Pillars of Eternity is a crowd funded RPG for PC that was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. It has three different digital retail packages on offer, Hero Edition ($44.99), Champion Edition ($59.99) and Royal Edition ($89.99).
Pillars of Eternity takes place in a D&D like fantasy world called Dyrwood. In this setting the player has a main objective of figuring out why the world is cursed with babies being born without souls. Along the way the player will take on the company of many other in game adventurers ranging from wizards, dwarves, and many other races and classes who will partake in their own quests as well as in the main one.
Pro Fantastic throwback to the isometric RPGs of old
For fans of games like Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale, Pillars of Eternity truly succeeds in bringing the CRPG genre into the modern era without compromising any of the old mechanics. The isometric view of the game gives a familiar feel but the new engine and addition of many modern effects gives the game a look all its own that fits in with any modern offerings on PC.
Pro Three editions available that offer extra out of game content
There are three different digital retail editions available for Pillars of Eternity, Hero Edition ($44.99), Champion Edition ($59.99) and Royal Edition ($89.99). The Hero edition is the base game with no extras. The Champion Edition offers the purchaser extra digital content such as a soundtrack and HD map. The Royal Edition offers everything the Champion Edition does with even more extra digital content such as Ringtones, eBooks and a strategy guide.
There is zero in game content missing from any of these editions as Obsidian made it a point to make sure all the extras are just that, extras. Some may say what is on offer for the extra editions is not comparable to the price, really it is just a way for fans to give more money to a studio that bothered to create a genre of game that is often overlooked, a way to show appreciation.
Pro Crafting system
Players can collects items in the world to use for crafting. Crafting allows for creation of potions and scrolls as well as equipable items or enchantments for equipable items such as weapons, shields and armor.
Unlike some crafting systems, crafting in Pillars of Eternity is a mechanic and not a skill, so there is no need to level up any crafting experience in order to craft.
Pro Movie quality music
The quality of the soundtrack is comparable to some of the best CRPGs out there as well as films like Lord of the Rings. At times there are looping soundtracks but luckily the sound design was done in such a way that there is also moments of ambient music and sounds to break up the monotony.
Pro Rich storytelling
One of the main highlights of Pillars of Eternity is the rich and deeply involved story telling. The minutia to be found in game is almost exasperating. Every aspect of the world and the characters within have a very involved background with many different reactions to the players chosen character (race, class, etc.). On top of this there is often very well done voice acting to accompany these scenarios, giving even more life to the game.
Pro Combat requires forethought
The combat in Pillars of Eternity usually requires a good bit of planning. Depending on the monsters one is facing the scenario shifts on how one needs to react. Fighting a couple of bandits will call for a complete different reaction than fighting a large dragon. Players have to adapt constantly, which creates an exciting atmosphere and a good bit of tension. The use of the space bar (or having a setting that auto pauses) to pause the game is key in planning how to react to each scenario which thankfully gives the player plenty of time to plan their future actions.
Pro Deep character creation
The character creation menu in Pillars of Eternity are highly detailed. The player can choose from six different races that have eleven playable classes. There is also an assortment of sub races for each of the six races. Making for a pretty wide selection of choices that allows the player to create very individualized avatars.
Pro Large selection of companions
A player can have up to five different companions accompany them along their quest. Many of these companions have their own storylines, making for a feeling of connection. There is also the option of hiring your own user created companions at an inn, but of course this may not be as exciting as using the game created ones.
Con Not a particularly good story
If you read books or listen to audiobooks in the fantasy fiction genre, then the story presented here will likely seem very generic and predictable. Even the plot twists are exactly the plot twists you'd expect. Given the game contains more reading than a 300 page book it's fair to say you will spend a great deal of time reading what amounts to sub par fiction.
Con Very little actual gameplay
The gameplay involves moving from place to place reading text and making dialog decisions. While there is a combat layer, it is neither deep nor tactically rewarding. The game is about reading very large blocks of text and making a dialog decision. Sort of like a Steve Jackson book - but with a lot more reading. It's a borderline decision whether Pillar's is a game at all or might better be described as a "choose your own adventure" book.