Messy review, get it? 'Cause I am Messier-31, get it? No?
Could've just written "out of this world review", 'cause Messier-31 is the Andromeda Galaxy...
So, anyway! I finished the Crägholdt Bluffs recently and decided to share some loose thoughts with you gals and guys. As you probably know by now, once your main character get his/hers very own stronghold there will be a new quest given to you by the Stewart. It seems there is some ruckus going on near Caed Nua, so it would be wise to investigate, since there is no telling if the Torn Bannermen responsible for this mayhem wont come knocking to your door once they are finished in Crägholdt Bluffs. "True dat", said The Watcher and thus the new adventrure started...
Hey there, neighbour. You wouldn't have a cup o' sugar to spare, would you?
The location you are supposed to investigate is right next door to your hold. Talking about convenience. Wait, does it mean the world famous super wizard Concelhaut is living next to me? Don't get me wrong, I wanted to fill that blank space of the map since the realease of the game, but putting another small wilderness area between would be nice. I mean, there's the Château Raedric a few blocks away, why them locations are so thoroughly packed next to each other? And talking about today's neighbours, what a bunch of stiff people...
Moving on, once you get to the place there is a can of whoop-ass to be opened, as the entire location is filled with the soldiers of the Torn Bannermen. They are mercenaries hired by someone to get the magical phylactery out of Concelhaut's hands. And yes, they got orders to kill on sight anyone who appraches tchem - luckily it means you too, so you get a level of the game that is probably an excuse to throw some more challenging fights at you.
These fellas been so overwhelmed with the siege that they just stand still in place doing nothing, simply waiting for interrupting adventurers to come by.
I respect that people like and want to have tough fights and all. But there is literally no other way than to kill everyone. No diplomacy, no bribing, no threatening... and even if there are some conversation options that try give the feeling that there are in fact options - nope - it ends in a fight. But you know, I understand. This is a war zone, so there might not be time to talk and shake hands. Sadly though, when I asked the leader of the Torn Bannermen if we could help eachother, he simply said that not now, since I slaughtered his soldiers while entering the area. If only I could do otherwise, sir. Now hand over this armor of yours, I fancy it.
So we have a war zone with kill first, ask questions later policy. But why there is no fighting going on, other than my party? Do you remember Defiance Bay in chaos after the assasination took place in ducal palace? There was a lot of fighting going on between everbody there. But this fearsome siege seems like a phony war in 1939, when the English and the French declared war on Nazi Germany and, well, did the exact same thing as the Torn Bannermen - nothing. Do they even lift, bro?
Where do you buy these glowing rune floor tiles? They're fantabulous!
Once you get inside the complex you may rest a little, because characters inhabiting it are a little more chatty then the furious mercenaries outside. Great thing about it is that finally you don't have to kill everybody. Interacting with Concelhauts apprentices is a nice thing for a change. After talking and/or stabbing them it is time to get that autograph from Concelhaut. Remember? Famous for spells he invented. There is a riddle to solve in order to get further but to be honest this is just a "click-it-for-so-long-until-it-opens" because giving the wrong anserws simply starts the whole quizshow from the start.
Concelhauts himself is a bitching boss, that didn't even care about some noobs laying siege outside. He was only interested in you, so he could have a soul of the Watcher for himself. Talking about predictable. All this fuss, and all you get for defeating him is a lousy pet, reminiscing Morte from Planescape: Torment. Oh, well, Eder likes pets, so maybe this one will have his attention too. Maybe, maybe not... I mean it is not so fluffly after all. But at least the Torn Bannermen do not threaten the Caed Nua any longer, m'right? Wrong. There was never such a threat in the first place
Concelhaut didn't give two sh*ts about their army. The siege could take as long as they would want, and sooner or later these guys would have forfeit and scatter. But what really bugs me is that our batallion of 6 (six!) people was better in infiltrating the wizards fortress, killing everyone in the besieging army, killing everyone (or almost everyone) inside that wizard tower, and survived to tell the tale. Sure, you are the hero, but some lousy mercenaries and archwizards are these days, huh?
+ the golden armor
+ tough fights
- nothing more than fights
- end boss' agenda could be handled better
My personal overall rating: 6/10