As so many people have observed in the four years since Path of Exile was released, the game is an homage of sorts to Diablo II, and a title whose Diablo influence has endeared it to people who have played any title from the long-running (yet with long gaps between new iterations) Blizzard franchise. Now that Path of Exile is on Xbox One, joining Diablo III as a popular action RPG for PC that’s gotten a console port, owners of Microsoft’s gaming console might be wondering if it’s worth the effort to play the game’s recently-released Xbox One port.
Similarities Between The PC Version And The Xbox One Version
When Grinding Gear Games released Path of Exile for Xbox One, lead designer Kris Wilson said that his team wanted to appeal to hardcore Xbox gamers, and not “dumb [the game] down” with the perception that console players aren’t as sophisticated as PC gamers are. He stressed that Grinding Gear was aiming for a similar experience, and by and large, that’s what PoE’s Xbox One port brings to the table.
The most important similarity is that the game is still free-to-play, or as Grinding Gear loves to put it, “ethical” free-to-play. That in itself is a huge selling point, as PoE was lauded for the fact that gamers no longer had to spend PoE currency or real money on microtransactions just to get a competitive edge. And if you’ve been playing “play-to-win” games for some time, you should know how those seemingly affordable microtransactions add up over time, costing you a fortune in total by the time you’ve tired of the game, or decided to move on to another. As a new, top-rated Xbox One title could easily set you back by $60, the ethical free-to-play element remaining in place is great news for anyone who wants to check the Xbox One version out.
That said, there are some optional supporter packs available, and while these cost points on the Xbox One store, they’re mainly cosmetic upgrades that add to the overall experience, rather than influence your chances of doing well in the game.
Differences Between Both Versions And The Lack Of A Chat Feature
Talking about the differences between Path of Exile’s Xbox One port and the original PC version, the newer version for console, quite obviously, makes use of the controller. That could make navigating menus a bit tricky at first, though that’s something everyone will eventually get used to. You’ll also notice some differences in the overall user interface. Many of Path of Exile’s PC players weren’t too happy with the new UI, mainly complaining about the inability to tweak its size, but most appear to be fine with it so far. Then you’ve got the loss of certain features that were unique to the PC version, mostly those related to the social element of PoE — that means there’s no chat room, and no option to form or join guilds.
It’s not sure if those missing features and others will, but there’s certainly a lot of demand for their inclusion in subsequent updates. Some players have complained that the lack of a chat feature makes it hard to trade PoE items; on Path of Exile’s Xbox One version, you’ll have to use the trading board, and also buy the premium stash tab in order to sell items.
As explained by PoE’s Kris Wilson, the trading system works by letting players enter the item they’re looking for in the search bar, and choosing from up to hundreds of different options. He added that this was specifically made for the Xbox One port, as the use of the controller makes it easier to navigate through the available options. Your mileage may vary on the trading feature and how it relates to the absence of chat, but there are many other mitigating factors that make Path of Exile’s Xbox One port worth checking out.
Our Final Verdict: Should You Get the Path Of Exile Xbox One Port?
Even if you consider the absence of certain features, not the least of these the chat feature, the one biggest mitigating factor is the fact that Path of Exile is still free on Xbox One. You’re free to download the game without paying a cent, and there’s still no need for upgrades or items for character improvement that could burn a hole in your wallet before you know it. There are some stash tabs that could allow you to store more inventory (as expected), manage your currency better or, as mentioned, help in the trading process, but other than that, all the “premium” stuff in here is for aesthetic effect, and mainly for those who want to spiff up their character’s look or the effects their weapons produce.
You’ve also got the matter of gameplay, which remains solid, if not spectacular on Path of Exile’s Xbox One version. It’s easy to move your character around, which is always a major concern PC gamers want sorted out before trying an Xbox One port out for themselves. The skill tree may look complex at first, but once you’ve gotten a few (or more than a few) hours in, you should be fairly familiar with how it works. And you’ve got tons of flexibility to customize your character, regardless of their class. You can choose from preset builds, or create your own builds to make your character really stand out.
All in all, Path of Exile on Xbox One has been a success since its release earlier this year. Should you download the port if you don’t have the PC version yet, or if you’re a dedicated console gamer who doesn’t play too many PC games? Absolutely. Not only is this game free, it more than pays for itself as one of the better ARPGs out there. And should you do so if you’ve been playing the PC game for some time and happen to own an Xbox? We’re also answering in the affirmative for that one — not all console ports of PC games are nearly as good as the original, but Path of Exile is fairly close.
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