Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on September 12, 2017

Pillars of Eternity is an isometric RPG with with real-time combat from Obsidian, the studio that made KotOR2, Fallout: New Vegas, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. It appeared as the featured game in a humble monthly bundle (as in, the one game that you know you’re getting before you decide to pony up $12 for the bundle) and since it’d been on my wishlist for a while, I went for it. Even though I still have like 5 other games I haven’t even started yet. And I signed up for another monthly bundle while playing it because the next Tomb Raider game was the next featured game. But I digress…

Probably the biggest fault of the game is AAA ambitions on a kickstarter budget. It’s a large scope RPG with what I will admit is a quality story. At least, quality for as far as I got. The equivalent of cutscenes are still graphics with a narrator reading a description of the transition from one chapter of the story to the next. Very few NPCs get voices beyond a generic fantasy version of a hello (“well met, traveller” or something like that). It’d be nice if there were fancy cutscenes or more voice acting, but what really wrecks the game is the loading between zones. The large cities are broken up into four zones, but they don’t tailor quests to have you stay within a zone, so you’re quite frequently having to load from one zone to the other and then load back to the first zone to do a simple fetch quest. And unlike most isometric RPGs I remember, this one doesn’t do that thing where the roof becomes transparent when you walk into a building. Every building jumps to a loading screen to go in or out of it. Even ones that are tiny, single room, no event, nothing buildings. I tried to keep up with it because I really was interested in the story, but I moved on to the next chapter in a few four-zone city, and started to get piles of new quests that would involve dozens of instances of loading from one zone to another, and my dread of that outweighed my interest in seeing where the story went.

 

 

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