Games Gazette Logo

Developed by Obsidian and published by Versus Evil Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is an adventure and action game for several game platforms, including the PS4 which is the system I played it on. It has the tantalising sub-header "Hunt a God, Save a Soul".

The controls on the PS4 controller are fairly basic and intuitive for regular PS4 game players, which is always nice as you get into the game a lot quicker, using the thumbsticks for movement and camera views/direction and the O for back and X for Attack.

It is classed as a role-playing video game, though anyone who has actually played a tabletop rpg will know that there is very little similarity between a pen & paper rpg and a video rpg, they are about the same as chalk and paint; close but no cigar (besides cigars are bad for you!).

Located in EORA this is a sequel to the original PILLARS of ETERNITY and is positioned in time some five years later. The 'dead' god, Eothas, has awoken and destroyed the heroes' stronghold of Card Nua. The player characters (Watchers) are the only ones to survive, though they have part of their souls sucked out into Eothas. 

Following the flowing soul-stream you make your way to the god of death, Borath. He promises (and for some reason you actually believe him) to get your soul back if you can discretely follow Eothas and discover what his ultimate plans are. Sure sounds like a great idea, following an enraged god to aid the god of death, what could possibly go wrong?

I am not going to spoil the 'surprise' you will discover, but I can say that you need to find your way to a ship to take you to the Deadfire Peninsular where you will encounter, among others, several native Tribes and some gnarly Pirates.

There are some similarities with other adventure games, the most prominent being DIABLO, especially when you are in the underground labyrinth of stone walls and chambers, very much a Dungeons & Dragons™ style scenario.

On your travels you meet new friends and companions who will fight alongside you. You can swap equipment, weapons etc amongst your adventuring party, and defeat whoever and whatever tries to prevent you being successful in your quest.

At all times you know how your character/s are doing, their well-being etc. As in all games of this genre you can get better (gain experience) find useful items, health, weapons, armour etc.

There are lots of fights, some thoughtful play and a few puzzles to solve along the way, but what keeps the game interesting is the pace that you choose to play it at. Played slowly you get to see a lot more of the excellent locations and the terrain.

Then there are times when you wish you could speed up play, usually when there are information sequences. These can be a pain but they are necessary if you are going to follow the story and know what you're doing.

The Deadfire Peninsular has a lot going on. Apart from Pirates and Tribes there are the agents of the Rauatai Empire and the Vailian Trading Company. Oh, and there you are right in the centre of the trouble that is brewing.

As stated earlier the locations and background terrain are super but sometimes they are also frustrating. A small rocky crop or a couple of broken planks on the beach prevent you walking or climbing across them. They look to be no more that 10-15 inches high (comparing by height of characters) so it's just annoying/frustration you have to manoeuvre round them.

Speaking of the beach, you cannot walk along the edge splashing your feet in the water either - the water is impassable. Little things like this usually play heavily on my mind and put me off, but there is something about DEADFIRE that just keeps me going at it, seeking for a successful outcome.

Talking of outcomes, at the end of DEADFIRE you are left pondering in the manner that leaves you expecting Pillars of Eternity III sometime at the end of 2020 beginning of 2021, that's my prediction.

The voice talent includes Ashley Johnson who is best known to me as Patterson in the TV show 'Blindspot'. Laura Bailey (Ghost Spider/Gwen Stacy/Black Widow animated Spiderman series), Liam O'Brien (Carmen Sandiago, Star Wars Jedi:Fallen Order, DC Super-Hero Girls etc.), Star Wars own Biggs Darklighter (Garrick Hagon), in fact the game is endowed with a who's-who? of around 80 excellent top quality voice actors.

Classic game play, super visuals, good story, great action, amazing voice talent, what's not to like.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021