Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (2023)

Price: £34.99

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher: Versus Evil

Platform: PC

It feels churlish to say this about any game that offers 30+ hours of play, but it could be argued that the original Pillars of Eternity lacked a certain level of scope. Yes the art was lavish, yes the stakes were high, and yes it contained a dungeon beneath your castle so deep that it for all intents and purposes took your party back through time. Yet despite all that, Pillars of Eternity didn't have the grand and sweeping scale of, say, the original Baldur's Gate, and while the core of the game certainly wasn't short on content, the fringes of its world felt comparatively less fleshed out.

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(Video) Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Review

I don't know whether this was something Obsidian Entertainment was itself aware of, but it's interesting that Pillars of Eternity II makes fleshing out the map a core part of the game. The sequel takes place in a truly enormous island archipelago, and goes to great lengths to encourage exploration and discovery away from its central storyline. Your home base is not a castle but a ship, which you can sail to dozens upon dozens of islands amidst the crystalline waters of the Deadfire. Alongside the main story that sees you hot on the heels of a wandering God are a host of subplots that involve piratical politics, fractious local tribes, and warring trading companies. You can even take on jobs to find and name uncharted islands.

It's the biggest RPG Obsidian has produced since Fallout: New Vegas, and one which also fixes many of the problems present in the original. But I also worry that it reaches a little too far in its ambitions, and that its added scope comes at the price of focus and finesse.

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Pillars II certainly starts with a bang, as it transpires that Eothas, a God whose disappearance from Pillars' pantheon was a major plot-point in the first game, has been sleeping underneath your castle the whole time. When he wakes up, the very first thing he does is destroy your home and kill you. And I thought I had problems with mice in the attic.

Fortunately for you, you're a Watcher, a person who can speak with the souls of the dead. This ability has attracted the attention of another God – specifically Berath, the God of Death. Berath scoops your soul out from Eternity and offers to place it back into your body, provided you agree to do her bidding. Specifically, Berath tasks you with following Eothas into the Deadfire Archipelago to discover what exactly he's up to.

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(Video) Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire - Review After 100%

It's possible to play Pillars II without having experienced the original Pillars, although I'm not entirely sure I'd advise that. The game lets you import a previous save so that your choices carry over, or establish your character history either through a broad-strokes conversation with Berath, or making more specific decisions in the game menu prior to starting a game. Either way, jumping in without having played the first Pillars is going to involve swallowing a lot of lore very quickly, and there's a whole bunch more to digest in the sequel, an issue that we'll discuss later.

Once you've created your character, you awake aboard your trusty sloop the Defiant, are promptly attacked by Pirates, and ultimately wash up on the shores of Port Maje, aka Tutorial Island. Here you spend a few hours fixing the local governor's problems, reacquainting yourself with the core systems, and discovering the first major plot-point before the game opens up to you properly.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (4)

And it's in this notion of “opening-up” where Pillars II really differs from the original. Once you've finished following the story through Port Maje, Pillars II returns you to your ship and lets you sail wherever you like in the Deadfire. It puts a few pins in the map for you to follow, such as the enormous city of Neketaka and the pirate haven of Dunnage, but you can equally chart a course in a random direction and carve a stripe across the Deadfire's massive, almost entirely undiscovered map.

The archipelago itself comprises dozens of islands, most of which will have one or several points of interest on them. These range from simple supply pick-ups and little text adventure vignettes, to full-blown quests to embark on and Dungeons to explore. There's even a quest line dedicated purely to charting the Deadfire's waters, wherein a local cartographer will pay you for exploring the archipelago's islands, and let you name them as you please.

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(Video) Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review "Buy, Wait for Sale, Rent, Never Touch?"

Pillars II is hardly Sea of Thieves in terms of its representation of sailing. Navigating the Deadfire amounts to clicking a point on the map and watching your ship travel across the ocean. But while you don't need to sail your ship, you do need to manage it. You must hire a crew to work the ship, and maintain several kinds of supplies to keep them alive and happy. Crew morale is an important factor. Poor quality food and water will cause morale to drop and ultimately incite mutiny, so you'll have to ensure there's a regular supply of fruit, fish, and alcoholic beverages onboard alongside the necessities. Indeed, one of the neat aspects of ship management is it provides a clear purpose for many of the more peripheral-seeming loot items in the game, and finding a crate filled with rum can be almost as exciting as discovering a new weapon.

