When it comes to traditional RPG games, I’m a noob…still. Does not mean I’m not afraid to throw myself into one and see where it leads to, thanks to Obsidian Entertainment and Versus Evil I was able to try out the upcoming console release of their award-winning game Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, or in this case it’s known as Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition picks up where the first game left off; thankfully at the start of this game you are given a breakdown of the previous plot. In this story, you the player are what’s called a “Watcher” someone with the ability to see spirits and help them pass on to what’s known as “The Wheel” (an afterlife) in which you were allowed to leave after being given a mission that will determine if you will be granted a second lease on life, or go to oblivion. You must track down the god Eothas who has returned (even though he was destroyed) in the form of a titan, and deal with him! On your journey, you are accompanied by five other characters that will help you on your quest.
Now onto the game itself, let’s get the positives out of the way before getting into some negatives. You know me, art is the big part of the game and it’s on point here! The graphics are decent and the artwork used for the “book” moments of the story is a nice touch. You can customize your own character truly making the story your own.
When it comes to sound, again it’s on point! The music helps make the world of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition come to life. The voice-over acting brings the characters to life and your interaction with them by selecting what you wish to say to them helps draw you into the story. Thankfully there are a lot of options when it comes to the sound and music which both start pretty loud making it hard to hear the dialogue but you can lower them.
At the start of the game you’re given an option when it comes to combat, real-time or turn-based, the game pauses in the real-time setting allowing you to pick your weapons and options to attack before actually engaging, while in turn-based combat you and the enemy take turns attacking.
Also at the start of the game when it comes to the difficulty they are pretty good at explaining what you get with each setting, if you’re new and want to just get a feel for the game, story mode is the best.
Now onto some of the negatives. The biggest problem I’m having with the game is lack of guidance when you first start as there’s no real tutorial but tutorials pop up at times and you can review them in your journal but other than that you kind of start on your own.
When it comes to controls, you can tell this game was originally made for PC as it’s pretty complicated and when you’re not getting help from the game itself, I can see where this will make it a bit frustrating for new players.
When it comes to your companions and how to control them, you guess it; you’re on your own. I wander around by myself as my companions stay in one spot, I still don’t know how to call them to me! This again goes back to a tutorial issue. As I said the tutorial pops up at times but what would really make it handy is if the entire tutorial is available in the journal so you can read the instructions before starting as the story picks up pretty quick when you first start!
Overall as you might have figured, I’m having mixed feelings about Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition. I really enjoy the story, the atmosphere, the art, the lore, the adventure but with a complex control scheme and not being new player friendly with how the game works, I’m left feeling adrift at sea. It just means I’ll have to keep with it and figure it out since the game is kind of fun anyway.
With its story, art, sound effects, soundtrack, and the inclusion of all the DLCs, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition scores high but with dropping unfamiliar players right into the action knocked a star off for me. On my scale of five stars, it’s a four.