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Pillars of Eternity


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#1 nick68k

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 10:46 AM

Pillars of Eternity, courtesy of those nice folks at Obsidian, has arrived.

I've dipped my toe in the game; here are some very initial thoughts before I get around to composing a more thorough review.

1) For fans of the old Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.) this is the real deal. The presentation and gameplay will make you feel instantly at home. This game doesn't use the D&D ruleset, but the classes (and races) available - paladin, druid, rogue, mage, to name but a few - are recognisable and familiar. They play as you would expect. You create a single protagonist (Baldur-style), and have the option to recruit more followers (up to five) to your party as you travel and discover them.

2) One of the more tedious aspects of the IE games has gone; you no longer need to camp to regenerate health. Combat is still turn based. Encumbrance is gone (and gear can be enchanted).

3) The game is dialogue (and text) heavy. You'll need to read it.

4) The art, and music, are gorgeous.

5) It's a surprisingly hefty download. The game requires 14.4 Gb of space on my HD. I'm playing on a 2012 MacBook Pro (8 Gb/2.5 GHz i5/HD 4000 graphics) and performance isn't an issue, but the laptop gets very hot during combat. It's also not cheap (the basic 'hero' edition will set you back $45), but I consider it worth every penny.

If you like the IE series this is pretty much a no-brainer purchase. If you're not a fan of party-based isometric role-players then your opinion is unlikely to be changed by this release.
You must gather your party before venturing forth.

#2 Janichsan

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 11:25 AM

Pretty much every review I've seen so far was raving, so Obsidian really seems to have done an excellent job. Another Kickstarter win for me! Yay! ;)

Now, if only my backlog wouldn't be so huge… :(

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#3 mindnoise

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 04:53 AM

yes, another kickstarter hit to make you forget the100 misses...

I was conscerned at first about the steep system requirements (GOG Version) but it seems to be ok in intel Iris.
hey, don´t worry - it´s only red pixels on your hands...

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#4 Frigidman™

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 07:32 AM

I only looked at the screenshots... is it all bitmap (ala BGs)? Or is it 3d rendered to look bitmapped (ala titans quests)?

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#5 Cougar

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 07:52 AM

View PostFrigidman&trade;, on 29 March 2015 - 07:32 AM, said:

I only looked at the screenshots... is it all bitmap (ala BGs)? Or is it 3d rendered to look bitmapped (ala titans quests)?

It's like BG except the characters are 3D.

#6 nick68k

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 01:14 PM

You can pan and zoom the game camera, but you can't rotate it. The game sprites are rendered in 3d, but the backgrounds are 2d.
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#7 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:34 AM

Thanks for the preliminary review. It sounds fantastic to me.
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#8 Atticus

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:42 AM

Man, I wanna give an old-school RPG like this a try, but I think I'm too dumb. Games like these make feel like I have to pass some kind of entrance exam before I can play.
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#9 Frigidman™

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 08:07 AM

View PostAtticus, on 30 March 2015 - 07:42 AM, said:

Man, I wanna give an old-school RPG like this a try, but I think I'm too dumb. Games like these make feel like I have to pass some kind of entrance exam before I can play.

One certainly has to invest themselves into the game. I know when (actually I do) I have a game like this in the backlog, I keep putting it off and off because I need to find a time I can devote about half my mental capacity to enjoy the game, because I need to keep all the characters, story, events and everything fresh in my mind as I play the game, and NOT drop/pickup/drop/pickup the game off an on. So not only do I need to bank mental space, I need to bank time to play uninterrupted at least a bit every single day till its done.

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#10 nick68k

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 09:16 AM

View PostAtticus, on 30 March 2015 - 07:42 AM, said:

Man, I wanna give an old-school RPG like this a try, but I think I'm too dumb. Games like these make feel like I have to pass some kind of entrance exam before I can play.

I say go for it. But I understand your concerns. I'll try and address them for you here.

When I sit down to play a game like this I want to be able to concentrate for an hour or so to be drawn into the world, the characters within it, and the story unfolding before me. A useful comparison (for me at least) is the Diablo series. I enjoy these games too, but in a different way; they provide fast, mindless fun for 20 minutes when I have a bit of spare time in the evenings. They're fast food. They hit the spot.

The Infinity Engine games, for which PoE is a worthy successor, need to be supped and enjoyed, and played at their own pace. To put it into perspective I purchased the enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate a couple of years ago, and I'm still only about half way through the game. There's hundreds of hours of enjoyment to be had if you want that. The replay value is also high. That's not to say you can't sit down and finish these games in 20 hours, and that's fine, but you'll be missing out if you do.
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#11 Atticus

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 12:01 PM

Thanks for the input, very good food for thought, ppl.

I don't mind having to be totally immersed in a game (ie, having to read walls of text or spending an hour just creating a character), but time is a factor (I don't have time to play anything for more than an hour or so at a stretch). Which is why I also enjoy Diablo so much; mindless fun (same for Dragon Age Inquisition--you don't have to think too hard while playing on normal difficulty).  

The main problem with old school RPGs for me is combat-- when I read "tactical" or "turn-based" or "real-time combat with pause" my eyes glaze over (why I've never really gotten into RTS-es).  Managing the abilities of up to six party members when fighting brutally hard mobs just seems overwhelming.
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#12 nick68k

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 12:51 PM

The combat can be quite challenging, and you'll want to plan things. That said, there's a difficulty slider, and I'd say that on balance the encounters (so far) are somewhat easier than those found in Icewind Dale and BG. You don't get overwhelmed with mobs as frequently.
You must gather your party before venturing forth.