Pillars of Eternity brings back old-school, Baldur's Gate-style gameplay
Back in my day...
They don't make games like they used to. Well, unless you're talking about Obsidian Entertainment. In that case, the storied developer really is making RPGs almost exactly like it used to. The studio's upcoming title is Pillars of Eternity, a title inspired by the Baldur's Gate games of yore. Like, seriously. The isometric perspective and old-school visual style will take you back decades.
Everything about Pillars of Eternity seems to be hitting the classic experience you would expect from an isometric RPG from the late '90s. There is an extensive character customization system that allows you to choose from races such as the traditional elf, dwarf, and human varieties, but there is also a cone-headed race called the Godlike and several others unique to Pillars that change things up a bit. You'll gather loot, outfit your party with abilities and gear, and battle enemies using the game's active combat system.
The story is guided by player decisions, giving you the option to do things like sacrifice your main weapon by throwing it into an enemy's chest, or let that enemy eviscerate one of your companions. Every decision seems to have a consequence. Some can have massive repercussions that cause you to lose a party member for good, while others aren't quite as serious. One decision made in the demo left an AI-controlled rogue character injured and basically useless in battle because the player decided to escape a pursuing enemy rather than rest and risk capture. Pillars definitely maintains the look and feel of the old RPG (which is totally awesome), and the interesting storytelling elements and choices already have me intrigued. It feels a bit strange to welcome the '90s back with open arms, but how can I not?
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