Path Of Exile: Fall Of Oriath PLATINUM The PLATINUM reigning lord of distraction 9.5 Xbox One Bring the popular free-to-play action/RPG from PC to Xbox One – with controller support and all of the game’s impressive depth It’s hard to call a game that includes blood-filled aqueducts “beautiful,” but Path of Exile is richly detailed and interesting to look at. You may need to scooch closer for some UI elements, though GOLD SILVER OF GAME THE MONTH GOLD SILVER OF GAME THE MONTH Style 1-Player Action (6-Player Online) Publisher Grinding Gear Games Developer Grinding Gear Games Release August 24 Rating M » Concept » Graphics PC PC GAME MONTH OF THE GAME MONTH OF THE HANDHELD HANDHELD GAME MONTH OF THE GAME MONTH OF THE Weapons and spells connect with satisfying audio impact. The dialogue can be corny, but everyone seems to be having a good time Controller support is generally solid, though it can be clunky for skills that require precise targeting. Inventory management is also a chore Players who invest the time to negotiate Path of Exile’s steep learning curve are in for an incredibly satisfying and rewarding action/RPG » Sound P » Playability » Entertainment » Replay Value High ath of Exile was already a sprawling adventure, but the action/RPG grew even bigger in August. The Fall of Oriath expansion added six acts to the game’s campaign (for a total of 10, not including the end-game epilogue), stuffed monster pockets with new items and loot, and fundamentally tweaked the game’s difficulty and progression path. And, nearly four years after the base game officially debuted on PC, it’s finally avail-able on Xbox One. Grinding Gear Games has methodically finessed PoE since it was officially released nearly four years ago, and players who drop into this dark fantasy world for the first time will reap the benefits. If you’re new to the game, getting settled can take a little while. On its surface, it’s a straight-up Diablo clone, with the same presentation, environ-ments, and overall flow that creates an immediate sense of familiarity. While it certainly shares foundational elements from Blizzard’s series, Grinding Gear Games veered into a different direc-tion. Or, more accurately, a whole lot of different directions. One of the things I like most about PoE is the sheer number of gameplay sys-tems and microloops that are available at any given time. The most notable (and perhaps notorious) of them is the game’s massive skill tree. It’s an intricate web that all character classes share, giving you the ability to slowly devote points into becoming a powerful archetypical hero or dabbling around to develop a hybrid that fits your own personal playstyle. Unlike a game like Diablo III, where you can mix reviews and match abilities to create new charac-ter builds whenever you feel like it, PoE is more deliberate. My first build was a zookeeper-style witch, which is a style of play that I usu-ally enjoy. I squeaked through the cam-paign thanks, in large part, to her skeleton army. The Xbox One’s controller generally works well, and I was able to hang back and accurately fire off potshots while enemies were distracted by my min-ions. Casting spells that require precise placement was a bit trickier. Using an on-screen cursor to drop them into place is a clunky process that requires holding down a trigger and then the correspond-ing skill button. Life comes at you fast in PoE, especially when you’re a glass cannon, and an analog stick is no match for a mouse in some circumstances.