After plugging 70 or so hours into Pillars I feel it's time to write a review on it.
First a bit about myself.
I'm an old gamer. I was a day one purchaser of Baldur's Gate and BG2. I go back even further with Might & Magic and Wizardry of the 80s. These games have always been my pleasure. I do play other games but generally speaking turn-based party strategy is what I like.
Pillars will immediately bring you back to those games. Not just because it looks an awful lot like those games. Lots of games can do that much. What makes Pillars really pull you back is the writing and the story. It starts off good and only gets better as the plot thickens. The sub plots with each live character are good as well. Story is dark here and brooding. It feels very much a part of the natural world yet mired in fantasy akin to what George Martin would write. The characters all feel real, talk and reason like real people and react to you and your decisions accordingly.
I mention this as I think this is where Pillars really shines. Lots of development houses don't put enough effort nor resources into the story. A game without a good story is like a movie without a good story. It's doomed to failure regardless of how good it looks.
You won't be blown away by the graphics here though. I think it fair to say the graphics are probably what the game does the worst at yet it still isn't enough to warrant being a negative.
The combat is what you'd expect coming from Baldur's Gate and Torment. You can go without taking turns but you will be crushed on anything hard and above eventually. Like those old games, nobody holds your hand. Go down the wrong road, cross into the wrong zone and your party will be obliterated. Gauge each fight carefully and make use of stealth. It works as good here as it did in those old games.
What has been added are some brilliant little interactive cutscenes where you can make a choice that either hurts or benefits your party. Usually it will be illustrated as well.
The audio is great. The music has a nice touch. Most of the important dialogue has proper voice acting. Some of the dialogue is without voice acting but it isn't enough to notice.
Character creation and choice is solid here. You have a lot of directions you can go in. Coupled with the story there is a lot to revisit here. I can see myself playing this one over and over again as I did those old greats.
I will probably hear about rating this so highly but story is key in my world. They did a good job with this one. If you are into a good story and like those old games you cannot miss this one.