You don't have the oceans of the Deadfire to yourself, however. Pillars II also features ship-to-ship combat, which is communicated through a hybrid of text adventure and turn-based strategy . Each ship takes turns to move and turn their boat, and fire various types of cannon shot at one another. It's a nice idea, but in practice I found the ship battle to take far too long, and found it much quicker and more entertaining to board enemy vessels and resolve the situation through the game's pausable real-time battles.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (6)

Speaking of which, the real-time battles are more or less the same as they were before, with most of the changes designed to ensure that combat is more meaningful when it happens. Fights are less frequent than in Pillars, or at least more evenly distributed throughout the game's other systems. When they occur, however, they're bigger, faster-paced, and even more spectacular than they were before. Some of the higher-level magic involves bringing blizzards, hailstorms, and even tidal waves to bear on your opponents. One party member, an aquatic 'Godlike' named Tekēhu has the ability to turn himself into a wonderfully bizarre land-shark monster. One new feature lets you “recharge” your abilities once or twice per battle, or select a specific power to cast at ten levels of power higher than your current level, which both helps to maintain the intensity of fights and also provides an additional layer of tactics to combat.

That tactical layer will vary in importance depending on how you choose to challenge yourself. One of my main criticisms of the original Pillars was that it suffered from some pretty mean difficulty spikes, and you could easily find yourself stuck in a fight that you were thoroughly unprepared for. Pillars II, by comparison, adds a whole range of difficulty options from the chilled out Story Mode to the insanely hard Path of the Damned. It also lets you choose whether battles should scale with your party's level, in an attempt to smooth out those aforementioned spikes. This mostly works, although you may still find a few atypically tough fights here and there on standard difficulty.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (7)

(Video) Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Before You Buy

The real joy of Pillars II, however, is simply exploring the gorgeous and imaginative world that Obsidian has designed. Neketata alone is utterly enormous, a sprawling metropolis with six districts that crawl up a tropical mountainside, including a prosperous dockside and merchant quarter, a temple district, and a poverty-stricken underbelly known as The Gullet. This area alone includes a secret black market that can only be accessed through a labyrinth known as The Narrows, and a wooden elevator that descends into an ancient, haunted undercity that you can plunder for treasure...if you're brave enough. Meanwhile, the game's more eclectic quests range from breaking into an Archmage's trap-filled mansion, to discovering the mystery behind a ghost ship that roams the Deadfire cloaked in a bank of fog.

Rich and inventive as Pillars II's world is, however, I don't think it quite reaches the heights of last year's Divinity: Original Sin II. In particular, your party is rather drab by comparison. There are a couple of fun characters, Tekēhu being one. Another is Xoti. A Priestess of an alternate version of Eothas called Guan, Xoti has taken it upon herself to help lost souls find their way to the land of the dead. Her bright and friendly personality belies the great burden of souls that bears down upon her shoulders. She also carries a lantern wherever she goes, which is great for illuminating the dungeon's of Pillars II in the game's sumptuous real-time lighting effects.

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Sadly, most of the other characters are played fairly straight, particularly the returning cast from Pillars. In addition, the main quest gets somewhat lost in the scope of the Deadfire, seemingly occurring in a handful of huge leaps rather than acting as a central thread from which the rest of the game hangs off. Incidentally, one of these leaps cuts off your access to the rest of the game, so ensure you've had your fill of the Deadfire before pushing too far into the main story.

My main issue with Pillars II, however, is that it is generous to a fault. The sheer size and complexity of the game and its story can make it hard to parse in some areas. One of the story's main focuses is a race of people called the Huana, who originate from the Deadfire, and reside there in a fraught relationship with the foreign trading companies. But Huana society comprises of multiple tribes and several castes, one of which has its own trading company that is independent either of the Huana or the Valian colonists.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (9)

(Video) Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review

Add to this about a dozen different gods, some of whom have multiple forms, several pirate factions, and of course, all the lore from the first game, and keeping track of it all soon becomes a real headache. The game tries to help by letting you mouse-over certain words and names to bring up a description of what that word means, but it's still a lot of information to digest. Similarly, keeping track of quests in your quest log can be difficult, simply because there are so many of them and there's no way to set one as 'Active' and then follow the given cues. I'd happily sacrifice a little of Deadfire's scope to solve some of these issues, such as a more interesting party, slightly less confusing lore, faster-paced ship combat, and a more evenly distributed plot.

