Pillars of Eternity Devs New Game, Tyranny, Asks "What If Evil Won?"

Following the the trail of success from Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian continues to refine its RPG formula.

14 Comments
Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Tyranny - Announcement Trailer

Obsidian knows a thing or two about player choice and empowerment. The veteran RPG studio is excited about the decisions its fans will face in Tyranny, the developer's follow up to its acclaimed RPG, Pillars of Eternity. But Tyranny isn't a sequel, it's a whole new world and story, posing a "what-if" scenario where evil has won.

As another Obsidian isometric RPG, the developer wisely repurposed the Pillars engine for Tyranny while also implementing some changes to the combat. There’s no friendly fire this time and party sizes are maxed out at four, rather than six. More importantly, your main character can now enact combo spells with your AI-controlled comrades.

In true Obsidian fashion, you’re given a wealth of options and decisions to plan and carve your party’s destiny. It starts with your allegiance at the start of Tyranny, whether that’s with the rebels seeking to take back the kingdom, the Scarlet Chorus, a group that works for the conquering overlord Kyros, or The Disfavored, another evil faction looking to make a name for themselves in this volatile land.

Yes, evil has won, but it wasn’t a victory so absolute that it doesn’t have its insurgents as well as infighting among the victorious factions. Depending on your initial choices, one of the earlier missions can place you in the middle of a petty quarrel between the Scarlet Chorus and The Disfavored, who are both tasked with assaulting a rebel stronghold. Kyros’ solution to move this mission along is to conjure a ticking clock spell that would end the world if the fortress was not captured. It sounds drastic but Kyros didn’t conquer this kingdom by wasting time.

This rebel fortress’ immediate challenge concerns an entrance reinforced by mage spells. Rather than trying to blow down the doors with Kyros’ own mages, the game steers you to find a backdoor, by way of a scalable wall. Expect many of these non-combat field interactions, some of which will require specific skill levels.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

The arsenal of a player-controlled mage is well-stocked with damage-dealing spells of varying areas of effect. Frequent use of these spells and even simpler actions like melee attacks will result in even better abilities, which is key in a game where character progression is based on repeated use of skills rather than upgrading a class. Equally lethal are the spells that do not deal direct damage such as an illusion spell that makes your unfortunate target feel like she’s falling. There’s also the incantation that can confuse lesser enemies to retreat even before a fight begins in earnest, thereby thinning the opposing numbers for an easier battle.

You can see Mage gameplay in the video, but check out Lucia the Archer and Kyperia the Fighter in these links.

In between skirmishes is a lore-rich story filled with classic Obsidian conversational decision trees. The variety of the factions alone imply a world steeped in gray areas and nuanced moral ambiguity. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tyranny’s end game didn’t result in the total annihilation of the rebels, though it's just as difficult to see the freedom fighters restore the kingdom to their idea of peace.

With so many tenuous relationships and conflicting interests, don’t expect that every faction will be happy with the key decisions you make. While Obsidian has ensured that your choices will be informed ones, there will be many consequences you cannot foresee. For instance, killing key opposition figures in the interest of advancing your cause might make a lot of sense, but don’t be surprised if, unknown to you, family members from those you execute will forget your actions.

Tyranny is due out later this year for PC.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 14 comments about this story
14 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Nightmare350
Nightmare350

Sweet!

Avatar image for esqueejy
esqueejy

Sweeeeeeet. First Pillars, then Tides and now this....bliss.

Avatar image for xantufrog
xantufrog

I'm excited. These games can be a huge time suck, but if you grew up on old school RPGs it can be really nice to go back once in a while to that type of game

Moderator
Avatar image for kadaverhagga
kadaverhagga

Wierd how I'm more hyped for this game than most announced AAA games. I might have a weakspot for old style rpg's. And the higher the complexity and learning curve the better.

Avatar image for Nightmare350
Nightmare350

@kadaverhagga: i'm in the same boat

Avatar image for REDShadowG
REDShadowG

It will most probably feel dated like Original Sin and full of cliches, just this time it'll be mr. Baddy and not mr. Goody. Fyi, Overlord has done this ages ago and it did it too well and with graphics that don't feel like we're back in 2000.

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

I feel bad because I loved games like Fallout 1 & 2 but when I see a game like this pop up, I just don't see myself getting into it.

I really wanted to like Shadowrun but it was just too janky, too much delay between a click & an action, too much reading. I see Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2, games that are dozens of hours long & I just don't think I can bare with dated systems for that long. I played Divinity: Original Sin for about 40 hours & then got frustrated/bored. I tried starting again with the Enhanced Edition but couldn't get into it.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

Cool. I like to see more games like this.

Avatar image for Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

Wow, evil is so cool, I like it.

Avatar image for ronan32
ronan32

@Pelezinho777: you must be 12

Avatar image for Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

@ronan32: you are pathetic...

Avatar image for Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

Really looking forward to this. Pillars of Eternity is already a classic RPG.

Avatar image for ronan32
ronan32

@Fandango_Letho: i thought is was average..if i wanted that much reading in a game i'd just get a book out

Avatar image for jv303
jv303

@ronan32: You don't strike me as someone who does that very often.