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rewiew after finishing the game ( version 1.02 ) (spoilers)

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I think that PoE2 is one of the best RPGs ever.

PoE1 was already better than the old IE games in many ways ( OK, there were over 15 years between them ) and PoE2 improved a lot of things.


pros of PoE2:

- The setting: Having a large world map makes exploring fun. You really feel like an adventurer. Exploring it with a ship is fitting too. The different areas look great.

- The atmosphere: I think it is just right. PoE1 was a bit too negative for me. The main theme were children without soul, the first town had a tree full of hanged people and there were mad cultists everywhere.

PoE2 still has dark places and cultists, but it also has many neutral or even funny things. It is very good to have a larger range of emotions, not just dark all the time.

- the factions: In PoE1 they had little impact, you could join them without realizing and they became meaningless after you did the quest for them.

In PoE2 the factions are almost everywhere, they give you different tasks for the same thing and you have to chose what to do.

- encounter design: In PoE1 it was not so good but it improved with the expansions.

In PoE2 it makes sense that the enemies are where they are. They ambush you or you can ambush them. There are battles were different enemies spawn during battle and attack you from different directions.

- equipment and enchantment: The effects of equipment and their enchantments are more unique. In PoE1 you were looking for an item with a good unique effect and used the standart enchantments on it. In PoE 2 you can only enchant unique equipment with unique enchantments that fit to that item.

- In both games the main story was not very focussed. PoE1 told you that you have to find Thaos fast because being a watcher is driving you insane. But the game did not care that you do a million other things in the mean time. PoE2 is a game about exploration, so it is not a problem that you do many other things while exploring.

- I really like multi classing and sub classes a lot. PoE1 already gave you tons of options for your character and with the expanded system of PoE2 you can create almost every char you can imagine.

- With 4 mayor factions and many choices that have an impact on how the story continues the replay value is much better than PoE1.

- Compared to PoE1 and many other games there were relatively few bugs. The game crashed to desktop a few times by area transitions and I reported some bugs. But I did not face any game breaking bug that prevented me from continuing. I had to quit PoE1 because of bugs during my first playthrough.


cons of PoE2:

- The game was much too easy. I played the game on veteran without level scaling. There was only one hard fight in the game for me: the giant worm below Neketaka. I was lv7 and I had only the starting equipment and some items I got from "trash" enemies. Starting with level 9 the game was very easy and starting with lv15 I felt like a god. Later in the game I could win all fights with auto attacks and some AoE spells. The bosses ( kraken, dragons, . . . ) could be one shotted with an empowered missle spell from Aloth.

The huge "nerf bat" of version 1.1 is really needed.

- I miss large dungeons. Many "dungeons" have only a single encounter. I really liked Durlags tower and the watching fortress in BG, my favourite dungeon is the mage tower in the swamp in realms of arcadia 3. Is having a few harder battles, some puzzles and a boss at the end too much?

The Eothas temple in Gilded Vale was a good example. It told a story, you had several different enemy types, you had to collect hints to solve a puzzle and there was a tough enemy at the lowest level (skuldr king).

- I miss chances to mess things up. Lets look at the main quest from the beta (poko kohara). The VTC tells me to restore it and the RDC tells me to destroy it. I destroyed it. The RDC gave me a reward and the next quest (so far, so good). I told the VTC "Your people are dead and the luminous adra is gone." I get a reward, a positive reputation boost and they give me the next quest. I expected not to get a reward and to get a negative reputation.

- The german translation is terrible. For many things they reused descriptions of PoE1, although many game mechanics and abilities have changed. They even repeated the same mayor bug from PoE1 to name weapons like stat modifiers. A hunting bow is called "intellekt+2". It was bad enough in PoE1 but they did exactly the same mistakes in PoE2. Half of the time playing I was reporting bugs to the guys who make the translation mod.


I think PoE2 has the chance to be a great game and all other games will be compared to it for the next years, like BG2 has this status now ( after some more patches for bug fixing and balancing).

I am looking forward to how they intend to implement the expansions. WM1+2 were great, in many regards better than the original game. But the way it was implemented in the game either the expansion or the main game became pathetically easy, depending on what you did first.

Fallout NV did it well, all expansions were great. I think old world blues was my favourite ( Crazy robots with human brain is the dream of a mad scientist. )

Edited by Madscientist
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I agree with pretty much everything you said. I'd add :


- the main story was a let down for me. It wasn't clear what was happening, it was too short and I felt I had little to no agency during the quest. I saw some interesting points about how refreshing that is (for once, we're not some uber hero who solves everything), but I think it would still have been possible to allow some small agency (or perhaps the illusion of agency) that all comes crashing at the end, because, no, you can't tell a god what to do.

- Returning companions were lackluster IMO. I only saw Eder's, Pallegina's and Aloth's quests and I was pretty disappointed by them, Aloth being the worst. Way too short. I was really looking forward to Eder's confrontation with Eothas about the fate of his brother, to no avail. I expected Pallegina to be a lot more troubled and critical following her becoming a Kind Wayfarer, but nope. In my playthrough, Aloth had little to say and the quest concerning the Painted Masks was the least interesting the whole game. As a (rookie) DM, I was pretty disappointed.


So yeah, I was clearly looking for a strong narrative experience and that fell way short IMO. I'm still looking forward to the expansions (since I backed the game with way too much money) but I'll be seriously considering backing or buying further Obsidian games. Sorry, but the goods weren't as advertised...

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So yeah, I was clearly looking for a strong narrative experience and that fell way short IMO.

Yes, as a sequl to PoE1 it is somewhat disappointed as it doesnt deliver in the area, which made me care about the sequel in the first place. However, everything else is superb, so... it’s still great? Maybe?

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So yeah, I was clearly looking for a strong narrative experience and that fell way short IMO.

Yes, as a sequl to PoE1 it is somewhat disappointed as it doesnt deliver in the area, which made me care about the sequel in the first place. However, everything else is superb, so... it’s still great? Maybe?


Yeah, its an 8/10 for me.  The game as a whole is definately greatish and I'm confident Obsidian will keep making it better through patching and content. I'm just disappointed by its narrative elements. Still gonna play the **** out of it... (600+ h in POE1)

Edited by dukeisaac
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