Release date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Genre: Role-playing video game
Director: Josh Sawyer
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Macintosh operating systems, Microsoft Windows, Linux
Hey RPG fans, if you still own your PS2 just to play Baldur’s Gate or Champions of Norrath, then come back to 2018 because Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is what you have been looking for. Although you might want to start with the prequel if you haven’t played that yet (you don’t have to… but it will probably make the game experience better). Not only it have the best RPG elements that give us that nostalgic feeling but you are also the captain of a ship and can sail the ocean! Sounds like a great mix, and other critics agree. Look at what some reviewers have to say about it below.
“Pursue a rogue god over land and sea in the sequel to the multi-award-winning RPG Pillars of eternity. Captain your ship on a dangerous voyage of discovery across the vast unexplored archipelago region of the dead Fire. Bend the world to your will, as you explore the depths of Infinite possibilities, including detailed character customization, total freedom of exploration, and more meaningful choices at every turn. ” — Metacritic
Metacritic – Rating: 89/100
IGN – By: DM SCHMEYER – Rating: 8.5
“By spreading its sails and taking the journey to a creative and interesting setting, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire finds fertile ground for interesting and nuanced roleplaying stories. The main storyline is its biggest weakness, but Deadfire comes into its own by drawing you into the surrounding saga of its embattled islands and the distinct peoples fighting over them. This island chain offers no shortage of fantastic tactical battles, fascinating allies, and exotic places to explore.
2015’s Pillars of Eternity is a love letter to the Baldur’s Gate school of classic isometric RPG, presented in the classic sword-and-sorcery style: a dark and thought-provoking adventure with elves, dwarves, plate mail, and fireballs. Deadfire, on the other hand, strikes a bold contrast and ditches most of these tropes for a less common style. By minimizing castles and forests in favor of a beautiful ocean and boats, and the sword-and-shield aesthetic for sabers and blunderbusses, Deadfire’s 40-hour campaign almost feels like it takes place in a completely different world from the original despite the fact that it stars the same Watcher of Caed Nua character we originally played as.
You can even import your old save file or simulate one with a text-based Mass Effect-style quiz that gives you the character history you want (not necessarily the one you deserve). The consequences of certain major decisions in the original are very acutely felt in Deadfire, starting with the very first conversation as the gods themselves offer an accounting of your character’s past actions.
This interactive overworld is littered with scripted events and treasures to find.
Gone is the static, painted overworld of the first Pillars, replaced instead by an atmospheric open ocean map upon which you sail your customizable ship freely from island to island and quest to quest. This interactive overworld is littered with scripted events and treasures to find, springs crew interactions on you at random. You can also be attacked by pirates, or privateers from rival factions, though the turn-based naval battles are so basic as to feel shoehorned in and not much fun. Those lengthy interruptions made sailing times stretch on longer than I’d like, and the expensive upgrades, like new sails for my ship, barely made a perceptible difference when it came to outrunning threats.”
Pcgamer – By: – Rating: 88/100
“The Defiant can be heavily customised to make surviving these encounters more likely, with faster sails, a stronger hull, and more powerful cannons among the upgrades you can buy. Or you can buy a whole new ship altogether if you have a few thousand coppers to spare, but a bigger ship means more crew, more food, more booze, and more wages, so it’s a purchase you should save until you have more money to invest. If trading cannon balls from afar isn’t your thing, however, you can always charge the enemy at full speed and board their ship. Here the game switches to the familiar isometric view and you fight the crew using regular combat, leaping across to their deck like a classic Hollywood swashbuckler. When you defeat a ship your crew gets a big morale boost, and you can salvage supplies from the wreckage, choosing whether to share the money with the crew or keep it all to yourself.
Dock the Defiant at one of the many islands littering the archipelago and the wind really hits Deadfire’s sails. When the game slips back into its comfy old roleplaying boots it’s among Obsidian’s finest work as RPG developers. The Dyrwood was a wonderfully drawn setting, dripping with culture and history, but the Deadfire Archipelago is even more fascinating and alien. There’s a whole world to discover out there: of strange rites and rituals, water-shaping priests, ancient sea dragons, and centuries of conquest and division. And I loved drinking it all in through long conversations, books, and inscriptions, eager to learn as much as I could about the history of this absurdly rich setting. Although, admittedly, the vast quantities of lore being constantly hurled at you can be a little overwhelming at times, especially if this is your first trip to Eora.
The Deadfire is a wilder, more lawless place than the leafy Dyrwood, scattered with uncharted islands untouched by civilisation and pirates stalking the waterways. But you arrive there in a period of change, with foreign factions encroaching on the archipelago, looking to exploit it. Like some of the best fantasy, Pillars mirrors our own history, and it’s clear the turmoil in the Deadfire is an analogue of the colonisation of the Pacific. Factions include the native Huana, whose way of life and culture is being threatened by the arrival of groups like the Vailian Trading Company. And as the Watcher, you can decide whose side you’re on—if you want to pick a side at all.”
Gamespot – By: Daniel Starkey – Rating: 8/10
“Rich, detailed prose focuses on setting the scene and building an atmosphere. Deadfire’s characters are bright and nuanced, and their descriptions weave personality into the simplest interactions. All of this makes for an enriching read–if you’ve got the patience for it. Like the first game, the writing is phenomenal overall, but some sections can be unnecessarily verbose, and that can occasionally strike as a weakness. But, more often than not, vivid text is a means to help you escape to this fantastical world. Thankfully, though, it’s not the only trick Deadfire’s got.
While the isometric view is a bit of a throwback, the art and visual detail of the world stands abreast with the writing as one of the adventure’s strongest points. Not only is this a visual feast, mostly because of its imaginative settings and application of the arcane, but its direction is poignant and gripping. The seaside shacks and exotic, otherworldly creatures are a stark departure of the classical fantasy setting of the previous entry’s Dyrwood. The cliched stylings of Caed Nua castle give way to Treasure Island, with all the monsters and magic of DnD. In other words, this is more a fantasy adventure in a pirate-y tone than the other way around. And that works just fine–keeping enough of the original appeal intact while folding in sharp new ideas and ambiance.
Deadfire is dense, and it isn’t a small game, easily dwarfing its predecessor in terms of scale. There’s a lot to do, and it’s easier than ever to get lost in the little stories you find, without following the arcs that the game has specially set out for you. Still, it’s worth taking your time. The richness of Deadfire takes a while to appreciate, and like the brined sailors that call it home, you’ll be left with an indelible attachment to these islands when you do finally step away.”