WG Kaspar wrote:I'll wait till you finish it. I have my own opinions on this.
I finished it a while back but got kinda stuck while trying to write my review for it. Kinda hit a writer's block and so on. So, some general thoughts on the game: I thought it was very good, it hit all the right points in terms of broad strokes and had a fascinating setting. There is some alternate reality where I could have seen this being better than Pillars of Eternity
as well... Unfortunately where it mostly lets me down, especially when compared to its predecessor, is on the finer details or lack thereof. By finer details I mean the kind of choices you are given to solve each conflict, or the way a certain town or person responds to your actions through the game: especially in a game that has you complete tasks as monumental as this one does, you kinda wish more people would comment or react to these facts. Your companions do, as do the main characters in the story, but as for the villagers affected in each Tier by your choices, they have little to say, offer or *do* following the completion or that certain quest: it's like the developers assumed right away that the player would just barrel through the game and never look back at the places they visited before, to see how they'd changed. A case in point is a small fort in Stalwart which you are tasked with either defending or taking down depending on the path you've selected - after resolving the act you can return to the fort, only to see the characters in it huddled up the same way they were before the final portion of the task, speaking as if that final portion had not occured. This 'bug' occured time and time again in my experience.
More frustrating than these, though, are the way some events force you into sub-optimal choices or outright *bad* choices not out of pressure from the scene itself but from the lack of a better choice amidst the options you are given. It frustrated me to no end that as a rebel I was unable to talk the Bronze Brotherhood and Forge-Bound into cooperating with one another just because one insulted the other at a fairly deserved time, or that I was *forced* into accepting Radix's plan to blight the lands permanently during the Disfavoured path - a *plan*, mind you, not a necessity - simply because I was never given an option to disagree with it
. Situations like this strike me simply as bad interactive storytelling, because all of a sudden very optional or choice-driven elements are railroaded for the sake of convenience: of course there needs to come a time where you show the Disfavoured as evil and bluntly show the player that siding with them was *not* to side with good, but if so this is a situation where you should not be asked for permission the way you are in the game: more satisfying would have been for them to simply tell you what they were going to do by way of "informing" you, before or after the fact, and with no required input from your behalf - it's something they'll do regardless of your attempts to stop it. Which leads me to my other big gripe regarding the lack of choice, which is as follows: we're sent into this conflict as a representative of Tunon, a.k.a. 'law', and yet very rarely are we given the chance to act out as a representative of Tunon, with the law's interests in mind first and foremost. I'm disappointed that regardless of the side we take, we are essentially forced to respond to the interests of another party and never to what we were originally brought to do. For a game where we're supposed to act as a mediator and investigator between several groups, there's really very little diplomacy or mediation to do - we must always act in the best interests of one of two or more sides, and that sits wrongly with me.
Despite my criticisms I did overall enjoy it greatly, I found the characters were all very interesing and well-rounded, I thought that as an examination on evil and as something of a videogame version of the Milgram experiment it was wonderful, and I thought many little touches with regards to the setting and lore made it as a whole much more affecting than simply your "standard fantasy setting", so to speak. I highly recommend this video on the game, by the way: