Grim Dawn – Preview
Follow Genre: ARPG
Developer: Crate Entertainment
Publisher: Crate Entertainment
Platform: PC

Grim Dawn – Preview

Good: Strong foundation with more features to come
Bad: Not enough attention to story stelling, setting and lore
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In most fantasy games, you will find the essence of the story to be 2 forces at war. It is not often though that the human race is just a bystander and you as a player are not involved in either of those forces but merely try to survive. In Grim Dawn the human race is nearly shattered as a direct result of such a clash and survivors are forced to group up in small enclaves. Will humans be able to regain their place on earth?


The setting sounds promising, right? At its currents build, it is the game’s weakest link though. It merely feels like a way to explain why certain things are possible, like zombies, magic, strange creatures… So let’s get that out of the way. Of course Grim Dawn is currently still in an alpha build so chances are the final game will get more lore in the game. Enough with the negativity because apart from its setting, the game actually has quite a solid foundation. The game uses the engine from Titan Quest, a well known title in the ARPG genre. As a matter of fact, quite a bit of developers from that title are working on Grim Dawn resulting in the fact that this game is seen as its spiritual successor. Apart from that, a lot of elements from other games are also to be found here like from Diablo, which of course laid the foundation of the entire genre.

Jumping into the game, it all felt familiar. It will feel that way for most players and that didn’t really bother me because in my opinion not all games have to innovate. You will get to pick between 4 classes that can be found in plenty of other games. The great thing about it though is that at a higher level, you will get to pick a second class. Mixing and matching is fun and you can try out some different things to find a combination that will fit your playing style. You can be a heavy armor wearing caster or a stealthy summoner. It will all depend on what abilities you pick and each class has its own set of them. With each level you will gain some points to spend and it is up to you how to spend them. You can try to really get the higher-end abilities of one class or just start mixing with the second class right away. Some abilities will grant you certain attacks while others offer passive benefits or creatures that’ll fight for you. The whole system isn’t overly complex as talent trees only have about 24 talents each and your action bar can only contain a few active abilities forcing you to start getting more passive talents as you level up.

Soldier Mastery

Graphics aren’t spectacular but certainly are appealing enough for today’s standards and manage to create a certain atmosphere. The character models are detailed and so are the different bits of gear and weapons. It makes getting better gear even more exciting just to discover how a certain item will look besides getting more stats. The environment feels alright and there’s a nice contrast between the zones. Darker areas are actually dark and make the caverns and basements the more exciting places to be as creatures will actually be able to startle you when jumping out of the dark. Speaking of creatures, you’ll encounter various kinds of them ranging from zombies, spiders and troll-like things to spawns that seem to come straight from hell. Throughout your trip through Cairn, Grim Dawn’s world, the pace that you will encounter new enemies is fast enough but isn’t really refreshing, nothing you haven’t really seen before.

The game helps you follow a certain path by providing traditional quests. The objectives aren’t really different from any other RPG but the game makes it a bit harder by not providing any way points. You will have to figure out where to go or get a certain item by reading the quest text again, reading notes found throughout the world or by talking to NPC’s. It’s refreshing to actually have to look around for things but that also gets frustrating from time to time. That resulted in me just following the main story line until I arrived in an area where creatures were too high level for me. Then I would go back to do some quests to gain a level or two so I could just get back to the main story. The combat feels good, certainly after unlocking some extra abilities. Killing the various creatures feels satisfying and is the game’s strong point. The boss fights really draw you in, they are difficult enough to offer a challenge without them becoming frustrating.



Grim Dawn has already come a long way and promises quite a lot of extra features to be added in the next couple of builds. Besides extra story acts, expect a co-op mode and further improvements to the game altogether. This game is one of the few alpha games that I would recommend trying out in its current state or to at least keep an eye on.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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