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The story is good, and I enjoyed the way it worked throughout the game. Given that this is the most important aspect of an RPG like this, it made the game overall enjoyable.

Combat is also pretty decent except that I was max level near the start of Act III. That turned most of the fights into mindless spanks.

There were a few exceptions. The finale of the Endless Paths was hard. And having now finished the game, I was right on when I said I suspected it was the hardest fight in the game. That fight is the only one with a mob who can one-hit-knock-out (OHKO) the entire party, and can do it every couple minutes or so if the fight lasts long enough.  I really wish such things weren't in games as there is zero fun to be had when the first time you face a mob, you're entire party gets wiped out in just a few seconds.  Given the sheer amount of cheese (but no bugs) that I used to win this fight, I'm not sure anyone at Obsidian really thought to try and balance this fight out.   Of course, it was totally optional, but still...

I killed all the dragons, and I did all the god quest and unlocked those achievements. Somehow I didn't unlock the visit every map achievement. I have no idea what I missed or if its just a bug. I do know I didn't complete all the quests simply because you can't. You have to pick a faction at Defiance Bay, and the one you pick actually matters to the ending.

Speaking of which, like too many games, Pillars of Eternity has the whole pick-an-ending dialogue at the end. There is a huge, massive, so-much-better aspect to how PoE handles this tho. Unlike say Mass Effect 3 where your final choice is the only thing that actually mattered, your choices and actions leading up to this final choice all get added in to the ending. I'd saved my game before thinking I'd just watch a bunch of final cutscenes. After watching the first, I realized that wouldn't work as all kinds of things are tied into things you did as you traveled the world. If you're going to make a game with a pick-an-ending, this is the way to do it.  Better yet, come up with an ending that's based entirely on things the player did before s/he gets there so you don't have that moment of deus ex.

The game is not without its flaws. I hate that its level based without any way of knowing before you go into the fight whether its something you can handle or not. Sure, I can access my bestiary that is now pretty much filled out, but that's meaningless during the game. All they've done by hiding this information is made save scumming or wiki research mandatory.

I also really dislike the rest system. It makes zero sense to have skills that are limited per rest and then have how many times you can rest on an adventure limited by a very artificial feeling consumable and quantity-limited system. Like the hidden mob levels, all this does is promote boring gameplay. In this case, you had to trek back to town to either rest at an inn or buy more camping gear. Then you'd trek back. Nothing fun was added.

My last major complaint is that controller-type effects are seriously overpowered. Paralyze scrolls, spells, and like 2/3 of the cipher abilities leave your opponents utterly helpless. And of course, the handful of mobs who can charm your party members or stun them are easily the worst fights in the game.

Anyway, I'd give the game a "B" overall. It hits on its most important elements, and the problems in the game can be overcome, albeit with a bit of tedium.

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I enjoyed your review. It was fair and I agree with much of it, and thanks for sharing.


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Ya, I was really careful on not spoiling.  Nothing in my review is stuff that a player doesn't already know.  The dragons bit is an achievement as is the gods bit so you're looking at that pretty much every time you log in.

 

Now, if I'd explained why meeting Hiravias was my fav moment in the game, and went into detail, that'd be a spoiler.  But I won't so it's not nor is anything else in my review.

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