As I dropped anchor into the shimmering waters of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, I found there was far more that felt familiar from having played the first Pillars game than there was different. It’s certainly a lot prettier, with gorgeous animated water, better lighting, and more detailed models. But the combat, dialogue, stat system, and inventory management don’t seem to have changed much at all. It’s more like Pillars of Eternity 1.5… until you get out to the overworld map.
I admired the original Pillars for making its world feel more grounded and tangible by adding realistic travel time when commuting between regions on the map. It felt like reading Tolkien or playing in a detailed Dungeons and Dragons campaign, rather than watching a movie or TV show where the camera simply cuts to wherever the characters need to be next. Deadfire takes this a step further by giving you your own ship that you can sail freely between the various islands. And it’s far more than just a visual representation of your party’s location.
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