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With another week's worth of critiques for Obsidian Entertainment's Tyranny having surfaced on the web, it seems like a pretty good time to do another round-up.
Eurogamer labels it as "Recommended":
In moments like these, the grim brilliance of Tyranny is revealed, and it's undoubtedly worth persisting through the game's weaker stages to experience them. The dark cousin of Pillars of Eternity may not be as polished or comprehensive as Obsidian's standout RPG. But I think, in the end, Tyranny has far more of import to say, and it'll make you listen whether you like it or not.
GameInformer gives it an 8.25/10:
Even within the limited constraint of mostly dark outcomes, Tyranny has an impressive array of potentialities to explore, and practically demands multiple playthroughs. Entirely new storylines, allies, and even visited areas might appear in a subsequent adventure, and it’s exciting to confront a new mix of betrayals and dangers. As evidenced by a gripping final act that cries out for a sequel, Tyranny puts enormous authority in the hands of its players to shape the destiny of an entire world, but also leaves those players with an unrepentantly sober warning about corruption and power.
WorthPlaying gives it a 9.0/10:
Although it's conventional in some ways, Tyranny feels fresh. The theme has been explored before in other games and genres, but not to this degree. The characters are extremely interesting, whether they're tragic or humorous. Dialogue choices are expansive, and the sheer number of permutations that can arise from your decisions give the game near-limitless replay value. Supported by solid RPG mechanics, Tyranny is a game for those who couldn't get enough of Pillars of Eternity and its ilk.
GameCrate gives it an 8.75/10:
With a rushed third act and a few frustrating quirks here and there, Tyranny falls just short of reaching the legendary heights of the games that inspired it. Obsidian has, however, once again delivered on their pedigree with an engrossing and inventive story of betrayal and tyrannical rule. This game is a must-play for fans of isometric narrative roleplaying games.
GamePressure gives it a 7.0/10:
After all is said and done Tyranny remains a proposal that will be controversial among fans of the genre. An ambitious, unique plot is being sold in a package with a lot of mediocre ideas. Delight born in the first hour is killed in the following acts, when the game begins to put too much emphasis on combat, which seems to be only a cheap filler in place of some truly interesting content. This lack of consistency is visible on many levels, which may worry when we are talking about a game coming from the veterans of the genre. Now the question remains, what lessons will Obsidian learn from this – we shall see after the release of Pillars of Eternity 2.
Made For Gaming gives it a 9/10:
I have been blown away by Tyranny, and as someone who loves Dungeons and Dragons and its various board games like Lords of Waterdeep, this game feels like it was made for someone who is into that kind of thing. I never played Baldurs Gate or Planescape Torment but I have now been convinced to go back and play them and also Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity. This will be a game I come back to at least a few times to try out different characters and choices and see how my outcome differs from my last. Each time I revisit I know for sure that I will learn something new about the Lore and that is wonderful in a game this rich. Sure I had issues with the AI pathfinding and some of the music wasn’t as memorable as I would have liked, but that’s only because I truly adored everything else about this game. It allows you to play the character you want within the ranks of an evil empire and as someone who always found amusement and humor out of the Empire in Star Wars, this really clicked with me. I may have felt bad about some of my decisions and the game may have made me feel like a terrible person at times, but I think that was the intention.
The Digital Fix gives it an 8/10:
What remains is a game that will immediately appeal to anyone who is happy to completely immerse themselves in a world akin to Planescape: Torment and its ilk, with more prose than you’d find in a standard fantasy novel. From a gameplay perspective, if you were expecting something leaps and bounds beyond Pillars of Eternity, you’ll be disappointed. But if you enjoyed that game, it won’t matter anyway - we’d suggest that the story here is far more interesting, and the freedom to betray your masters at numerous stages of the campaign offers you the chance to forge your own destiny in a truly evil way, even if the end result may leave you feeling a little empty as the credits roll. It’s a lengthy and at times ponderous slog amounting to dozens of hours, especially if you’re a sucker for completing every area and side-quest you encounter, but Obsidian have created a world that encourages exploration and a tale worth investing in. As far as RPGs go, that’s most of the battle won.
Metro gives it a 7/10:
And although we don’t mind that the game is relatively short for a role-player, at less than 30 hours, the ending is so abrupt and unsatisfying that we can’t decide whether it counts as sequel begging or an indication that Obsidian ran out of time and money just before the end. Hopefully it’s not the latter because we do want to see a follow-up, something that can shave off the rough edges and become the best at being bad.
NZGamer gives it a 9.0/10:
Tyranny is a tale about evil, but not as you know it. It sidesteps the predictable tropes of grayscale morality by shifting the spectrum entirely. The first few hours of the game are spent in disgust, but by the end you’ll become numb to your actions; evil becomes banal, terror and violence normalized. You’re not a moustachioed villain, as you so often are in games with morality meters – you’re a bureaucrat. And it’s terrifying.
Press Play Media gives it an 8.4/10:
Tyranny is a great way to spend countless hours navigating the intricate political and social dynamics of the world Terratus, playing around with classic RPG elements within a new context. If you were a fan of Obsidian’s games already, then don’t hesitate. If you want an RPG that’s different from the norm, then by all means check out Tyranny. It may not blow anyone away visually – being on par with Pillars of Eternity which is now 18 months old – but its RPG foundations are more than solid and there’s a fresh layer of paint that allows us to look at the genre through different eyes once more.
And Killa Penguin doesn't score it:
When the game was first introduced and I was going through the screenshots, my first thought was “wow, this looks like Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader.” I hadn’t played Lionheart back then, mind you, so the comparison was based solely on screenshots of the two, but I went in to this game expecting something bland-looking. Instead, I got something unexpectedly vibrant. The opening screens explaining the game’s lore are all incredibly colorful (and these types of screens pop up a few more times throughout the story as you make progress), and even the more brownish-gray areas are often contrasted by various splashes of color. The areas that are bland and underwhelming are actually in the minority here, and I was really impressed by the art as a whole. They even put in different stances for character portraits during conversations depending on what’s happening, which is kind of a pointless feature, but one of those pointless features that makes you appreciate how much effort went into parts of the game.