developer: Obsidian Entertainment
publisher: Paradox Interactive
Game mode: single player
Pillars of Eternity for PC, PS4 and XONE is the first entirely independent production of Obsidian Entertainment. The developers decided to use all of their experience gained back in their Black Isle Studios days and create an RPG that combines the best elements or such classics as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout. The development team featured a number of the genre veterans, including Tim Cain (Fallout, Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil), Josh Sawyer (Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale II, Fallout: New Vegas), Scott Everts (Fallout, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale II, Fallout: New Vegas), Brian Menze (Planescape: Torment), and Dan Spitzley (Planescape: Torment).
The story of Pillars of Eternity is set in a vast fantasy world inhabited by people of various races and beliefs. What is interesting, despite its strongly emphasized fantasy themes, the game does not lack for firearms used by both the player’s party and their enemies. The world of Pillars of Eternity consists of several dozen various locations, including: forests, dungeons, and ancient ruins full of dangers and nasty surprises. We also spend a considerable amount of time visiting urban areas, for example: the city of Defiance Bay that comprises of several large districts. During our travels, we meet many NPCs that give us quests to perform and, in some cases, even join the party. The game distinguishes itself by giving the players a great freedom of approach – it is only up to us whether we decide to negotiate, sneak past the guards, or storm the gate. The hallmark of Pillars of Eternity are things called “scripted interactions” – whenever the protagonist or the party has to perform an action other that standard options, like combat or dialogue, we are presented with a separate screen that describes the situation and provides us with possible choices.
The gameplay is based on the solutions known from the classics of the genre. The developers decided to implement a real-time combat system with active pause feature that allows the players to stop the passage of time in order to issue commands to party members. The character progressions is based on the experience we gain during our adventures, and the game offers a huge arsenal of weapons, armor, and items to be either bought or found.
The unique feature of Pillars of Eternity is the opportunity to govern your own stronghold, acquired a few hours into the main story. First of all, the place has to be rebuilt so it can regain its prestige guarantee its defensive capabilities are intact. As we develop the keep, we gain access to new quests and merchants. Furthermore, the stronghold offers a number of additional activities and functions – we can imprison captured enemies, receive delegations or send our subordinates on errands.
The visuals of the PC, PS4 and XONE edition of Pillars of Eternity resemble classic cRPGs. The on-screen events are presented in isometric view, characteristic of the late 90's - early 00's RPGs, for example: Baldur’s Gate and the Icewind Dale series. The title stands out from its predecessors because of numerous special effects, such as fire or spellcasting animations.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i5 2400 3.10 GHz/AMD Phenom II X6 3.3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, graphic card 1 GB GeForce GTX 570/Radeon HD 7700 or better, 20 GB HDD, Windows Vista/7/8
Minimum: Intel Core i3 2100T 2.5 GHz/AMD Phenom II X3 2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB GeForce 9600 GT/Radeon HD 4850 or better, 20 GB HDD, Windows Vista/7/8