Path of Exile Preview

The folks at GamingIllustrated have put together a fairly positive preview for the free-to-play hack'n'slash Path of Exile, which is slowly getting closer to the promised open beta. Obligatory snippet ahead:
Depending on which of the 6 character classes you choose to play, you'll have a unique story explaining your exile. The beginning of the game opens with all 6 characters on a boat, awaiting their arrival to Wraeclast, a hostile continent home to outlanders, monsters, and bloodshed. The three attributes of strength, dexterity, and intelligence are spanned across all 6 classes with 3 hybrid classes (example: strength/dexterity for the Duelist). The passive (skill tree) for these classes is more like a gigantic Siberian forest. Thus, allocating stat points take some brain power and strategy if you want to create a badass exile.

In addition to the expansive passive skill system, active skills can be utilized and combined with any class until the player feels like a god among exiles. While my Ranger certainly performed like a rapid fire killing machine, I also appreciated being able to scroll in to get a detailed look at her (FYI, classes are gender locked.) Although my Ranger looked like every Ranger, character customization will be facilitated through cash shops where players can buy cosmetics to deck our their gal/dude.