Title: Pillars of Eternity: Complete Collection
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4
Developer: Obsidion Entertainment
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release date: 29 August 2017
Tl;Dr: An amazing hark back to the RPG games of yore.
Price: £35/$50
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

Baldurs Gate. Planescape: Torment. Fallout 1 & 2. Do these names bring back memories of RPG greatness? Do they remind you of an itch that recent games just cannot seem to scratch? Well, I have a solution for you! Obsidian Entertainment’s quite frankly phenomenal RPG is finally coming to consoles!

Yes, those wizards are surrounded by blood and chunks. No, it is probably best not to ask why.

This Kickstarted  gem, developed by gaming legends, Obsidian Entertainment, has been enjoyed by the self proclaimed “master race,” for a few years now, but the gaming gods have deemed the console players worthy of Pillars of Eternity. I missed the original hype for POE when it came out on PC, so when I had the opportunity to review it for the console debut, I jumped at the chance to finally get my teeth into this darling of a game. I had heard so much good stuff about POE and I was not disappointed in the slightest!

You play as a created character, a drifter in the lands of Dyrwood, a once strong, prosperous land that at one point even had the strength to kill a god. This has changed in recent years, as the land has been gripped in a panic. Children are being born without souls, in a scourge known as the Legacy; these Hollowborn children are empty husks of what could be a living thing. Only you, a newly awakened Watcher, a being with the ability to see souls and view past lives, is able to find the cause of this monstrosity and put a stop to it.

It really says something about a game when I can say that I spent a good portion of an hour just on the character creation. There is so much to choose from; race, hair colour, to whole back stories. I finally settled on a barbarian I lovingly called Gongo the Bongo. He is a Fire-Godlike, meaning that he has been touched by the gods and “blessed,” (or cursed, as the case may be) with unnatural fire-like features; his head is literally on fire. But funnily enough, it isn’t the weirdest character I could have created. There is so much to choose from in Pillars of Eternity, you genuinely feel spoilt for choice. I could go into detail talking about every single race, class, and subclass that can be picked from but then I wouldn’t have space for the actual review!

I dare you to find another game where there is a dwarf cult. I dare you!

The game itself plays out very traditionally; you move your character around the map, interact with the world (standard stuff), the combat is where the game really flows. This is not click and forget fighting, and you cant just spam your abilities until the enemies are killed by sheer force of will. No, your abilities can only be used a set amount of times each turn. So those big bad killing moves have to be carefully used at the exact right moment, or face complete failure. To accommodate for this, there is a pause button, giving players the ability to set full on tactics for their players to ensure that the battle is planned.

I can safely say this Pillars of Eternity is the best old school RPG I have played, well… since the old school was new! I cannot attest this enough; I am so very happy with this game. Just like the classic 90s RPG games, POE does not hold your hand. You are thrust into a sudden violent learning curve where you either adapt or die. And yes, characters do not get knocked out they die, as in die forever die, so it is very advisable to save often! It has happened too often that a character I needed to complete a quest goes out and dies on me, meaning that I have to reload my save from twenty minutes ago just to progress again. This is in no way a bad thing; it means I need to plan!

I have put over 60 hours into Pillars of Eternity, and I can safely say I have only just scratched the surface of what I can do in this huge RPG world. I simply cannot recommend this game more than I already have!

The Good

  • A true return to the classic RPG
  • Likable interesting characters
  • My character is called Gongo the Bongo and his head is literally on fire

The Bad

  • For some, the literal walls of text can be daunting.
  • The steep learning curve can be tough at first.
  • Perma-death can wipe out all your favorite characters.

Family Focus – Pillars of Eternity: Complete Collection

The Pillars of the Earth is rated PEGI 16+/ESRB Rating M for Mature for blood, sexual themes, strong language, and violence. This gem of a game is incredibly violent and there is some foul language. Definitely not one for the kids.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code of the game provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.