Pillars of Eternity is an isometric party-based real-time-with-pause RPG created by Obsidian Entertainment. The game is considered to be a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. Does it deliver on such a bold claim? In short - yes. If you enjoyed any of the above, stop reading this review and go play it immediately. Pillars of Eternity is one of the most difficult games I’ve reviewed since we started Gamely Digest because it is that good.
You start the game by creating your character and assigning the usual attributes like strength, dexterity, intelligence, etc alongside other traits like culture, background and abilities. I somehow managed to spend an hour making my character. Once you’re in the game you control your character by selecting them and clicking on the destination. Attacking is done in the same way. Abilities and magic are cast by selecting the character, selecting the ability or spell and clicking a target (if targeted spell). The camera is controlled by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen or by using the keyboard.
In dialogue you can choose how to reply. You will have the standard set of replies and more replies become available if you meet certain conditions such as a high might which will unlock quite aggressive responses.
Quite quickly you meet other characters who join your party (up to 6 at once). These characters all have their own backstory and provide quests. You can also hire generic party members from Inns.
I’d describe the gameplay as engaging, I find it very difficult to stop playing. There is always one more quest I can hand in or quickly do before going to sleep.
A couple of hours into the game you unlock a stronghold, Caed Nua, which you can treat as your base. The place is a mess when you turn up and you have to spend gold upgrading and defending it. Random attacks will occur which you can fend off by hiring troops at the barracks or building better defences. The stronghold has a prison which you can keep characters you find on your travels in and occasionally someone will turn up offering you large sums of money to free them. Underneath the stronghold are the Endless Path of Od Nua which is a 15 level mega dungeon which grew in size depending on quantity of Kickstarter backers.
I haven’t encountered any bugs which is surprising for an Obsidian game. Some have been found by the community and Obsidian have promptly responded that they are working to fix them.
The graphics are fantastic and the level of detail in each area is exceptional. My only gripes are that if you zoom in too closely the world looks a bit blurry and sometimes the characters look out of place due to lighting. The audio is brilliant, some of the dialogue is voice acted and the music in particular is very atmospheric and epic.
Without a doubt - I highly recommend Pillars of Eternity.