It took me 109 hours to finish my first game. I've left the game running, while being AFK and therefore the actual playtime is maybe around 90 hours. This duration should tell you:
A) I did enjoy the game
B) You get a lot of playtime for your buck (regardless the quality)
C) I have probably experienced a LOT of the content.
First I want to thank the devs for a good game and I want to express that I had fun playing it. This said, it wasn't all wonderful .. Here is my hopefully constructive feedback:
- Why sidekicks? I did collect them all, but I never used them. To me they are the same as generating your own crew. They're not needed and just complicate your hero selection (as in I need to scroll to the left and right to find the actually real companions).
- As in the first game the story was "meh". It was just a bit boring. The devs failed to make me really care about my character, the major parties or the world itself. I'm not sure if I'm just not interested in the world, the philosophical questions or if they're just not that good at story telling (no offense). Don't get me wrong, there were interesting parts in it and I didn't roll my eyes while playing, but it just didn't really grip me.
- The game had what felt like 5 main quests. So even though I played 90+ hours, I feel like I didn't actually do anything expect some busy work quests like mapping the place, hunting ships and such (Far Cry style). It reminds me a bit of Gothic 3, where one had ONE main quest = Find Xardas (or whatever his name was). Maybe I just feel that way because I was missing more of .. something?
- That's made worse by the mindless exploring. The player uncovers mostly meaningless islands with randomized loot. There is a portrait hovering over an island and there are maybe 3-4 "items" of which one is an encounter and one a mini dungeon. I strongly disliked this kind of exploring. It felt cheap/random.
- What's going on with those mini maps/dungeons? Here's a little something, there's a little something … I liked the first Pillars better in that regard. This just wasn't enough.
- Basically the game has one main city. Again, this isn't enough. I suppose the first Pillars was similar and had about the same amount of "maps", but here it felt like not enough content. If the devs want, they can see it as a compliment that I couldn't get enough of it. But I don't think that's exactly it.
- It felt to me like I've read all the books already in the first pillars. After trying to read about 3 of them, I gave it up.
- I've played the difficulty below Path of the damned, I think and with battles including vampires as exceptions the fights were way too easy. What happened? In fact for most battles I just used the standard AI and didn't do much at all. I should have scaled the fights, I think.
- A lot of bugs are still in the game. Bugs regarding the adventure book, the enchanting system, the dialogue system and the reputation system really caught my attention. For a long time the game didn't even properly recognize the skill buffs my equipment gave me. Not cool. Aloth seemed especially bugged out. The totems were bugged as well. Or rather the statusbar. Several times my chars had 20-40 times the debuff.
- Personally, I didn't enjoy the Caribbean scenario much. That's a me problem.
- The ship fights were BAD. They felt like they didn't belong into the game. Sure, I won them, but they were tedious and boring. Not a fan.
- What was going on with this version of romance? I romanced Maia … Me:"let's be together"...Her:"okay, do one quest for me" …Her:"ok, XY likes you so I like you" AND THAT'S IT? Is this a bug? Did the dialogue not fire? Why include romance at all? There were no personal talks or anything. Better just not to have the option.
- Not satisfied with the ending either. I always tried the diplomatic approach, didn't choose a side and it all ended in chaos. Sure, I get the reasoning, but I wasn't really given an alternative. I usually manage to get good endings. Not here, apparently. After a break I might try out some other endings.
- The characteristics for the MC that influence the dialogues could be maxed (max = 2?) in 2-4 hours. That's too fast and the implementation into the dialogues felt meaningless for 70% of the cases. Pillars 1 seemed better in this regard. Same goes for character reputation. There was even a Cathwenna (or something like that) NPC that didn't want to accept my help because my skullduggery (or whatever) was at 2. I barely did any shady things …
- I only liked Eder and Aloth again. Once more didn't care about the rest of them.
Alright, here some positive things:
- The graphics were great. I don't care too much about that. Pillars 1 was good enough for me.
- The animations are nice. Again, I don't really focus on that and I was happy with the first part already.
- The choose your own adventure book style was done well. I liked how it was combined with the other story telling.
- Multi Classes are cool.
I did enjoy the White Marches. How come Pillars 2 feels like a step back (to me)?
Suggestions for future Pillar Games:
- Graphics and Animations are good enough. Please focus on story, fights and more content.
- Forget about the watcher. Let us make a new character in this world.
- How about making us the son/daughter of a noble man/woman/person and we inherit his/her/their run down keep, village, advisors and enemies (external + internal)? This is for me a good way to make me care about something (a personal story, where I build up stuff). The devs only partially succeeded with this in Pillars 1. Cad Nua never really felt like a home to me.
- Keep the story on a small scope for Pillars 3. Keep it personal. Maybe it becomes an epic story with Pillars 6 or so, when we're made the king's/queen's general/marshal or something. It would be so great to really see the improvements from game to game and also the years go by. Climbing up the feudal system step by step would be amazing … with intrigue, drama, tournaments, wars, alliances. Of course the different outcomes would have to be limited.
[EDIT] If I had to rate the game, it would be a 7 / 10. For me that's a rather high ranking. For the gaming industry that wouldn't be regarded a "good" rating. Well, they're wrong.
Edited by Demovitron, 25 May 2018 - 07:25 AM.