It's remarkable what Obsidian has produced here, but the weight is shifted too far in favour of quantity over quality, to the point where it hurts the game. Pillars of Eternity II is a beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable RPG, one which I'd happily recommend. I'd just like its enormous map to be a little less frayed around the edges.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review | bit-tech.net (10)


Is Pillars of Eternity 2 a good game? ›

Pillars of Eternity and its sequel, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, are some of the best role-playing games ever made.

Can my PC run Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

An Intel Core i3-2100T CPU is required at a minimum to run Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. However, the developers recommend a CPU greater or equal to an Intel Core i5-2400 to play the game. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire system requirements state that you will need at least 4 GB of RAM.

How many hours is Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is about 42 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 92 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Should I play Pillars of Eternity 2 turn-based? ›

Overall, the turn-based mode is an excellent addition. There are some limitations, however. Not all of the game's encounters feel like they've been optimized for this new mode, so expect to have a few lengthy fights against utterly harmless mobs, especially at lower levels.

Which is better Divinity 2 or Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Whereas DOS 2 is more of a gameplay and theory-crafter's paradise, PoE 2 is role-player's heaven. It's all thanks to the more verbose and descriptive writing, especially the parts in which the narrator describes the imagery.

Will Pillars of Eternity 3 happen? ›

Pillars Of Eternity Director Says A 3rd Game Will Only Happen If Devs Can Get "Jazzed" About It. "We need to be excited about making it," director Josh Sawyer says--and right now, they're not. The two Pillars of Eternity games, both the original and its sequel Deadfire, reviewed well and have fans.

How many GB is Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Storage: 45 GB available space. Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card.

How many GB is pillars of eternity? ›

The Nintendo eShop digital version of Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition, including all bug fixes and improvements, requires 29 GB of available storage.

Can PC games run on PS2? ›

However, from the PS2 to the PS3 was a pretty big jump. No, your PC game disk won't work on a PlayStation 2, nor any other mainstream gaming console.

What is the max level in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, the level cap is 20. Creatures and NPCs have maximum level of 30.

Is Pillars of Eternity 2 open world? ›

Featuring an enormous open world, a massive cast of characters, and a story you can play your way, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition redefines the role-playing game experience for a new generation.

Which is better Pillars of Eternity or divinity original sin? ›

Original Sin was significantly better. Pillars of Eternity is basically just a bad Baldur's Gate 2 clone. Original Sin was extremely innovative and had top-notch turn-based combat that was challenging, inventive with its elemental system and barrel shenanigans, and just plain fun.

Can you turn off turn-based Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

You can enable or disable turn-based mode on the fly (and without creating a new game), using the console command SetTacticalMode. Press the tilde key whilst in game to access the console.

Does gender matter in Pillars of Eternity? ›

You also get very few race specific dialogue choices, which in the end won't really matter. As far as i know you are not locked out of any quests because of your race/gender. At least, as a female, you can have fun with Serel, too. So, enjoy the screen turning black for a few seconds.

Does Pillars of Eternity 2 follow on from 1? ›

Deadfire is a direct sequel to Pillars of Eternity, taking place in the world of Eora. As with the first game, the player assumes the role of a "Watcher", a character with the ability to look into other people's souls and read their memories, as well as the ones of their past lives.

What class should I choose Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Chanters are easily the best support class in the game thanks to infinite casting, strong buffs for the party, and powerful healing abilities. After playing this class you'll wonder why you ever bothered with Priest or Druid.

What is the most fun class in Divinity 2? ›

The 5 Best Classes in Divinity: Original Sin II
  1. Witch.
  2. Wayfarer. ...
  3. Enchanter. ...
  4. Fighter. While less flashy than the Metamorph, the Fighter is a shining beacon of utility and practicality. ...
  5. Metamorph. First in our Divinity: Original Sin 2 classes guide is the Metamorph. ...
4 Feb 2022

How many hours is pillar of eternity? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pillars of Eternity is about 36 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 106 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Did Pillars of Eternity 2 sell well? ›

Old-school role-playing game Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire was critically acclaimed but sold poorly compared to its predecessor and other, similar games.

Who can you romance in Pillars 2? ›

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire features several characters with whom the Watcher can form romantic attachments:
  • Aloth Corfiser.
  • Maia Rua.
  • Tekēhu.
  • Xoti.
  • Serafen (limited to a one-off casual encounter)

How many companions can you have in Deadfire? ›

In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, there are seven companions you can recruit for your party. Three of them return from the previous game - if they died during the events of the previous game, they won't be available for hire.

