Pillars of Eternity 2 review

I’ve now completed Pillars of Eternity 2, so its time for a quick review. Do note however that I somewhat rushed to the finish in the final stages of the game, and I know I missed a lot of content because of that. More on that later however.

As I mentioned previously, one of the things that stands out to me in PoE2 is the world building, and the fact that PoE2 adds layers to what was established in PoE1. I don’t want to spoil the main storyline, but it fits perfectly with PoE1, and is again a grand discovery that will help shape the storyline going forward into hopefully PoE3. I appreciate this because it truly feels like you are playing a sequel, rather than a standalone game in a series. In the videogame sense, you actions in Pillars matter, both in the first and now in the second, and that’s pretty cool. I also like how your character is central to the story, but not because of the cliché of being the worlds one and only savior (in fact, if at the beginning you insist you don’t want to help, the game will inform you another Watcher will be given your task, and the game ends, which I found pretty amusing.)

PoE2 is going to get a lot of comparisons to Divinity: Original Sin 2, both because the games are somewhat similar (RPGs in the spirit of Baldur’s Gate) and because they were released fairly close to each other. I liked both games, but for different reasons. D:OS2 has a more complex, and turn-based, combat system, while the one in PoE2 is real-time with pause and doesn’t have the complex elemental and structural interactions. Which one is ‘better’ is a matter of preference, because while D:OS2 will have more ‘wow’ moments, it can also be a bit more grating than PoE2, where simpler or smaller battles are quick and don’t tax you as much.

Graphically D:OS2 is the brighter game, and likely the technically prettier one. That said I really like the art style of PoE, and it all fits the world well. Speaking of that, PoE2 has a single large world, while D:OS2 has you complete chapters before moving to a new map/region. Both games are fully voiced, and I liked the acting in both. Story-wise I prefer PoE, though D:OS2 was much improved in that regard over its first game. Both titles ran well for me. Post-launch support was good for D:OS2 in terms of bug fixing, though it doesn’t have any expansions/dlc. PoE2 has expansion/dlc plans, just like PoE1 did.

Perhaps the highest praise I have for PoE2 is I’m excited to play it again. I’m going to hold off on that until all the dlc arrives, which is also why I intentionally didn’t do a ‘full clear’ this time around, but I will certainly return. I want to see the remaining content in the game, see how things change when you make different choices, and hopefully the DLC additions will also be worthwhile.

Highly recommended to anyone who is a fan of RPGs.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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