Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Versus Evil
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition – Review

Site Score
9.3
Good: Classic RPG fun, Loveable characters
Bad: Controls can be finicky
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has been out on PC for almost 2 years now, but is as impressive as ever. Obsidian Entertainment now brings this franchise to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with the Ultimate Edition, a version of the game containing all expansion packs and free DLC on top of the base game. It’s time to dive into the pirate-infested waters of the Deadfire Archipelago once more to decide the fate of Eora and all the souls that inhabit it.

Story

The game picks up not long after where the first Pillars of Eternity left off. A narrated text summarizes those events for us briefly before throwing us into a cutscene setting up the new plot. The Watcher (also the player character in the previous game) has been living for some time undisturbed, when the God Eothas, thought vanquished but apparently still alive and in deep slumber, rises from beneath The Watcher’s castle. Now in the form of a stone titan, Eothas promptly kills everybody around by absorbing their souls. The Watcher manages to barely cling to his (or her) life, though part of his soul gets stolen too. A different goddess offers to return him to the world of mortals if he takes on the quest of discovering how Eothas has risen and more importantly, why? Having not much choice, he sets out on their journey, this time taking place entirely in the far east of Eora, on hundreds of islands collectively called the Deadfire Archipelago.

Quite uniquely for this kind of game, a lot of the story is actually told to us through text, often presented in-between battles or while traveling between locations. These parts play much like a text adventure would, with choices presented to us at the end of each page to decide how we will proceed.

Graphics

Pillars of Eternity looks as good as expected in this newest release. The game has an isometric point-of-view, so while there isn’t much room for details as the angle is designed to give you a better oversight of the battlefield while playing, the environments still look great and they are sizable, giving you lots of space to explore. The character portraits and cutscenes are drawn beautifully as well and the text fragments all come with nice illustrations. The world map is a bit less impressive, but you won’t be spending much time there anyway, mostly using it to travel from location to location.

Sound

The soundtrack of Pillars of Eternity II is good, with a lot of clear influences from other iconic fantasy RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls. But standing out even more is the voice acting. Every major character is fully voice acted and some minor characters have lines as well, with a great cast of actors giving their all for the performance. It really helps make your party members sound more unique. As is typical of these games, during combat some lines or sound effects will be repeated a bit too often, which wears them out quickly, but it’s easy to ignore.

Gameplay

Pillars of Eternity II is a classic RPG. There is a large focus on character customization, though you can also import your character if you played the previous game. After picking your race, previous job and appearance, the game has 11 classes to choose from, each with several subclasses that will change the skill tree you get to work within. New in this game is the option to multi-class, meaning you will be able to gain abilities from both classes but never will be able to max them.

After this you can take your character into the brand new world, taking on quests left and right and gathering party members. Your actions and dialogue options will, of course, alter who will want to ally with you and who would rather slit your throat. Completing quests will grant you loot and gold either way (not to mention all the shiny stuff you can grab off your fallen enemies) which means better gear for your party. Since the game takes place on a series of islands, your money also will be spent maintaining and upgrading your boat and making sure it can withstand any pirate attacks you might have to endure while on sea.

The battle system in Pillars of Eternity II comes in two forms. You can choose either real-time, where the action happens continuously and you can pause the game whenever you want to get a strategic overview or more traditional turn-based combat. Whichever type you choose will depend mostly on playstyle. You will have to change tactics either way depending on what characters you have in your party and what class you choose. The game has a huge assortment of weapon types and different kinds of magic that work together in unique ways. A small downside is that the controls do seem to be a bit finicky at times, especially during combat. Either the game wasn’t tweaked as perfectly for consoles as it should have or it’s just a matter of getting used to them. You will spend a lot of time interacting with the wrong object, trying to get your character to attack the right enemy, or wishing your party members would just do what you want them to do.

Conclusion

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a solid RPG game with a good dose of action. The story is engaging and filled with colorful characters who all have distinct personalities, the gameplay draws you in and your choices feel like they actually matter here. A few adjustments aside, it certainly feels worth checking out and the Ultimate Edition comes with all the DLC and expansions, giving you the complete story in one go.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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