Originally published at: https://statelyplay.com/2019/01/24/pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire-just-added-turn-based-mode/
While I love Baldur’s Gate, BG2, and all the other Infinity Engine games from the 90’s and early aughts, they did suck in one aspect: combat. Unlike the fantastic D&D Gold Box CRPGs from SSI, the Infinity Engine turned RPG combat into a real-time click-fest, which was so unlike tabletop D&D that I could never quite grok the reasoning behind the decision. Tabletop RPGs are turn-based, why not the digital versions?
This bizarre choice was used again by Obsidian when they attempted to reignite the Infinity Engine style games with 2015’s Pillars of Eternity. I tried, I swear I tried multiple times, to play PoE only to discover that the game wasn’t compelling enough for me to put up with combat I despised. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, also released with the real-time curse, but today Obsidian has made amends. Today, they released an update that allows you to choose between real-time or turn-based modes. Guess what RPG I’m going to be buying and playing this weekend?
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire appears to be as epic as anything BioWare/Black Isle put out back in the day. The story revolves around awakened gods, lost souls, and a bunch of other high-fantasy tropes we’ve come to know and love. What’s cool here, though, is the location. The game takes place, mostly, across an archipelago allowing you to run a ship, hire a crew, and do things on the high seas that I don’t remember ever doing in another CRPG.
Your trusty ship, the Defiant, is your main means of getting around the Deadfire’s open-world. It’s also your home base, and that of your companions, and your crew.
You’ll be able to upgrade it, hire new crew members, and even take it into combat using a dedicated ship-to-ship combat system developed especially for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Build up enough wealth, and you’ll be able to buy larger, and more impressive ships, too!
The latest update to the game allows for turn-based combat, meaning that the game will slow to a wonderful crawl when baddies enter the scene. This should allow you to fight battles the way Eothas intended, with strategy and tactics.
The only question still up in the air revolves around the necessity to finish PoE1 before taking up PoE2. I’m not sure I can do it. It’s not a terrible game, by any means, but I just cannot stand the real-time/pause combat at all. I guess I’ll find out…
If you think this sounds like the RPG of your dreams, you might want to hold off on rushing over to Steam and sending Valve your cold, hard cash. At some point in 2019, Deadfire will also be making its way to Switch, so you might want to hold out if that’s your platform of choice.
- Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $50
- Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire for PC/Mac/Linux via GoG, $33