There’s a deceptive simplicity to action-RPGs like Grim Dawn, and most that have tried to knock off Diablo’s crown over the years. It’s not enough to simply fill the screen with enemies only to pop them open like a gory sheet of bubblewrap; the artistry comes in honing the atmosphere, the satisfaction of every kill, every stat point, every sound effect, and every splatter. Few can live up to the master in that regard.
Grim Dawn is one of the few that can, joining the pantheon of games that do more than merely hold their own against Blizzard’s initially troubled but now mighty Diablo 3 juggernaut. You feel it from the first smack of a sword against undead flesh to the spark of fire in your chosen character’s class skills, and it doesn’t fade – even over many, many hours of blunt brutality and hand-crafted subtleties.