Path of Exile is a point and click, Action Role Playing Game, similar to games like Diablo, Torchlight, and Titan Quest. You point your cursor at an enemy, click, and attack. It is being developed by Grinding Gears Games for the PC, with Mac support being a possibility in the future. It sports six classes, of which the five that have been announced being the Witch, the Duelist, the Ranger, the Marauder, and the Templar. The classes do not learn active skills, like frost nova, but rather, passive skills, like Increaed Mana. The active skills are gained through socketing a gem like item into the gear. (No worries, the gems can be removed.) The passive Skill Tree is an expansive tree that can be called nothing less then colossal. In addition, each class can choose to go with strength, intellect, or dexterity talents, but they gain less from the skills that are not designed for them.
The Story of Path of Exile, while not being complete yet, is that the character was exiled from their homelands (Each class has his or her own reason for the exile, for example, the Witch was exiled due to the fear of her powers), and you find yourself on what appears to be the deserted beach of Wraeclast. Things are not always what they appear, however, and you soon find yourself waist deep in zombies and other creatures of unimaginable horror. After defeating the first mini-boss, you stop in at the Shore Encampment, trading goods with other exiles. Then you head into the unknown, trying simply to survive. Grinding Gear Games is currently working to increase the scope and size of the story, though nothing more has been added to the Beta as of the writing of this Preview.
On to the Graphics. I simply cannot say enough of how absolutely beautiful the game is. It is obviously a very polished game, with the shadows and the monsters looking absolutely astonishing. The attacks look and feel as though they are real, without being overtly visual. The spells and attacks look well thought out. The armor and weapons look as though they could exist in the real world. It truly is gorgeous.
There are, of course, some bugs. But this is Beta, and Beta is Beta, so that is bound to happen. Grinding Gear Games seem to be working as best they can to get all the bugs and issues out. That being said, the bugs are few and far in between.
An interesting route Path of Exile has taken, there is no gold. Rather, you trade a Scroll of Wisdom or a Scroll of Town for an item. Because these items are both used to buy goods as well as for identifying items and what not, the issue of inflation does not seem as though it will plague Path of Exile in any great deal.
Additionally, there are Leagues, which are alternative rules and ways to play the game. There is the default league, the Hard Core league, the Iron Man league, the Cut Throat league, and the Attrition league. For a nominal fee, players can pay to have a custom, private league created for them. Add in the multiple planned difficulty levels, and the planned level 100 character cap, along with the free to play business model, and you will be playing for a long, long time.
All in all, if Grinding Gear Games continues on the path they are currently on, I would recommend this whole heatedly to anybody and everybody. And remember, beta is beta. Things can always change.