Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is an isometric RPG. You play as a Watcher, someone who can look into the memories and souls of others, as you attempt to win back a part of your own soul by defeating the god Eathos.
Pro Dynamic roleplaying opportunities
Your skills and character stats influence every dialogue choice, interaction, and even how NPCs react to you. The world around you dynamically adjusts and changes based on how you're building your character and who you choose to recruit to your party.
When interacting with NPCs, you're presented with unique dialogue options or opportunities based on your skills and reputation. Perhaps one NPC that would have given you a quest doesn't trust you anymore based on an action you took previously in the game. Or maybe you're good at stealth, so you are asked to carry out a sneaky operation. If your diplomacy is high, you can even talk your way out fights or help NPCs resolve their problems without violence.
Sometimes, something as simple as being a certain race or hailing from a certain place will change the way you are treated or the quests you are asked to complete. You or your party's background might even mean the difference between an NPC being a friend or foe.
All of this opens to the door to some really immersive role playing opportunities where you can really feel the weight of your decisions and how you choose to flesh out your stats.
Pro Open, hand-crafted world
Unlike the first Pillars game, which was a linear set of explorable regions, Deadfire offers up the whole world for your adventures. You'll be exploring anywhere you want right from the beginning. The best part is, nothing is procedurally generated or random. Every map, enemy placement, and interaction is carefully hand-crafted and intentional. This allows for a more organic adventure that doesn't feel forced or suffer from bad placement.
Pro It's exciting to commandeer your own pirate ship
While your ship is mainly used to explore and hop from island to island, it goes well beyond that. Seeing another ship on the seas and attacking it (or being attacked by it) in naval combat gets you to you fight to make sure your boat stays afloat. Being out on the ocean can spark a whole bunch of different random encounters with hostile forces.
You can also assign your party members to various positions such as navigation, cannons, and more depending on their unique skillsets. Depending on their skills, different party members will have various benefits when assigned to different positions such as better accuracy or steering capabilities.
You never know what situations you'll find yourself in or what islands you'll discover when you're traveling the high seas, making it a pretty fun and exciting experience.
Pro Strategic combat
Pausing the combat action between every swing of your sword or winding up of a spell can lead to really some really strategic play as you plan each and every move. Positioning your party or deciding what actions to take can be handled with a lot of thought behind it.
Additionally, all of your units can be scripted individually to do things like attack, heal, or use a spell when certain conditions are met. This means your healers will only cast their healing spells when actually needed, or your mages will only use a devastating spell at just the right time. From start to finish, this full control over the combat helps it to feel more like an intricate puzzle beaten with brains and awareness, rather than a button mashing frenzy.
Pro True freedom of choice in how you handle quests
Quests can be completed in multiple ways, depending on how you want to approach them. You're able to tackle quests in a multitude of interesting ways such as sheer brute force, stealth, diplomacy, and more. For example, if you need to get a key off an NPC you can either fight them, try to steal the key, or even talk them into giving to you. Depending on how you build the skills of each member of your party, the possibilities for completing quests are almost endless.
Con Combat is too easy
Most common enemies pose little to no challenge. It's very easy to become overpowered and simply steamroll through packs of mobs. There is an option to pause the live action and ponder your next move in combat, but it's rarely ever needed or utilized, except on the highest difficulty setting.
Note: At the time of this writing, the devs have promised a future patch to rebalance the combat difficulty.
Con Unfocused storytelling
Rather than focusing on stopping the god you set out to destroy, much of your time will be spent helping side characters and running errands for the three main factions. Most of the game is devoted to these side quests/objectives and only a handful of these have any noticeable effect on the main storyline progression.