This is honestly a game I never heard of, never had it on my radar, didn't know anything about until yesterday. Then all of a sudden people are talking about this 5 year developed kickstarter action rpg project and I'm looking at videos of a next generation looking Diablo-like game.
So I was like....uhh....Okay.
Wolcen is an isometric action rpg much akin to the Diablos and Path of Exiles in the world, though it is a lot more like PoE than Diablo. Slay monsters, collect loot, level up and fill up a massive fucking skill tree with apparently more build options than a tub filled with Legos.
You start by making your own character, and immediately Wolcen differentiates itself from the other action-rpg games. In Wolcen you do not pick a character class when you make your character, instead you pick a starting weapon and go from there. The starting weapon is basically meaningless to the long term progression of your character. What the game does is give you abilities and skills based on your weapons, sort of in a way that Guild Wars 2 used to do things.
For example you equip a sword and you'll have melee type abilities, powerful slashes and ground slams and shit like that. But if you have a wand, you'll instead have spells, or ranged skills if you have a gun or bow equipped. Where Wolcen gets a bit more crazy, is that you can mix and match these weapons up to create a bunch of interesting set ups. Equip a dagger for quick applications of poisons and bleed, then also equip a gun in the off hand so you can use explosive bullets and drop turrets and shit. Or maybe equip a spell focus to shot fireballs at poisoned foes. Whatever you want. You can duel wield guns to just be a ranged bully.
Your skills level up allowing you to enhance them like rune in diablo 3. And your talent tree is a huge sphere grid of crazyness. In Path of Exile you have this network web of paths you can take as you put points into this grid, working your way towards specific goals. Wolcen does this same thing but better, because your grid is divided into three rings, and you don't have to follow a linear path to reach the powerful abilities on the outer ring. Instead each of the rings within the tree can be rotated allowing you to mix and match the directions you go. Of course each section of these rings apply themselves to specific types of characters like fast attack speed, or enhance elemental effects, or making yourself tougher, and all that stuff. Because you can rotate the rings around you can start leveling into assassin, then rotate the next ring to give you more mage related things, then rotate the outer ring to give you more tanky boosts.
There are a lot of sections within this talent ring too. So the mix and match potential is absolutely nuts.
Stats are done differently as well. In other RPG's leveling up either gave you a base boost to things like agility, strength, intelligence, etc etc, or did something like Diablo 2 where each level gave you a few points to increase whatever stat you want. Wolcen does the later, every level up gives you ten points to put into any of your 4 stats you want.
Ferocity increases your crit potential, Toughness gives you more hp, agility increases your attack speed, and wisdom increases spell power. But again Wolcen takes this idea and twists it. Your character gets a percentage damage bonus from any and all of these stats. So you literally have no "main stat" in this game. You level each of these in whatever way you feel best helps your play style and the game gives you damage based on how many points into each one you level.
So that's the core systems in place. Additionally there is the loot and I'm too low level for it to really matter but even at my low level I have found items that change the way I play the game from a moment to moment basis and I can easily see how you could find items in which you would want to stack several stats together to make yourself a monster. Finding weapons that add bleed damage or give you 15% bonus damage on every lightning skill you have, instantly changes your build up as you swap to your lighting versions of given abilities. Some weapons even let you have skills that you shouldn't have, like a hammer that allows you to drop specific turrets that usually only come from guns and things of that nature. The loot feels really good, and it changes you up pretty frequently that you shouldn't get bored of expirimenting with how you slaughter things.
Speaking of slaughtering things. Combat feels good, though there is admittedly a bit of an input lag problem from time to time that can feel jarring, but it wasn't very often for me. Monsters look really cool and the elite ones all get new and interesting things that make them rather dangerous. Unlike Diablo 3 where things are rarely strong enough to murder you, the enemies here can quickly rip you apart if you aren't paying attention. They also have enough health that they aren't spongey to kill but they also don't explode if you barely touch them either. Each fight feels like a fight, but still allows the game to be fast enough where you always feel on the move. It's balanced pretty well for the most part, though some of the boss encounters can be really hard if you aren't built properly or underleveled.
The story so far is basic Warhammer-esque. It's not really interesting to me, but I'm not playing for that. However the game looks really pretty and legit looks like a game that belongs on a PS4Pro, or decent PC. Textures are great, armor looks good, character designs are fantastic, and the spell effects are awesome.
I guess the real question will end up being whether the game has any lasting appeal at endgame, and I cannot speak on that. If you are looking for a new action-rpg diablo or PoE style game, then Wolcen is definitely worth a look.