Between Diablo 4, Path of Exile, and dozens more, the entire ARPG genre is looking pretty healthy right now. But a new rival, created by a team that met via Reddit and works very closely with its community, is about to shake things up, as it confirms a date for the release of its full, 1.0 version. Last Epoch promises more unique items, more character classes, and better crafting than Blizzard’s stellar, Sanctuary-set sequel, and is set to take on the very best in action role-playing games with its focus on fan-led development. Diablo 4 and Path of Exile have some stiff competition – the full launch of Last Epoch is coming soon.
In its earliest days, Last Epoch was an after-work project between web developers and game-makers looking for a passion project outside of their jobs. After huge success on Kickstarter, the RPG game has amassed a significant and dedicated player following, which communicates and works in close collaboration with the team at Eleventh Hour to ideate and implement new features.
Speaking to PCGamesN at Gamescom, Eleventh Hour CEO and Last Epoch director Judd Cobbler explains how the game wants to take the best elements of individual ARPGs and combine them. It’s also positioned as a direct rival to Diablo 4, boasting more classes, unique items, and talent trees. Now, after a lengthy early access period and lots of updates and tweaking, Last Epoch – set in the ever-changing fantasy world of Eterra – is almost ready for its full launch.
“Last Epoch’s 1.0 launch will mark a new beginning for Eterra, and will set a new bar for quality, polish, gameplay feel, and visual excellence,” Cobbler says. “Beyond 1.0, Eleventh Hour Games will bring substantial new content to Last Epoch every few months in what we call ‘cycles.’ These releases will contain additions and refinements to many aspects of the game, such as end-game content, skills, unique items, gameplay systems, quality-of-life features, etc.”
The Last Epoch release date is Wednesday, February 21, 2024. Cobbler admits this is later than originally intended, but that recent, mainstream releases have made 2023 “crowded.”
“We understand that February is later than we had initially targeted for this release;” the director says, “however, our original December timeline became a bit crowded with other studios’ releases, and we didn’t want to force the ARPG community to have to choose. By moving our date, we’ll also be able to take advantage of a few more months of polish for our new systems and classes, complete more bug-fixing, and reinforce our team with a restful and well-deserved holiday break.”