Can you play Pillars of Eternity 2 offline? ›

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a complete RPG single-player game that can be fully played offline. Neither an Xbox Gold nor a PlayStation Plus account are required to play Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Is there romance in Pillars of Eternity? ›

To romance companions in Pillars of Eternity II, you have to increase your reputation with them. Your reputation is based on your decisions and the companion's own opinions and preferences. You also have to complete a personal quest for the companion to help them out and learn more about their background.

How many GB is Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor? ›

Storage: 44 GB available space.

How big is the Elden ring GB? ›

Storage: 60 GB available space.

Is Pillars of Eternity a pirate game? ›

Perhaps one of the most uniquely creative Pirate games ever, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire merges swashbuckling with the mystical fantasy setting that Pillars Of Eternity is known for.

How many GB is shadow of war? ›

Storage: 70 GB available space. Additional Notes: X64 required.

Can PS2 run burned games? ›

Your console will boot the burned game automatically as if they were genuine copies. If it doesn't work for you, your PS2's laser might be bad or you might have a PS2 console with an incompatible disc drive. If you want to further explore the world of burned games, check out our guide on burning Sega Saturn games.

What graphics card does PS2 have? ›

The Playstation 2 GPU 250nm was a performance-segment gaming console graphics solution by Sony, launched on March 4th, 2000. Built on the 250 nm process, and based on the GS-250nm graphics processor, in its CXD2934GB variant, the device does not support DirectX.

What level should I be for white march? ›

Obsidian Entertainment said that the recommended level to start the expansion is level 7, and over leveled characters will have the option to upscale the difficulty.

Do you get XP for killing monsters in Pillars of Eternity? ›

Thought I'd bring this into true gaming 'cause it extends to many RPGs where you gain XP to level up. It's gotten mixed feedback, but for me it's one of the most exciting things about their decisions/direction for the game so far.

What is the max level in Zenith? ›

Character Level

The current maximum level for characters is 40. You can increase your level by gaining experience points which can be received from killing enemies, completing quests, using skills (cooking/gathering), and opening chests.

Is Pillars of Eternity like Baldur's Gate? ›

The developers of Pillars of Eternity viewed the game as an unofficial "spiritual successor" to the Baldur's Gate series. It is absolutely like Baldur's Gate, especially for someone who asks a very surface level question.

Has the Eternity 2 puzzle been solved? ›

No verified complete solution to the Eternity 2 puzzle has ever been published. This includes Christopher Monckton's intended solution, which remains unpublished. Several fake solutions are known to have been circulated online.

When should I start Pillars of Eternity 2 DLC? ›

In order to start the DLC, you must have either completed Magran's Teeth or Mapping the Archipelago: Tikawara. If you have done so, you will encounter an earthquake event that will allow the DLC to be accessed. Sail to the Hall of the Unseen located on an uncharted island directly south of Tikawara.

Is there a game like Dark Souls but easier? ›

In that light, “Elden Ring,” the latest title by From Software, may be the easiest entry point for beginners looking to try a Souls game. It probably has the most on-ramps to continuous, rewarding play of any From Software game since 2009′s “Demon's Souls.”

Which is better Pillars of Eternity or tyranny? ›

Pillars is a better, more completely constructed game. Tyrrany ends rather abruptly and didn't feel as much like a fully realized game world. It also had smaller areas which required more i9magination. Having said that, Tyrrany is worth playing.

What makes Divinity 2 so good? ›

One of the best things in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is how much control you have over your character's class. You can pick your favorite class and keep at it, or you can easily make hybrid characters if you can't choose between two of your favorite classes.

What does real-time with pause mean? ›

In real-time games with an active pause system (also called "pausable real-time" or "real-time with pause"), players are able to pause the game and issue orders such that once a game is un-paused, orders are automatically put into effect.

Can you change to turn-based mode Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

You can enable or disable turn-based mode on the fly (and without creating a new game), using the console command SetTacticalMode .

Does Pillars of Eternity have perma death? ›

If a character loses all health during a fight, and is already maimed or Maim Companions Before Death game option is turned off, they will die. Dead characters are removed from the game permanently, their soul leaves their body and their energy will move forward in the eternal cycle.

