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Somebody accidentally broke the embargo: https://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-review/ 9.5/10

 

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review

The Best RPG on the High Seas

 

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has a lot to live up to. Obsidian’s 2015 RPG was one of the first great Kickstarter success stories, reinvigorating a genre that had faded by the wayside for years with an original setting, well-designed dungeons, and captivating quests.

 

But within the first few hours of playing Deadfire, any worries that the sequel would fail to meet up to the standards set by its predecessor fell by the wayside. With Deadfire, Obsidian has done the difficult job of creating a sequel that not only stands on its own but surpasses its predecessor in nearly every way.

 

Set some time after the events of the first Pillars of Eternity, you once again play as the Watcher of Caed Nua. Unfortunately, Caed Nua is quickly destroyed with the reemergence of Eothas, the god of life and rebirth who was thought to have died in the aftermath of a years-long war. You barely manage to survive the ensuing chaos and begin to follow the formerly dead god across the ocean to the Deadfire Archipelago in order to both save your soul and figure out why Eothas is back.

 

As a direct continuation of Pillars of Eternity, the events of that game greatly influence Deadfire. While veterans can import their save files, newcomers can choose what their Watcher did in Pillars of Eternity, either by choosing several broad paths or by individually picking every choice. Not that entering this game with a new save is bad, as Deadfire does a great job of refreshing players on the events of the first game and introducing them to the wonderful wilds of the Deadfire Archipelago.

 

Speaking of which, while the setting of the original game was well-realized and epic in scope, it was rooted too much in standard medieval fantasy for my personal taste. That’s not the case in Deadfire, which is set in a massive chain of islands that are loosely based on Polynesian cultures in the South Pacific. It stands out from other RPG’s, both in its gorgeous art style and variety of locales, and in how the nature of playing on an island chain influences the gameplay.

 

Much of your exploration will be done via your ship, which serves as a much more personal base than the stronghold of Caed Nua did in Pillars of Eternity. You can upgrade or outright purchase new ships, recruit crew members with their own dispositions, and fight in well-designed sea battles that are challenging and engaging. Captaining your own ship is the clear highlight of Deadfire, and is the basis for some of my favorite moments in the game, such as when I infiltrated a pirate fort by enacting a false flag operation.

 

It also allows for an interesting exploration of the relationships between the colonial powers and native peoples that make up the bulk of Deadfire’s factions, though the fantastical aspects that come with being a fantasy RPG mean that it’s not an entirely one-sided relationship. The Huana tribes, Vailian Trading Company, Royal Deadfire Company and the Príncipi sen Patrena are the driving force behind many of the best quests and storylines in the game, from the Huana’s struggle to unite the fractured tribes of the archipelago to the Príncipi’s status as former nobles prancing around as pirates.

 

That’s further enhanced by having the entire game fully voiced, which is by-and-large well acted. The writing has clearly improved in Deadfire, with a distinct lack of the run-on, flowery dialogue that overwhelmed much of the lore and quests in the first game. Companions may still be based on archetypes, such as the roguish pirate and the scholar with a dark past, but their interactions with each other and their personal goals make them compelling to fight alongside and interact with.

 

As in tradition in CRPG’s, Deadfire has all the fixings and traps that are common to them. Massive skill trees, tons of customization options, and an intricate class system are what you’d expect from an Obsidian RPG. Yet while the battle system is similar to the first game, with the ability to pause, slow down, or speed up the flow of battle depending on your preference, it is much more robust thanks to the programmable AI. Reminiscent of the Gambit system from Final Fantasy XII, you are able to set specific conditions for your characters to respond to. For example, this can be as simple as having your priest cast a healing spell on anyone under 50% health, but it can be built out enough so that you can essentially automate the gameplay. If you’re like me and love to program your companion’s behavior, you’re going to have a great time in Deadfire.

