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This will be a short impression. To start with I should mention I haven't played any IE games, I tried to play them several times but never could get a hang of them. I don't read every single piece of lore in an RPG; I read all the gameplay dialogues and much less of codex entries. I'm not a fan of "IE style" nor 2D backgrounds, I was neutral on that topic and I think I'm an open-minded player so I got on board with Pillars and I don't regret it one bit. I played 5 of Obsidian's games before Pillars which are Kotor 2, NWN2, Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege 3 and New Vegas. I loved all of them except DS3; guess it wasn't buggy enough :D I don't remember much of DS3 but I remember ıt wasn't interesting enough to continue playing. So in Pillars, everything's bland from story to companions to items. I don't have any complaints for combat and I don't much care about the items&equipment to complain about them. Stronghold and companions could have been better but my main issue is with the story; not the main story but all of it and not what it is but how I experienced it. It's strange that before Pillars I could doubt every feature in an upcoming Obsidian game but the story. I can't think of many things to base my point on except for everything I did felt bland. It felt like devs tried too hard to avoid everything which had been done before: like there were no long quest chains in different acts(most quests were too quick to reach conclusions), no duel situations with spectators, no big trial/evidence gathering etc. Yeah there were no NWN2 stuff :D but instead of things like these there were no new interesting things either. So why make it this way? To kickstart a fantasy universe in the cleanest way possible so you can branch it and make it interesting later on? DAO started a new fantasy universe(which went down the **** in later games) but it never felt bland in that game. Yeah it didn't feel as original as Pillars and there was the biggest cliche of all that the evil army threatening to destroy the world. But quests in DAO felt more connected and were not so eager to reach an end. Companions were more involved in story and side content(*they also could talk directly to the NPC you were talking to and get a response much more often than in Pillars*). And romances may have helped with DAO but I never felt the lack of romances in Pillars so that was not it for me. Don't get me wrong. I liked the more mature theme and realistic approach to most things(I wouldn't have minded if the universe was magic-free :D no, I'd have been overjoyed if that was the case); the hollowborn situation and how gods are displayed. But the game generally lacked flavor. Maybe it's because(it's a big game but) current events take place in and effect such a small part of the world we don't know much about. Maybe it's cos of the safe/controlled approach to a new IP or something else. Anyway, had to get it out of my chest. Thanks for reading and sorry for my grammar.