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Best PC RPG - Pillars of Eternity

Best PC

Obsidian Entertainment jumped into the crowded Kickstarter market in 2012, promising a return to the PC RPG gaming classics with Pillars of Eternity. The game was lauded as a spiritual successor to the acclaimed Baldur's Gate series, bringing the same gameplay and graphical style without being tied to the Dungeons & Dragons license and rules system. The Kickstarter campaign was an overwhelming success and gamers were treated to its final release three years later.

At first glance, one could easily mistake Pillars of Eternity for an older Infinity Engine game if not for the higher resolution and polished graphics. The isometric view and real-time-with-pause combat will make fans of the older Baldur's Gate games feel right at home, but without many of the legacy issues that plague those older titles. No longer being handcuffed to the D&D license, Obsidian was free to develop its own combat system and gameplay mechanics that perhaps make a better video game than a strict D&D rules conversion would. Support skills feel more useful and relevant, while more combat skills beyond auto-attack keep the player engaged in the combat sequences.

Pillars of Eternity has a rich new world built from scratch, full of new lore for players to explore and consume. Excellent character and NPC interaction and dialogue coupled with solid voice acting showcase the writing talent at Obsidian. The plot is intricate and filled with some player choice, with some decisions in early chapters having lasting effects in the latter stages of the game, and is supported by several well designed and fleshed out side quests that feel meaningful. The music is rich and grand and very reminiscent of the old Baldur's Gate soundtracks. The success of Pillars of Eternity has led Obsidian to release a two-part expansion The White March for fans who want to dive back in.

by Johnathan Stringer

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