 

The biggest improvement over its predecessor, however, is its pacing. While Act 1 of Pillars of Eternity was often cited as the most difficult portion of the game, Deadfire slowly but surely leads you through ever increasingly difficult challenges from beginning to end. That’s not to say the beginning is a walk in the park, but that it is more balanced throughout the entire game. From the number of combat encounters to the ways in which you explore the world, Deadfire is a tight, engaging experience despite the fact that it is an RPG that could easily take you 100 hours to complete

 

As expansive as the world is, this also comes at a cost. Even though the load times are noticeably shorter than those found in the original game, they are still rather long, sometimes taking a minute or more to load in a particularly graphically intensive area. Considering Deadfire is dozens upon dozens of hours long, this adds up pretty quickly. And there’s a steady assortment of bugs that made their appearance throughout my time with the game, such as voice lines repeating again and again in conversations and the occasional pathfinding issue. Though importantly, I encountered no bugs that crashed or broke the game.

 

These issues are minor overall, and the overall upgrades made to Deadfire make up for it in spades. Ultimately, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a near-perfect sequel. It builds upon the foundation of the previous game with more compelling exploration and a deeper combat system, fixes many of the problems that held the first one back, and is from top to bottom a more polished experience. No matter if you’re new to the world of Eora or an experienced traveler, Deadfire is an RPG you have to play.

 

9.5

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a sequel that surpasses the original in nearly every way, and is an RPG that should not be missed.

Edited by Infinitron
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Article's gone, apparently.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire

 

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Article's gone, apparently.

No worries, soon there will be a flood of them. I gotta tell ya, I got a good feeling about the scores :yes: . I've been watching Cohh's streams these past few days - the game is frikking amazing (with a few minor bugs).

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No worries, soon there will be a flood of them. I gotta tell ya, I got a good feeling about the scores :yes: . I've been watching Cohh's streams these past few days - the game is frikking amazing (with a few minor bugs).

 

Agreed. I haven't watched but a few parts of his streams, but boy is the game good. It looks amazing, the soundtrack's great and VA is top tier—to say nothing of the writing.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire

 

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9.5

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a sequel that surpasses the original in nearly every way, and is an RPG that should not be missed.

Gellarde! well done. A formidable RPG in the old style. They don't build them like this anymore, you know. Not by the mainstream. Too niche for the publishers.

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9.5

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a sequel that surpasses the original in nearly every way, and is an RPG that should not be missed.

Gellarde! well done. A formidable RPG in the old style. They don't build them like this anymore, you know. Not by the mainstream. Too niche for the publishers.
Pallegina best companion/waifu
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9.5

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a sequel that surpasses the original in nearly every way, and is an RPG that should not be missed.

Gellarde! well done. A formidable RPG in the old style. They don't build them like this anymore, you know. Not by the mainstream. Too niche for the publishers.
Pallegina best companion/waifu

Yeah, the way she inspires her companions with aura and song and summoning creatures to do her bidding and... Saves everyone with paladin powers... And...

 

Guys, is Pallegina the leader?

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The second sentence in that review deserves a massive facepalm. Difficult to read further, actually!

 

First rule of journalism: only be ambiguous when you absolutely need to, and never write sentences whose ambiguity makes them look senseless.

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9.5

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a sequel that surpasses the original in nearly every way, and is an RPG that should not be missed.

Gellarde! well done. A formidable RPG in the old style. They don't build them like this anymore, you know. Not by the mainstream. Too niche for the publishers.

 

You brilliant postenago, you! kanalul_56x56_by_babblingfaces-dcawyje.p

Edited by algroth
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My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

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I loved the gambit system in FF12. Unfortunately, when it comes to CRPG's, I love to micro manage every single character during battle, so not sure how much I'll use the AI truthfully.

 

I wonder if this reviewer actually finished the game through to completion. When they say I could spend 100 hours in the game, I hope they meant that and it wasn't a rough estimate.

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Does anyone actually read these "professional" game reviews any more? Speaking for myself, I haven't taken these paid shills seriously for years, I look at user reviews and nothing else.

 

You think major corporations don't disrupt those?

 

It's far more worthwhile to see that:

 

1: There's a general consensus among the professional reviews.

 

and

 

2: Fan and professional reviews match up.

