PILLARS OF ETERNITY: COMPLETE EDITION / DEVELOPER: OBSIDIAN / PUBLISHER: VERSUS EVIL / PLATFORM: SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Kickstarter-backed love letter to the PC RPG's of the 90s finally makes its way over to the Switch. Pillars of Eternity features classic D&D gameplay and is a real throwback to games like Baldur's Gate. Released on PC back in 2015 and on other consoles in 2017, it joins the likes of Wasteland 2 and Diablo 3 in the line of PC RPG ports.
Gameplay consists of exploration, dialogue, combat and upgrading your character, as well as skill checks to perform text-based choices. On anything other than the lowest difficulty, combat requires pausing the game and directing each of your characters as to what actions to take. They'll fight without your help, but will struggle to be victorious.
The initial character creation screen is very good. Unlike most, it explains in great detail the difference between the races and classes, and explains how the attributes work so that you're not just throwing points at a skill and finding out you don't need it later on.
The settings looks pretty generic and dry, however it really does explode into life when more exotic magic is on the screen. The writing is excellent and clearly a lot of work has gone into it, feeling like a well-written fantasy book instead of the usual video game drivel. It's wonderfully descriptive and does an excellent job of shaping the world through its lore.
The real question is, how does it work on Switch? And the answer is rather well, for the most part. The game suffers a few minor technical issues, load times being the worst, ever increasing as the game progresses. Text transitions also feel a bit unpolished, often flashing up weird jargon before the text has loaded. There were a few little niggles in the gameplay too, in the form of invisible walls, and characters getting stuck behind each other in battle.
The control scheme works fairly well, but it does all feel like it would be a bit easier with a mouse and keyboard. However, it still works fine, with the game handling access to the many menus well.
Pillars of Eternity is a great RPG that will keep you going for a long time, only slightly let down by its lack of innovation and a few technical hiccups.