A date with Path of Exile 2: a new class, smoother onboarding, and the reason why this had to be a sequel

It’s important to understand that before I got my hands on Path of Exile 2 I had been travelling for 15 straight hours, including a long plane delay and then an aborted landing attempt that made me genuinely fear that I was going to feature in the next Boeing horror story. As a newcomer to what will soon be the Path of Exile series, I was already daunted by its famous complexity. Compounded with stress and sleeplessness, I was starting to worry that I might not be able to get a footing at all, and find myself completely adrift.

But within a few minutes of picking up the controller, I realised I was relaxed. I had been deftly onboarded, and, despite the chaos of the day, figuring out what loot and passives I wanted to use to pick my way through rotted wolves, crawling forest imps, and fleshy underground slugs was unwinding, not intimidating.

“[Path of Exile 2] should certainly be a lot easier to get into,” says game director Jonathan Rogers, although he stresses that this isn’t at the expense of potential depth for your character once you get the hang of things (or if you’re a long term player coming from Path of Exile 1). The key, he says, is that actions like equipping new abilities are streamlined, and the opening areas are designed so that you will run into key tutorial aspects no matter what you choose to do first.

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