Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Review

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Eschalon: Book II

Release Date:2021-09-02
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay

Early on, you don't even know all the options you'll eventually have. So, you're placing a bunch of stuff, then, when all your lots are full, you unlock a new set of buildings and find out that there are adjacency bonuses. Now you have to demolish everything and start anew.

But the thing is, even if you're just randomly plopping things down, your numbers will still be going up and you'll be fairly successful. The entire thing is a pointless waste of time. But on the bright side, only two of the game's six chapters heavily feature this system. So I guess that's something.

Technical Information

Finally, let's address the elephant. Pathfinder: Kingmaker launched in a completely busted state where pretty much every part of it was broken in some way.

Wrath, thankfully, managed to avoid such a colossal disaster. If you look at it in a vacuum, it's very buggy. But compared to Kingmaker, it's not that bad. Where Kingmaker had memory leaks, crashes, quests that didn't work, companions that randomly died forever, and critical path blockers you had to work around with creative spell applications, Wrath limits itself to stuff that's very minor compared to that.

Just an occasional glitch usually solved by reloading, plus some abilities that don't work, and others that work too well. While not ideal, it all balances out in the end, sort of. You'll have, for example, a healer with two Mythic abilities that do absolutely nothing, but then your Barbarian will get healed to full health every time someone looks at him with kindness, while your Wizard will be able to cast two spells per turn. You just roll with it.

If you power through the game, you may encounter some quests in the later stages that refuse to complete and some broken triggers in the ending slides. But I have a feeling that if you don't push it and play at a reasonable pace, by the time you get to those parts, those bigger issues will be sorted out.

As mentioned earlier, the game's UI is great for character creation. But when it comes to inventory management and everything else, really, it could definitely use some work. Because the game allows you to cook food, brew potions and scribe scrolls, your inventory will gradually get filled with piles upon piles of clutter. You add to that the actual loot, the various quest-related items, numerous consumables, and a bunch of random junk you've no idea what to do with, and you get a complete mess of an inventory screen. Sure, you can sort all that stuff, but with everything represented by tiny icons, it's really easy to lose track of what you're looking for.

And on the main screen, inspecting enemies is super clunky, and the hotbars you have are sorely lacking. Sure, they're exactly the same as Kingmaker's, but you'd think that between games some advancements would've been made.

Plus, what with the Mythic abilities and a heap of activatable items, you just have a lot of things you want to have handy, which means you don't want to have spells taking up valuable real estate. But, as far as I'm aware, there's no key you can press to bring up the game's spellcasting menu, not to mention a convenient quick cast menu like the one in Neverwinter Nights 2.

On the plus side, one of the biggest persistent issues Kingmaker had - long loading times - seems to have been solved. Wrath doesn't take too long to either save or load. It does become more sluggish towards the end, but it's nowhere near Kingmaker in that regard.

At the same time, the game is now significantly more resource-intensive for some reason. And while, with the exception of an occasional random frame drop, Wrath runs pretty well, it taxes your system like there's no tomorrow.

From my layman's position, I blame the game's new rotating camera feature. After all, now that you can freely rotate the camera, it means there's a lot more to render. This, as far as I'm concerned, is a lose-lose situation, because all the new rotatable camera did for me, was introduce some confusion and elevation glitches. Oh, it also made it easier to get turned around, especially in the Abyss, where you have to keep rotating the camera in order to progress.

This aside, the game looks significantly better than its predecessor, but the real impressive thing about the presentation is the music. Some of the tracks, especially those related to the Mythic Paths, and some of the boss themes, are absolutely fantastic.

The game's voice acting is less impressive, but thankfully, Wrath still sticks to the tried and true partial voice acting scheme where only the important dialogues are fully voiced.

And finally, the game's options menu is really good, with plenty of available options, clear descriptions for what everything does, and a deeply customizable difficulty tab.

Conclusion

As you can see, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has some issues, and it would be dishonest not to point them out. However, that doesn't change the fact that the game is still incredibly fun to play. And even if it does outstay its welcome a bit, before that happens, it offers a good hundred hours of solid role-playing entertainment.

And since pretty much no one else is making anything quite as deep these days, you take the good with the bad. A new Baldur's Gate this is not, but it's the closest thing we've got.