Joystiq is the next website to offer a short preview for the free-to-play Diablo clone Path of Exile, from New Zealand-based Grinding Gear Games. The previewer seems to have come away with a positive impression of the game:
It's all very satisfying -- in the way that this genre often is -- but I'm still not getting the hook. It's not until Grinding Gear starts talking about what's under the hood of the unassuming kill-and-loot that I finally start to see how big these Kiwis are thinking.
First is the almost Final Fantasy VII-esque skill system that itemizes every ability as a gem. Want to shoot fireballs? Throw a red gem on your gloves. Want to perform a devastating leaping slash? There's a gem for that too, just pop it into your sword. Want a completely new character class? Load up a new set of gems.
The really cool part is the class of gems that augment skills. I'm shown a demonstration video on the second laptop where a "multiplication" gem has been teamed with a fire gem to create a wave of skeleton-incinerating flames. I giggle in spite of myself.