I received a preview copy of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire through one of my usual sources, so here are some initial thought after about two hours of playtime (oddly Steam only tracked the game the first time I started it up, every time after that it didn’t recognize that I was playing it).
In the best way possible, PoE2 is ‘more of the same’ from PoE. It has the same feel due to using the same engine, the graphics are better but in the same style, and while in combat you get more things to do, it is still that very familiar style from Baldur’s Gate where auto-attacks still matter.
When its released in April, I think PoE2 is going to get compared to Divinity: OS2, which is fair considering how similar the two games are in many ways. D:OS2 is the better-looking game, but I think POE2 will end up being the more solid RPG in terms of story and progression. I loved D:OS2, but towards the end I was playing to finish it, while I played PoE1 multiple times because I enjoyed it so much.
The odd thing about the preview build is it doesn’t start at the beginning of the game, but rather at level 6, which I’m not sure how far into the game that is. Being dropped into the game at some midpoint is distracting, and I certainly think I’d put more time into the preview had it been at level 1, but maybe that’s a blessing in disguise so I don’t have to replay too much at the actual release.
In full disclosure I also purchases shares of the game via Fig, so I have financial reasons for wanting the game to do well. Expect a glowing 10/10 review minutes after the game is released.