Developer: Wolcen Studios
Release Date: In Early Access, Full Release TBA 2020
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem is a isometric dungeon crawler that is currently available in early access beta on Steam. This title from newly formed studio, Wolcen Studios, shares some similarities from other games such as Diablo or Path of Exile, such as town portals and fluid real time isometric combat. But while similar to these other games Wolcen distinguishes itself in its character building while delivering the dungeon crawling experiences fans of the genre hold dear.
Check out Loot Saga's gameplay preview and a deeper look at the game.
When it comes to isometric dungeon crawlers its safe to say that the story has to be engaging, but that's not where the focus of most players lies. These games require strong character building elements, wide varieties of weapons and loot, fast and fluid combat, and whole lot of enemies to slaughter to catch the attention of fans. With the time we've spent with Wolcen, we can see that this game will deliver on everything mentioned and will offer a character building experience that is unique to the genre.
The character building in Wolcen stands out from the rest, the game sheds the idea of formal classes driving your characters armaments. Wolcen's build any attribute, wear any gear, use any skill, and try any passive skill system is quite unlike anything out there when it comes to dungeon crawlers. You can equip any weapon and armor without needing to satisfy a attribute requirement. There are no formal classes to choose from, instead the game allows you to focus on four main attributes that will drive how effective your character can be using particular skills. These attributes are Ferocity, Agility, Toughness, and Willpower.
On top of the main attributes, the game introduces a passive skill system dubbed the "Gate of Fates". In this menu you choose from large circular tree of skills that is broken up into 21 class groups contained within three wheels. These wheels can be rotated and if the two skills on either side of the rotated disk are purchased and lined up it will activate all the skills that stem outward from them. This skills system is explained in our video so check that out for a better look at how this works.
Additional systems include a "rage" and "willpower" system that fuel the attack skills available to you. Your willpower regenerates and your rage meter fills by attacking enemies. Attack skills will level with use and modifiers will unlock at higher levels. Your character can equip armor on each side of their body, left and right, bringing equipable total equipable armor slots to 15 and each piece of armor will change how your character looks in game. You will also find have gear that have slots for gems to increase attributes, which is pretty standard for this type of game.
Your character will be allowed to level up to 90 levels (only 20 in early access), providing 10 attribute points and a few passive skills points per level. The four main attributes have a tiered additional bonuses that activate once reaching that amount of points allocated.
Even though Wolcen has been in development for several years the game looks great and we're looking forward to the full release in 2020. Wolcen plans to having 3 acts (only act 1 in early access) and allows for co-op and multiplayer. The combat features many of the mechanics that are expected in the genre including status ailments, resistances, loot drops, and large amount of angry mobs. You can check out the game's roadmap here to decide whether you'll want to get a head start into the game, but at the time of writing this preview we can strongly recommend Wolcen to fans of the genre.