Crucible Mode is the first DLC for Grim Dawn, a game I have enjoyed very much. A battle arena for this ARPG where you could - according to all documentation I've seen on it - start with a fresh level one character? That sounded like a good idea! That being said, I was sorely bummed by it, even if I gave it the time to try and see if there was any enjoyment to get out of it. Sadly, there wasn't much. Bad design decisions made the core concept fall flat for me.

The main problem with Crucible Mode is that it's not properly tuned to be its own thing. I tried bringing level 1 characters in it, and the experience is terrible. You don't get experience for killing enemies, only after ten waves do you get some of it, and even then, it starts to drop off significantly as you level up. Starting a fresh Crucible character is a terrible boring chore, you kill things with default attacks forever, so you're better off creating a new normal character and then going in at least at level 2. But the progression won't ever be enough, you don't find enough potions and gold to buy them, there are no Devotion points to speak of, the experience rewards just don't match up the time spent.

All of the mechanics they try to add, combo multipliers, shrine you can activates, monster modifiers and the like, are all in vain, because this mode isn't rewarding at all. The way to make Crucible Mode work would be to lock your character into it and allow a better progression that might be different from the normal game - maybe you'll level up faster and gain devotion points at a steady rate, or by completing challenges. That way it would be fun to play it and rewarding and you could build characters and kill monsters in a different setting. As it is, they maybe focused too much on being able to drop in any character of any level and get 'balanced' rewards. And by that I mean, my higher level character got minimal experience and no better loot.

This DLC is not good and I don't think I'll play any more of it. If they changed the way these systems worked, I might give it a shot, but I don't think I want to play a character specifically for it right now and I don't want to use my existing characters either, it's a lose-lose proposition.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories2/5, Action RPG