Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth: Book Two (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 31.12.2017 2

Review for Ken Follett

Back in August, adventure fans were introduced by Daedelic to its new point and click adventure, Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. In it, folk were introduced to a cast of characters ranging from builder Tom to monk Phillip. In the second book of the planned trilogy, the developer reconnects people with all of these characters and their continued pilgrimage through life, and while the whole experience ends up being a little more upbeat than the first book, it still knows how to stick the knife in and twist.

The second book gives some much needed time with Aliena, the daughter of the Earl of Shirring. The first few chapters set up her escape from her city, and led players to where she is at the end of Book One. The flashback sections do a great job of not only building her character into easily one of the best in the games so far, but also giving a better sense of how the villains operate. Spoiler alert: there's something very Ramsey Bolton about William Hamleigh.

Jack, everyone's favourite woodland child, returns, although his return takes place a few years later, leading to him being quite a bit older when he is seen again. The same goes for many of the characters in the first game. While time jumps often come off as disheartening and silly, like the writer couldn't come up with a plot line for this section, here it makes a bit more sense. Even better still, one of the game's strongest points is how choices actually matter - even small ones, like the ones made while travelling between towns, actually mean something. It's sobering to watch an early mistake come back to bite you, but for long-term fans of story-driven titles, it's really exciting to watch.

Screenshot for Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth: Book Two on PC

Brilliantly, every main character goes through a sweeping and intelligent character arc. Phillip, Tom, and Aliena all go through massive character arcs, and Jack's is probably the biggest of all. Even smaller characters, like Ellen and Martha, get some decent story time. Even better, less likeable characters, such as Remigius, get relegated to the background pretty heavily.

The artwork is still the same, and by that, it's meant that it is simply beautiful. Daedelic really outdid itself with this beautiful art style. Even better, the dialogue is sublime, and while occasionally scenes feel pointless, it always keeps the action moving in a logical form. In fact, this book is far more enjoyable and riveting than the first one, in no small part thanks to the game moving its best characters to the front lines.

Even better are the small things you can do on the side, many of which actually act as side-quests. From stopping friends from fighting, to eradicating hornets' nests, The Pillars of the Earth: Book Two is just a joy to play through. Honestly, the plot moves along better, the characters are more enjoyable, and thanks to some smart pacing decisions, it's not nearly as dour as the first.

Complaints? Oh sure, there are a few. It's still annoying moving characters around larger screens with the mouse, and on the biggest maps, it's far too easy to lose track of them. This would be less annoying, save one section where how players move around the map is important to staying alive. Although for a brief moment, these larger maps are still frustrating to navigate even without the threat of Game Over looming over your shoulders.

Screenshot for Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth: Book Two on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

All in all, anticipation is high for Book Three. Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth: Book Two is a superbly made point-and-click adventure that finds smart ways to advance the story, and makes the player feel good for having spent time with it. While larger maps are irritating to navigate, there's so much to love about this experience that it's hard to really care. Thankfully, with the added replay value, you can start the series and finish it a couple times in anticipation for the final book, and it should hold up just fine.

Developer

Daedalic

Publisher

Daedalic

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I read somewhere that the third book won't be out until around May time...I'm hoping that's wrong and it comes earlier!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Oh my no that's not going to work. I'm thinking next couple of weeks works better for me :p.

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