Pillars of Eternity: What’s new?

May 2, 2015 9:00 AM

Well, we’re progressively closer to both elective cybernetics and augmented reality, crazy mountain hill-billy gunsmiths can build fusion reactors in their basements, and some theoretical models of faster-than-light propulsion systems have yet to be completely discredited.

Meanwhile, evidence suggests that the universe is not only on an explicitly finite path that will lead to total annihilation of the totality of existence, but this ‘big crunch’ reversal of creation will happen much sooner than we thought.

So, even if we can build some sort of machine consciousness or super space ship to escape the solar system before we pollute the earth beyond it’s ability to sustain life – or assuming the earth’s got more flexibility and correctability in her than we thought, before the sun goes red giant and kills the planet for us – all our endeavours will still be ultimately meaningless as the species will be extinct in the blink of a cosmic eye.

And if that’s not really immediately relevant enough for you, odds are that you’re more than one third of the way through your life. You can expect the final third to be an increasingly downwards spiral as your physical and mental faculties fade, sometimes with catastrophic consequences for your ability to experience what little life is left to you, and all of the myriad potential sciences that will be developed by then will be denied to you because you’re not rich or important enough to afford or qualify for them. Thus, within 60 years we can be reasonably certain that you’ll be dead, and within another 60 years anyone who you ever mattered to will likely have forgotten you if they themselves are still alive.

pillars-of-eternity

On the plus side, I have pop corn and a Pillars of Eternity.

If you’ve ever played D&D then you’ll like Pillars of Eternity. If you have ever spent an hour working out how best to murder a troll in its sleep, you’ll love this game. If you ever liked Planescape Torment or Baldur’s Gate, you’ll love this game. If you didn’t like them then you officially have no soul and should report to the clinic for your reprogramming.

Playing PoE was a trip down memory lane for me, although without the inevitable potholes of ‘that-girl-you-liked’ and ‘getting-your-first-awkward-stiffy’. Everything that I love about BG and PST is there; quality character customisation, a world so rich with flavour and lore its like your mums best apple pie on steroids and a tight storyline that still lets you go off and beat the teeth out of that village of prick over the hill. For me, its like asking the nice lady at the BDSM-nostalgia dungeon to really go to town on my backside. And I love it!

When a nostalgia-bate project comes up I’m always reminded of the phrase ‘imitation can be a form of flattery’ and then I mentally add ‘but it also comes across as bloody uninspired.’ Such was my opinion of Divinity; Original Sin when it popped up last year, although I had a similar BDSM tortured metaphor on my lips then too. PoE, however, feels fresh, from the micromanagement of party members, the character dialogue and the flavour text and while the mechanics felt comfortable and familiar, they also felt new and fun. Enough small tweaks and adjustments have been made in the interface, levelling and how the story campaign works that PoE serves as a homo heidelbergensis to D;OS’s homo erectus.

So, if you’re after a grand old time murdering people and taking their things, check out PoE. If you’re after a fun and flavourful read (because you’ll be doing a lot of it) of an ultra traditional fantasy story, check out PoE. If you want to discuss BDSM metaphors drop me an email.

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