If you're into action RPGs and you still haven't played Grim Dawn, I think you really should. I talked about it a bunch as a counter-example to the ways Diablo 4 made me feel back in July, and while it's an old'un, releasing in 2016 after a 2012 kickstarter, it's a good'un. There's a reason it's kept a humble but enthusiastic fanbase this whole time—it's good, well-designed, old-fashioned ARPG fun.
Grim Dawn comes from the minds of Crate Entertainment—formed from Titan quest developers Iron Lore Entertainment after its closure. It's a hack'n'slash ARPG that places its focus on occult lovecraftian mythos over angels and demons.
The game was given two major expansion packs—Ashes of Malmouth in 2017, which added two new acts, two new classes (called "Masteries" in-game) and a bunch of other goodies. Then in 2019, Forgotten Gods was released, taking the player through a desert romp and providing one of my favourite masteries, the Oathkeeper, which lets you hurl your shield around Captain America-style.
Now, four years later, we're getting a new expansion pack—an unexpected but welcome capstone to a game that's otherwise showing its age. Announced on the Crate Entertainment website earlier this week, Fangs of Asterkarn will send adventurers to the frozen west in search of new horrors to beat up.
Game designer Zantai followed the announcement with a quick FAQ, which revealed a new mastery—the Berserker—and a whole new difficulty mode called "Ascendant". As if that wasn't enough, there are also plans to roll out two new "roguelike dungeons" after launch as free patches.
From a power gamer's perspective, having a new mastery to play around with is huge—Grim Dawn lets you choose two for the same character, mixing and matching their abilities. That means that there are nine other masteries to match Berserker with, each producing their own unique flavour of murder. When I played through the game, I matched up Shaman with Soldier to become a god of bolts and hammers. It's a killer system, and one I'm excited to hop back into.
Fangs of Asterkarn is "expected to release in 2024", though Zantai was cautious to remind players that they might do more than originally planned, which could push that date further down the road. I'm just excited to see one of my old favourites still getting updates after all this time, and I'll be looking forward to putting some snow boots on my old thunder god for one more rampage.