PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...
The Good: Great presentation, and "feel like the movie" experience, the movie cast is in there, decent graphics, easy achievements
The Bad: Too much Jack, not enough Kong, extremely short, linear to a fault, no clips from movie
I watched the movie when it first came out now I'm late playing the game. While I played the PC version I find the Xbox 360 version not much different. The game does sport decent graphics but now in 2009 they feel pretty dated and there are a lot of collision detection issues and the game is very...green. While you spend 70% of the time playing as Jack you wish you could play as Kong more. There are a decent variety of enemies such as giant centipedes, bats, T-Rex, raptors, crabs and so forth you just wish there were more.
When you play as Jack you in a first person perspective and there are no health bars, no ammo meters just you and your instincts. Ubisoft made it this way so the game feels more cinematic like the movie and it works. I was surprised how well you can aim with the spears and guns without a reticle and it's very easy to do. Most of playing as Jack is pretty straight forward with most of the puzzles evolving around burning brush via lit spears. Most of these puzzles get pretty dull towards the end, but thankfully, as you progress, you play as Kong more often. Playing as Kong, though, is the best part. You are in a 3rd person POV and the camera sweeps around dramatically while you beat up giant T-Rex and fend of dozens of bats.
There are moments where you run along giant cliff sides and swing on huge pillars. While this is good and all it does get repetitive and it's the same thing over and over. The game isn't very well paced and there aren't any clips from the movie at all. I understand that Michel Ancel wanted players to not get emerge out of the experience with jaunting clips from the movie so everything is done in real time. Of course all the load times defeat this purpose since some chapters are only one cut scene long. I also have to mention that King Kong has the easiest access to 1000 GP ever. Just complete the game and you have all achievements and GP, yes you heard me just complete certain chapters and they hand them to you. Of course this had a lot to do with the fact that most developers didn't give two sh**s about achievements during the first year or so of the consoles life. While Ubisoft did a good job in the short time they had it could have been a lot better. The game also ends very abruptly and it feels like they took huge shortcuts. Despite all this you'll get a kick out of the game on any console and it'll sure to please the movie fans.