Is it better to choose female or male eivor? ›

Choosing a male or a female Eivor is equally valid with no major repercussions beyond the character model. Things were very different in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, where choosing one made the other one the villain. There's nothing of that level of importance with Eivor.

What race should I be in pillars of eternity? ›

The most common of the races in Pillars of Eternity, humans are well-suited for any role. Their bonuses to Resolve and Might make them strong picks for damage dealers or tanks, and their bonus ability is a good choice for any character.

Do choices matter in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Yes. It's a very nonlinear game with multiple paths to the end and various vying factions you can side with or against.

Should I play Poe 1 before Deadfire? ›

You don't, but you should at least watch the story, especially from the second game. The Witcher 3 is far more enjoyable when you understand the characters backstories. I feel it's the same with POE, you'll enjoy POE2 far more if you at least know the story behind POE1.

How long does it take to beat Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

All Styles

When focusing on the main objectives, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is about 42 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 92 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is Kingdom Hearts 2 one of the best games of all time? ›

These problems and more were completely solved when Kingdom Hearts II came out, just four years later, fixing all of the our gripes while expanding Kingdom Hearts from an adorable mash-up into its own, remarkable series, earning it a spot on our list of the 100 best games ever.

Does Pillars of Eternity 2 have romance? ›

Romance is traditionally a minor feature of Obsidian Entertainment's games (if at all), as opposed to Bioware games. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire features several characters with whom the Watcher can form romantic attachments: Aloth Corfiser. Maia Rua.

What kind of RPG is Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is a role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Versus Evil.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
ReleaseWindows, Linux, macOS May 8, 2018 PlayStation 4, Xbox One January 28, 2020
12 more rows

What is the most fun Kingdom Hearts game? ›

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is regarded by many as the best in the series, and on any given day, you could probably swap out Game Informer's choice for Number 1 and Number 2, but today, Birth by Sleep is what we'd call the series' second best game.

What is the greatest game system of all time? ›

The 24 Best Gaming Consoles of All Time
  • Atari 2600: Released in September 1977. ...
  • ColecoVision: Released in August 1982. ...
  • TurboGrafx-16: Released on August 29, 1989. ...
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Released on August 23, 1991. ...
  • PlayStation 2: Released on October 26, 2000. ...
  • Xbox: Released on November 15, 2001.
19 May 2022

Is Kingdom Hearts 2 easier than 1? ›

10/10 Play Kingdom Hearts One First

The plot of Kingdom Hearts 2 hinges on understanding the first game. Even ignoring the story, the first Kingdom Hearts is simply a masterpiece in its own right. It is simpler than the sequels, but this is ultimately one of its greatest strengths.

Who is the best to romance in me2? ›

Here's a look at some of Mass Effect 2's best romances, and some of the weaker options as well.
  • 8/9 Jacob Taylor.
  • 7/9 Kelly Chambers.
  • 6/9 Samara.
  • 5/9 Thane Krios.
  • 4/9 Tali'Zorah vas Neema.
  • 3/9 Garrus Vakarian.
  • 2/9 Jack.
  • 1/9 Miranda Lawson.
18 Jul 2021

Can you have more than one romance in me2? ›

The Romance options available for a Male and Female Shepard are different: three bisexual "flings" are available to both, while three Serious Romances are exclusive to one or the other. Here are the characters exclusive to a particular gender: Male Shepard: Jack, Miranda Lawson or Tali'Zorah.

What RPG has the best music? ›

The Top 10 RPGS With The Best Soundtracks
  • 10/10 Dragon Age: Origins.
  • 9/10 Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • 8/10 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
  • 7/10 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
  • 6/10 Bloodborne.
  • 5/10 Demon's Souls.
  • 4/10 The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
  • 3/10 Nier: Automata.
21 Jan 2021

Is Pillars of Eternity like D&D? ›

Now, the Pillars of Eternity games aren't explicitly based on any D&D ruleset but by the looks of it, it uses a certain percentage of the 4th edition rules. The first game is closer to D&D than the second but both are worth any CRPG player's time.

How long does it take to finish Pillars of Eternity? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pillars of Eternity is about 36 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 106 Hours to obtain 100% completion.


1. Pillars of Eternity II : Deadfire - Worthabuy?
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3. Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire Critique
4. Review: Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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5. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire - One Year Later
6. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Review - The Final Verdict
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