Today, Grim Dawn, an Action RPG from indie studio Crate Entertainment, releases on Steam. Kickstarted in 2012 by the former lead gameplay designer on Titan Quest, Grim Dawn leaves Steam Early Access with already nearly 300k sales and a 94% user rating.
Grim Dawn is set in Cairn, a Victorian-era fantasy world where humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction; crushed between two otherworldly powers fighting to control or destroy all of creation. One of these forces, the wraithlike Aetherials, seeks to enslave humans, whose bodies they possess to gain physical form. Players enter the world as a “taken,” one formerly possessed by an Aetherial. Cut down from the gallows at the last second, the player has been given a chance at redemption and finds the lingering effects of possession have left them with superhuman ability.
Grim Dawn features the brutal, fast-paced combat and epic loot players expect from the genre but also several distinctive features. Character customization begins with a dual-class skill system, allowing skill trees from any two classes to be combined. Devotion, an additional layer of skill customization allows you to acquire bonuses and powerful secondary effects for your class skills. These are unlocked from a giant constellation map with points acquired by restoring ruined shrines scattered throughout the world and gaining affinity with the deities of Cairn. Builds can be further individualized by over 200 skills granted by items and item add-ons.
Somewhat of a first for a “hack and slash” game, the choice & consequence quest system will present the player with tough choices. Strangers on the road, desperate families and even entire villages may live or perish, become ally or foe, depending on your actions. Will you extort and murder to gain advantage in your fight for survival or life up the downtrodden, hoping they might help you in return?