Path of Exile 2’s New Dodge Roll Fundamentally Changes Boss Fights

Who would have thought that a dodge roll would eventually convert me to the Church of Path of Exile?

I always came across the Diablo 3 side of the great war between ARPG fans. Path of exile was kind of fun when I dipped a toe in it, but I just wasn’t interested in his Diablo 2 feel. And so I saved my ARPG hours in Blizzard’s fast beat Diablo 3 instead.

But after ExileCon 2023, where Grinding Gear Games released new footage for Path of exile 2 and revealed that it would be a standalone game rather than an expansion, I became interested in giving the series another shot. And so, when the studio offered me a chance to play the same demo that the ExileCon attendees played, I dove in with the hope that the series would finally click for me.

Initially, the Path of exile 2 the demo looked like the path of exile I already vaguely knew — although much prettier. I moved through the environment with the game’s signature slight lag on my movements. I inserted skill gems so my character can hit some baddies with new and more interesting abilities. And I decked out my Monk with the wacky early-game upgrade gear we’ve all come to expect in RPGs.

It wasn’t until the demo’s second boss – a huge subterranean worm – that Path of exile 2 finally grabbed me. The creature hit me on the ass in an instant on my first attempts. Then I realized that I had used the game’s new dodge roll purely as a repositioning tool rather than an actual dodge. On a whim, I tried to get through one of the worm’s minor attacks – which usually did enough damage to almost halve my health – and to my surprise, my character went through .

And that’s how man discovered iframes.

So I started analyzing the worm’s attack patterns. Each new attempt on this boss came with a bit of extra progression, and before long he was dead and I had the loot to prove it.

Barbarian strikes a fiery demonic enemy, just like the enemy strikes the Barbarian in Path of Exile 2

Image: Grinding Gear Sets

Another boss battle featured a goat-like beast on a small platform. As I dodged his charges and blows, his allies hurled spears at me from the nearby cliffs. And, on occasion, he would summon a comical number of wolves to assault me, forcing me to kill them before they killed me. Turns out you get stuck if you try to dodge a pack of 50 wolves. I had to adopt a completely different strategy than my close and personal war with the worm, but the boss ended up being just as satisfying to drop.

These relatively low levels Path of exile 2 the bosses gave me a level of fulfillment that I didn’t expect from an ARPG, as normally a lot of the combat experience in games like this is gear-based. I only expect to fight a boss when I’m under-equipped or under-equipped. But those battles were much more like beating bosses in Ring of Elden than beat the bad guys in Diablo 4 – a game that also shares a lot of DNA with Path of Exile. Path of exile 2 showed me that, at least when it comes to combat, PoE and Diablo do fundamentally different things.

Kill a big boss in Diablo 4 – aside from maybe Uber Lilith, the game’s ultimate challenge – is more about gear checks, skillfully using your cooldowns, and racing through the arena to preserve your life when the going gets tough. But Path of exile 2 Boss fights are dances where you pick up the choreography more and more through failure and practice. And it’s all thanks to the new dodge roll, which elevates combat from a goofy type of quickly darting away from a burrowing monster to an active experience where precision and expertise are rewarded.

As for the rest of Path of exile 2, I can’t say I found the minute-by-minute gameplay as engaging as the boss fights – not by a long shot, in fact. And at this point, I’d definitely say I’d rather mow down hordes of enemies in Diablo 4 For Path of exile 2. But a Diablo boss never had me on the edge of my seat like that Path of exile 2‘s done, and it’s more than enough to keep you waiting all year PoE 2The full-fledged beta seems really, really long.

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