 

A good example of the latter being remarkable is Dragon Age Inquisition, likely due to the reviewers focusing on the core game and players expecting more from the side content.

 

In other area, why rely on "professional" media when random blogs and my cousin's facebook page are so much more trustworthy?

Edited by Yenkaz
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Does anyone actually read these "professional" game reviews any more? Speaking for myself, I haven't taken these paid shills seriously for years, I look at user reviews and nothing else.

 

giphy.gif

 

They can be useful at day 1 to see if theres any major problem with the game that you can´t wait to get your hands on. But honestly if your that eager you prob don´t care and secondly thease "professionals" seems to miss alot of problems in alot of games and find all the problems in some other games...

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Does anyone actually read these "professional" game reviews any more? Speaking for myself, I haven't taken these paid shills seriously for years, I look at user reviews and nothing else.

There are couple sites/individuals who can influence whenever I buy a game. I tend to believe that you have to know the reviewer to be able to have a use of their review. I probably won't check reviews indepth, until I am pretty deep into Deadfire - I am buying game anyway, so I will be checking reviews to see what some people think of it, compared to my own experience, not trying to inform my purchase.

 

I generally ignore user reviews. I don't find them useful, beside some potential technical issues.

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Does anyone actually read these "professional" game reviews any more? Speaking for myself, I haven't taken these paid shills seriously for years, I look at user reviews and nothing else.

 

You think major corporations don't disrupt those?

 

It's far more worthwhile to see that:

 

1: There's a general consensus among the professional reviews.

 

and

 

2: Fan and professional reviews match up.

 

A good example of the latter being remarkable is Dragon Age Inquisition, likely due to the reviewers focusing on the core game and players expecting more from the side content.

 

In other area, why rely on "professional" media when random blogs and my cousin's facebook page are so much more trustworthy?

 

Well normaly atleast when i read player commnets/reviews i read atleast 15+ and read the comments. When you read a "professional" review theres ALOT more filler lines and with the same time you can maby read 2 reviews and they are prob from similar sites. But best way i think is find smaller review sites/youtube channels that try to be professional but don´t got thet backing from the industry and therfor prob got a more health view on the game.

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They can be useful at day 1 to see if theres any major problem with the game that you can´t wait to get your hands on. But honestly if your that eager you prob don´t care and secondly thease "professionals" seems to miss alot of problems in alot of games and find all the problems in some other games...

 

My reaction was meant to address the generalization and the shill tin foil hat propaganda is simply annoying af. You can find just as many terrible user reviews as you can professional reviews. Aside from that there are several excellent professional game review sites/channels out there, such as Easy Allies, ACG and Angry Joe (although his reviews can be somewhat hit-and-miss).

Edited by aeoncs
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Word of mouth tends to be far more reliable and valuable overall than "Professional" reviews. Because for the most part you can trust they're being honest to their personal tastes. Then all you need to know is what their personal tastes are (which is why you look at past reviews as well).

 

With professional reviews, you have to wonder if they were paid, if they're simply scared of giving a poor review to a game, or if they simply have a heavily skewed system of rating. There are groups that refuse to give anything below a 5/10 rating. Absolute garbage will get a 5/10 rating when if they properly rated it on the 1 to 10 scale, it would deserve a 3/10 at best.

 

Obsidian games may sometimes have warts, and while I may not like ALL their games, I have to say, they've earned a good solid reputation. I will give them the benefit of the doubt on any game they put out. If there are bugs (impossible to catch all the bugs before release), I will be more patient on giving them time to fix the bugs.

Edited by KentDA
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Professional reviews matter a fair amount for how the game is perceived in the critical time of release.

 

Also, when is the embargo lifted? I know it's tomorrow, but do we have a specific time or is it just "tomorrow"?

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Word of mouth and a few youtubers that share my tastes is what I use decide my purchases. Both professional and user review aren't too trust worthy to me, although if deadfire can lock a 94-95 score at metacritic I'll be giggling like a little girl, maybe cause I can use that to convince some of my friends to get into CRPGs through it.

Edited by HAWmaro
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