I recently finished the game. I played 252 hours on normal difficulty and most of it with effortless kingdom management. My characters, no mercenaries, were level 19, almost 20, before the last battle.
I usually don’t give my opinion online after playing a game, but in this case I wanted to try to write down my most important points I could think off, because I backed Wrath if the Righteous on KickStarter, and I want it to be even better.
I do think this is the best CRPG I have ever played. Better than Divinity Original Sin. Better than Pillars of Eternity. And better than Baldur’s Gate. However it’s far from perfect of course.
I liked pretty much every part of the CRPG. I liked the difficulty spikes. I like that the classes and builds are not balanced. This is all about making that cool team of 6 characters that have great synergies and have their special role in your party. Finding loot, lots of cool powerful loot, and dividing them among your characters in the best way. The customization options are almost endless. I tried to do the builds myself mostly. At least for my main party Valerie, Amiri, Linzi, Tristian, Octavia and at the end Ekundayo. My main was a Paladin, which I felt was a great choice. I would like the feat tree to be visible inside the game, otherwise you cannot properly plan which feats you can take. I had to look for that online, and I don’t like having to read some WIKI a lot while playing a game. I did appreciate the respec option.
Although the CRPG part was great, I did not find much enjoyment in the kingdom building part. At first it was just confusing. But even when I understood everything I still felt it was weak. Many game mechanics were not important, and might as well not have been there. For example small bonusses from building being in the right place compared to what you get from events. Or kingdom income being so low, it has little effect compared to BP you can get from selling your magic weapons. Maybe it matters on higher difficulty, but I thought it was already annoying enough like this. Probably the most confusing part for me is that you can send advisors on events, yet you are still able to bring them on your adventures. The kingdom building, including the event/curse/project management made the game weaker. The only parts I liked was making decisions in the throne room, and the artisans. I think 100 hours could have been cut from the game, and it would have been a better game.
I don’t like the time pressure in the game. Or better said, you don’t know how much time pressure there is because there is no calendar overview with deadlines. For me personally, I would have enjoyed it more if I could do the exploration without having to think about efficiency. However, if you do put an element of deadlines in a game, then please give me insight in the data, to remove the feeling of uncertainty.
Perhaps this is not so much a complaint about the game, but instead about Pathfinder. I feel there are too many weapon types. Not all weapon types have great magical weapons in the game. There is no way to know this when starting, so you have to get just lucky to made the right weapon type choice at the start. Respec does help fortunately.
Hiding the true endings of the main story and Tenebrouw Depths behind RNG I felt was very unpleasant. I mean, it’s okay if we are talking about a short game, but this one is huge! I did get the satisfying ends I wanted. But I did need maps from Tenebrouw Depths from a website open at all times, and a save editor to ‘fix’ a missed dialogue option. Witcher 3 for me is an example of good game design how a big game with choices and multiple endings can be made.
I actually also felt that there were a few too many situations where I had to make choices in dialogues and outside, but I did not quite understand what the implications would be. The most memorable choice was when I wanted to join Amiri to travel to help her with the invasion, but she insisted I did not come with her. So I thought, fine, then I’ll help Tristian first, and then go to Amiri, thinking that this is what the game wanted me to do. I felt this was misleading and felt tricked by the game.
It’s not often that I enjoy reading a lot of text, but I loved the writing in this game, especially in Linzi’s book. I really enjoyed reading the stories from her perspective. It also helped that there was a great voice actor that fit her personality.
Some technical remarks.
- The game minimizes in bordeless window mode when I click on my other monitor. When I want to look stuff online it’s annoying that it keeps minimizing.
- The GPU usage is way too high for these graphics on 60Hz. And it runs even hotter when minimized.
- Only the last fight has an unplayable framerate for me. Luckily my characters were so strong that they did not need much micromanagement. Of course it doesn’t feel very epic when you get a framerate below 10 fps.
- Let me cast spells in town.
- Let me organize my toolbars in town