Pillars of Eternity Review

How much choice do you have in Pillars of Eternity?

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RPGEndBoss (after 8 days 16 hours play time)

179 days ago

Far more than in any of the other "I'm built to look like a CRPG from the 90s" games. Especially in the expansion, where your decisions in reference to your castle and its defenses can lead to any number of distinct individual endings. The game is highly replayable.

960

980 days ago

A ridiculous amount. Before the game even properly starts there's a meaty, flexible character creator, and throughout the adventure are countless opportunities to make meaningful choices, both small and fate of the world big.

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How much flexibility do you have in Pillars of Eternity to choose your party?

960

980 days ago

There are 5 extra party member slots to fill, and 8 companions. You can play with whichever combo you want, or simply head to an inn and make your own. Custom party members don't come with their own stories or personalities, but their skills can be helpful in combat and during exploration.

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Does Pillars of Eternity allow for a good range of character builds?

960

980 days ago

Each character has a slew of abilities and traits that can be gained when levelling up. Some are tied to classes, while others are open to all characters. A sneaky warrior who uses traps to snare enemies, a heavily armoured cleric who is always chugging potions, a front-line spellcaster -- there are loads of combinations, in great part thanks to the fact that armour and weapons are not limited to specific classes.

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How strategic does combat in Pillars of Eternity feel?

960

980 days ago

Like the Infinity Engine games, Pillars' combat can look a bit messy and chaotic. It's real-time with pause, so you really need to take plenty of breaks to reposition the party and dole out orders for each character. With the ability to customise the pause feature so that the battle stops when certain things happen, it's easier to get a handle on than its predecessors, however.

It's strategic, certainly, but more frenetic than its turn-based contemporaries.

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How open is Pillars of Eternity to explore?

960

980 days ago

It's quite large, but not dauntingly so. It's not open, either, and most areas are separated by some distance and hours of travel (all done automatically, of course). It does inspire exploration, though. There are optional dungeons and the side content takes up more time than the main story.

The whole world can't be explored from the get go, however. Some areas don't open up until certain story prerequisites have been completed, while the rest require the party to have walked through previous areas to get to the new ones.

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Would you buy at full price or wait for a Pillars of Eternity sale?

960

980 days ago

It's a lengthy, brilliantly crafted RPG with the potential for at least a second playthrough, if not more. The price shouldn't be a deterrent.

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How has Obsidian Entertainment delivered on their crowdfunding goals?

960

980 days ago

They built a great game evocative of classic Infinity Engine games, which was their main goal. So, yes.

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How good is the Pillars of Eternity story?

960

980 days ago

The primary story arc is excellent, and entirely worth playing the game for. Conspiracies, plots, dead gods, crises at every turn -- it's great stuff. The countless other stories that weave their way through the game shouldn't be overlooked either, however. Many simple side-quests transform into epic adventures, and there are few stories in Pillars that are not in some way related to the greater story of the world.

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How imaginative is the Pillars of Eternity lore?

960

979 days ago

There's a lot of it, and the world is well-realised. Some of it can be a bit rote, in that it owes a great deal to D&D and feels often a bit too familiar, but most of it is actually pretty refreshing. While Obsidian has used a lot of genre conventions, it's subverted just as many, if not more.

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How good are the graphics in Pillars of Eternity?

960

979 days ago

It looks like an Infinity Engine game, and there isn't much there that couldn't have been done in the late '90s. The environments are often stunning and detailed things, but are mostly static, while the character models are all ugly, but functional.

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How good are the sounds in Pillars of Eternity?

960

979 days ago

An excellent, varied score. It can be whimsical, dread-inspiring or just really pleasant ambient background stuff. Only one track has stuck with me, though.

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How does Pillars of Eternity run on your PC?

960

979 days ago

Fine. It crashed once during the 60 or 70 hours I spent playing, but nothing else of note happened. It looks like Baldur's Gate -- this isn't going to demand much from your PC.

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5 reviewers answered 7 questions