Times: tough lady in armor hiding behind a tower shield, inevitably comes to the Orc. Two: their views intersect. Three: the green-skinned giant raises his axe and lets out a furious cry. Four: his eyes full of anger, but the warrior stoically withstand the blazing eyes. Five: she does not intend to give the enemy the initiative, and brandishing a sword, on a perfectly polished surface which highlights the sun. Six: the round is over. The Orc drops his weapon and grins. The warrior sighs, recognizing defeat. Lays next to a huge shield, falls, throws a sword right above him and closes his eyes, submitting himself to the fate of the dice. No one is immune from a critical failure.
In power dice
About the role-playing game you can tell a lot by the character editor. Behind the protagonist’s creation in Pathfinder: Kingmaker, it’s easy to spend an hour, which hints at a long and thoughtful adventure. The Pathfinder role-playing system is based on D&D 3.5, so fans of Neverwinter Nights 2 will immediately feel at home, like Han Solo and Chewbacca in the “Awakening of power.” Eyes run up from the abundance of classes (there is even “prestige”!), many races and worldviews. The monk must be law-abiding, and the paladin-kind … Thank you, Owlcat Games, the warmth of nostalgia spreads through the body from these words.
The adventure begins not with another prophecy or accident that throws our hero into the center of events. The protagonist-only one of the mercenaries hired for cleaning of the Stolen Lands from gang of bandits. The award is tempting – these are the Lands where the winner will be called the Baron, giving the opportunity to rebuild their own Kingdom from scratch. If you expect that after a short prologue will be able to comfortably settle on the throne, it is very wrong. The first ten to fifteen hours of Pathfinder: Kingmaker arranges a harsh test for compliance with the coveted title.
An introductory hour teaching the basics can create a deceptive sense of simplicity. Maybe even a thought: “And if I increase the level of complexity?”. Think carefully. And then think again. As soon as the group is selected in the open world, the picture becomes quite different. Even a few rats can eat all the characters, if Mrs. fortune turns away from you. Complexity can not only choose from standard options, but also fine-tune for themselves. Use.
As in other adaptations of Board games for D & D and systems close to it, at the head of the corner are dice rolls. Fell great value — good luck, and a barbarian with a mighty swing severed the enemy ridge. The enemy, however, can do exactly the same with your guys. If in the real Board game the unsuccessful throw at least cheerfully interprets the leader, here it is necessary only to replay again and again until you are lucky with a deal.
An important role is played by all sorts of strengthening and weakening, allowing to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. It is a pity that the first few hours a set of tools for tactical maneuvers is extremely scarce. Low-level characters possess a very limited set of skills, and the adherents of melee and does virtually devoid of active abilities. Saving and loading for a long time will be the most useful skills.
We have to poke at locations on the global map, hoping to find the enemy on his shoulder and get hold of a little bit decent equipment. Movement around the world reminds of Pillars of Eternity — you can wander only on the roads between locations, of which there are hundreds. Some are small, like a small grove or meadow, while others can hang for a few hours and decide the fate of the two neighboring Nations.
Reminds of the old days and the time limit for the execution of some orders. However, in the back do not push — and the job will have time to complete, and the surrounding area to wander and relax properly. In Pathfinder: Kingmaker very cool implemented halt. You appoint responsible for the kitchen, hunting and guard, you can choose additional classes that give different characters their bonuses, and then watch as the characters are preparing to rest and poison the bikes, sitting by the fire.
Burden of responsibility
The game perfectly manages to create a sense of the journey and to fully justify the title of your own role-playing system. As if you get to the pages of “Lord of the rings”, where on the way to the goal of heroes enters a variety of lands. Adjusted for the fact that one day will have to shoulder the burden of government and lead the new Kingdom to prosperity. Or ruin. Here’s how it goes.
The mechanics of the administration of the Kingdom — a separate, and very important, layer of gameplay. You have to appoint people to positions, to listen to the complaints of local residents, to rebuild the city and to connect all new and new lands. A number of problems can be entrusted to responsible Ministers, while others are solved solely by hand. However, in the settings at any time is allowed to switch the Kingdom to “autopilot” and quietly go explore the world. In this case, the Kingdom will never come to a complete decline, but to make him the pearl of the world will not work.
Pathfinder tries to give the player freedom of action in everything. As with any self-respecting classic RPG, there are many ways to solve the problem — from open confrontation to the art of diplomacy. But some of the authors still made concessions. For example, if an action requires a skill test, the characteristics of the most appropriate team member are automatically used. Conveniently.
The story develops very slowly and allows you to choose what you are more interesting to do at this particular moment-to move through the story or to issue a couple of new decrees. Often you decide in what order to achieve key goals. A huge world, a lot of quests, an interesting system of government-entertainment in Pathfinder: Kingmaker abound, and they are well balanced with each other. Even interesting characters and well-written dialogues on the spot. This is really a great classic RPG with a deep role-playing system, thoughtful tactical battles, variability and consequences of choice. But you’re waiting for a “but”, a big, fat and ugly”but”? Not for nothing, it’s not one.
Each such ” but ” – a bug of varying degrees of criticality: from the little things like incorrectly triggered scripts that give the wrong options in the dialogues, to the main quests fail, making the game impassable. At the time of writing (more than two weeks after the release), judging by the achievements in Steam, no one has reached the final. The mechanics work perfectly, but the structure of the missions, including the storyline, is broken in many places.
No wonder, with so many ways of passing and parallel implementation of interrelated tasks! I can imagine how difficult it is to tie so many threads together, but from a player’s perspective I want to just enjoy the game without thinking about the kitchen. Some of the problems you can close your eyes — heck, if you broke one quest of ten. Unfortunately, the farther into the forest, the more problems arise, and now almost every second order breaks down. So write in numerous reviews. I personally still can’t go beyond the second act (after about 25 hours of play), because at one point the game refused to run, and we together with the developers still have not found a solution. Alas.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker-a real gift to all fans of D & D-classics like Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights. But Owlcat Games hastened with the release of the game, and now desperately riveting almost daily patches. In this state, a balanced assessment of the game just does not work. Therefore, the final verdict we will leave for later, when the bugs are destroyed and finally bloom that complex, multi-level RPG, which Pathfinder: Kingmaker and should be, judging by the first few dozen hours.