Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Release Date:2018-09-25
Genre:
  • Role-Playing
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
At the same time, Kingmaker is definitely not a perfect game and has plenty of room for improvement, be it in an enhanced edition of some sort or even a potential sequel.

Despite the fact that the game's story dungeons are nothing short of stellar and some of its side areas are pretty decent as well, a lot of its optional locations are tiny and offer just a single encounter. The game clearly lacks some more involved side quests. And while Kingmaker's dialogues offer plenty of alignment-based options, its class and race reactivity is close to nonexistent, which is a shame.

Some of you may also dislike the absence of a mega city with numerous districts and quests, but personally I always feel lost in those, so I didn't mind that one very much.

And now, let's get to what I think is the game's biggest flaw - its ending that feels rushed and lacking in content, which is honestly a strange thing to say when talking about a game as massive as Kingmaker.

Still, the fact remains and is especially obvious in what can be considered the game's final dungeon that combines horrible encounter design with a lack of sense of direction and some fairly obtuse mechanics. It's like that whole area was slapped together without much consideration or testing and as a result, it can sour your overall enjoyment of the game right when you're about to complete it.

I also want to mention the unfortunate lack of item descriptions. Most of them are extremely basic and do nothing for the game's atmosphere. A sword is just a sword and a mushroom is just a cooking ingredient. Maybe it's just me, but having at least a few sentences of flavor text for each item, no matter how mundane, would make the game much more enjoyable. Tell me a bit about Golarion's sword traditions, explain the culinary uses of mushrooms, that sort of thing. Otherwise, the world feels a bit too mundane and sterile.

Kingdom Management

Other than traversing the land and dealing with all sorts of evils, in Kingmaker you also get a barony, and then a kingdom, of your own. Managing this kingdom is like a game within a game, a little side dish of simulation to go with your RPG.

As a baron, you will develop your lands, build and upgrade towns and villages, and make sure your people are content and well-protected. You will also need to assemble a council of advisors and use them to deal with whatever miscellaneous problems and opportunities may arise.

Another part of kingdom management are the royal artisans that act as the game's crafting system, exchanging quests and favors for valuable pieces of gear. As someone who generally doesn't like crafting, I didn't mind dealing with the artisans, and the items they created were usually worth the hassle.

All in all, kingdom management is not too complex, but it plays an important part in making you feel like a proper ruler and not just some upstart who magically solves any and all problems with a few sword swings.

Now, if you don't like the idea of managing a small kingdom, then you also have an option to let the AI manage it for you, but I don't recommend it. As an experiment, roughly halfway through the game I turned on the auto mode and soon discovered that without the kingdom parts, the game becomes a bit disjointed, where at multiple points you have to just sit in your throne room, skipping time between important events.