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Pillars of Eternity is the product of Obsidian’s quite successful Kickstarter campaign, and Obsidian was rather pleased and proud to finally show some of their progress at E3. From the demo I saw, they have every reason to be proud of what they’ve accomplished with their crowdfunding dollars. Fans of the old-school, Western RPG will absolutely love what this studio has in store.
The Obsidian representative said that they modeled Pillars of Eternity after PC RPGs of the late 90s, in particular, Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. Players have a top-down view of the scenario before them, and like the original Baldur’s Gate, all combat is done in real time, but the player can pause the game before doling out orders to the party. They have also assured us that there are numerous dungeons and secrets scattered throughout the handcrafted world, and they emphasized that exploration will be crucial. In other words, this game has my name written all over it.
Ah a nice cozy fire. What shall we torch? Any mushrooms? Forget the fire, just bring out the mushrooms.
Hm, where the hell is everyone?
The other element the studio wanted to emphasize was the game’s story and narrative system. It has a traditional narrative, with a narrator and plenty of dialogue to get the story moving along. However, it also has what Obsidian calls a “scripted interaction system,” where literally a script appears before the player, and he or she must choose what their character will do next, almost akin to a choose your own adventure book. However, it’s not entirely that simple. What you can do, both with the scripted interaction system and with the dialogue in-game, depends on the class of your character and what skills they have learned. The game’s disposition/reputation system will also affect the choices available in dialogue and in the script interaction.
It truly sounds like you could play several different stories with this game just by changing up your class, your race, and your reputation. I think I squealed with glee out loud during the presentation.
They did not go into anything about the story other than promise it has a “great, engrossing story and narrative.” I am hoping it will be more than Skyrim with Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale elements. Exploration and plundering is fun for a little while, but I need a great story to keep me interested in exploring further.
Pillars of Eternity is scheduled to release in “later 2014” for PC, Mac, and Linux systems. Yes, I know this means I’ll have to forsake my comfy console for this RPG, but oh, I think it will be worth it. I’ll gladly make that sacrifice to run around in this world.
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