Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition
Few developers nail Western role-playing games like Obsidian does. This is especially true when it comes to making isometric adventures that give players a breathtaking amount of choice. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is an excellent role-playing sequel that gives players an incredible narrative and tons of control. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition is now out on consoles, completing the experience with all of the game’s updates and expansions.
For those who are unfamiliar, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire takes place after the first entry in which players play as The Watcher, a character that uncovered a conspiracy about the Gods. Players will resume control of The Watcher as they once again work against gods in the World of Eora. This time players will be exploring the Deadfire Archipelago. The new setting puts an emphasis on seafaring, allowing for players to not only manage their character and their companions but their ship and its crew as well.
Those who didn’t play the original Pillars of Eternity might be relieved to find out that they don’t necessarily need to. Despite how much deep lore is in this franchise, Deadfire does a stellar job at allowing new players to get a feel of everything they missed. This is primarily done during the character creation process. Players will get to enter the decisions that they made in the first game so that they have an impact on the new world. There are many decisions to be made, and this can be overwhelming for a player that just dived in. Fortunately, there is are a few “default” world states to simplify this, expediting the process for new players. Those who want more control will find that every choice no matter how minor can be entered into Deadfire.
All of this customization resulted in me spending over an hour just creating my character and making his decisions. The character creator is impressive and allows for players to build their protagonists as they see fit. Most of the typical D&D archetypes are present here, as well as sub-races and sub-classes. The amount of options here adds tons of replayability, but will likely lead to the player being paralyzed by all of the options. This is a good thing, of course.
The gameplay of Deadfire is as smooth as it can be. Players can recruit tons of companions, and parties can be up to five characters. The AI is excellent, allowing for the player to focus on tactics (And enjoying the game) rather than worrying about inept companions. Many combat mechanics have been streamlined to make the game less frustrating. Changing targets is easier than ever, and can even be done mid-action. Players can even decide if they want their combat to be turn-based or in real-time, giving the game broader appeal. Parties can be programmed to have the AI act in the way the players want, adding more depth and strategy to the experience.
The addition of seafaring is a great one. Almost everything a player could want from a seafaring game is in Deadfire. Managing a crew is satisfying, especially when everyone has high morale. Exploration is entertaining as well, with tons to discover in Deadfire. There are tons of decisions to be made while seafaring, especially when it comes to the crew. Roles like deckhand, cook, and surgeon can be assigned, and those jobs give crewmembers experience. Different units specialize in different jobs as well. Managing crew injuries and filling vacant roles is a must, leading to tons of problem-solving for the player. Combat is rather simple, with ship-to-ship combat being mostly full of text and strategic decisions. Eventually, ships will be boarded, which relies on the game’s usual combat mechanics.
Deadfire‘s strength is the world that it puts the player in. There is an impressive amount of lore in this game, and tons of content for players to sink their teeth into. Many gods, characters, and stories fill the game’s script, making Deadfire an enthralling experience for fantasy fans. Players can build bonds with their companions, completing quests for them and even romancing them if desired. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and player decisions will impact relationships.
Deadfire looks great visually, with great implementation of 3D effects on a 2D plane. The UI is practical and unobtrusive, working well with the limitations of a controller on console. The environments are gorgeous, with tons of detail added to bring the archipelago to life.
The score is fantastic, with tunes that are sure to suck the player into the world. From epic tracks during combat to fun traditional sea shanties, the player’s ears will be delighted throughout Deadfire. Every voice line is fully voiced, only further adding to the immersion. This game was clearly made with tons of care, and it shows.
The Ultimate Edition includes three expansions that were previously only available on PC. Players will get to enjoy Beast of Winter, Seeker, Slayer, Survivor, and The Forgotten Sanctum. All DLC is also included in the Ultimate Edition, making this the best time to experience Pillars of Eternity II.
As mentioned in the beginning of the review, it is hard to find a role-playing experience more immersive than this. Fans of the genre will find that this is a must-play title, while those who are interested will find the learning curve steep but still accessible. This is another must-play title by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity II
It is hard to find a role-playing experience more immersive than this. Fans of the genre will find that this is a must-play title, while those who are interested will find the learning curve steep but still accessible. This is another must-play title by Obsidian Entertainment.