Pillars of Eternity (PC) Second Opinion Review

By Athanasios 03.08.2017

Review for Pillars of Eternity on PC

Obsidian Entertainment is a company that is comprised of veterans of the CRPG genre, with a portfolio that includes series that range from Baldur's Gate to Fallout. While a pretty talented team, however, they've had quite the bumpy ride, which has even led them onto a pretty scary financial dead end, forcing them to crowdfund their next product, the name of which was Pillars of Eternity; the game that saved the developer, and brought a smile on the face of many RPG lovers. Was it that good, though? Cubed3 takes one more look at the dark fantasy land of Eora to find out…

One of the finest compliments one can make about Obsidian Entertainment is that it plays a whole different ball game than most developers when it comes to the world of "mature" titles. Instead of following the easy way of sex, foul language, and gore, Pillars of Eternity relies more in its clever writing, complex world-building, and storytelling. There isn't much T&A here, but there's lots of slaughtering of children, religious fanaticism, and, like in the equally well-written, Tyranny, lots of grey morality thrown into the mix. As for the plot at hand, without spoiling much, it's about a pretty scary "plague" due to which many children get born without a soul.

Screenshot for Pillars of Eternity on PC

The second compliment is the fact that this is a true, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired RPG that wants you to actually roleplay, and, even more importantly, read! This isn't Diablo. Be prepared for long dialogue sequences even with the most… minor of NPCs; dialogue sequences that are great and all, but will surely alienate those who are thirsty for something more action-packed. For those who like it this way, conversation options are aplenty, and, like in any true RPG, may lead to results that are far from predictable.

Generally, this succeeds in becoming what it wants to be, which is a role-playing game similar to the ones running on BioWare's Infinity Engine, and, as a result, is not from everyone. Take the visuals, for instance. The top-down isometric vistas the hero/heroine will get to ogle at are exceptionally wallpaper-pretty, but those spoiled by modern, triple-A, and fully 3D video games, will have a hard time getting engrossed into this world. Even they, however, will find it hard to say anything bad about the voice acting, which is simply top-notch.

Screenshot for Pillars of Eternity on PC

The next part where Pillars of Eternity looks like a homage to those CRPGs of old, is its pausable, semi-turn-based combat. Typical of the developer, and maybe the sub-genre as a whole, its combat system is not friendly towards greenhorns, but, like in Tyranny, this turns out to be a product that tries its best in regards to that, by having a pretty neat, in-game encyclopaedia that explains everything, from lore to game mechanics… although it could be a bit more in-depth about the latter. After all, there's a serious reason why the beginning of this 50+ adventure blatantly says that the Normal setting is not the recommended one for newcomers.

Screenshot for Pillars of Eternity on PC

You have to be ready to play your cards as smart as possible, as this is more tactical than hack 'n' slash-y - in fact, it's not hack 'n' slash-y at all. You have to think when to do what and with which character from the party, paying attention to your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strength and weaknesses of your foes. Undoubtedly, the battle mechanics will overwhelm the inexperienced ones, as those will soon get bombarded with tons of different stats, as well as ways that these will affect the outcome of your actions.

For all the things this is great at, however, Pillars of Eternity, like the classics it pays homage to, is not perfect. There's not a specific big flaw to point at, but there's lots of small ones that definitely "ruin" a bunch of the many steps that you'll make during this odyssey - and that without even mentioning the many bugs that still crawl around. Without going into too much detail, Pillars of Eternity is a master of variety, not quality, as for every piece of perfection (be it a quest, dialogue, or battle sequence), there are at least two that lie somewhere between mediocrity and… meh.

Screenshot for Pillars of Eternity on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Perfect? Far from it, and yet, the ones who'll decide to experience this long and epic journey will many times feel as if Pillars of Eternity is far more than just a "very good RPG." Word of caution, though: similar to the titles that inspired it, this was made for those who mostly care about story, lore, and character interactions.

Developer

Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher

Paradox Interactive

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Insanoflex

There are 1 members online at the moment.