such as Doorkickers 2, Gunfire Reborn, Edge of Eternity, and Fury Unleashed with very satisfying results. So overall, I’m now much more open to early access thanks to Last Epoch.



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