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Pillars of Eternity II Features Trailer + GDC 2018 Preview at PCGamesN

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Pillars of Eternity II Features Trailer + GDC 2018 Preview at PCGamesN

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 27 March 2018, 00:51:16

Tags: Justin Britch; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Obsidian have released the new Pillars of Eternity II trailer that Josh Sawyer told me about two weeks ago. They're calling it a "Features Trailer", and it does indeed showcase some new areas, including the lair of a fearsome lava dragon. Shame about the generic trailer music though.

Simultaneously with the release of the trailer, the gentlemen at PCGamesN have published a new preview of Deadfire based on new content showcased at GDC last week. It describes a scenario in which the party must infiltrate a pirate fort to deal with a rival captain. Here's an excerpt:

Our party decides to creep through the dungeon below the fort rather than face an entire faction’s best at relatively low level. While Pillars of Eternity II provides plenty of direction for those wanting a balanced combat experience, it is perfectly happy to let you stumble across enemies far beefier than you are equipped to handle. Britch calls it an “old-school philosophy.”

“If you want to go and explore what’s gonna happen,” he says, “you can find that out for yourself.”

“Too many bad memories,” King mutters.

Well aware that the dungeon represents a potential weak point, the Principi have filled its corridors with guards. In past demos, the party has come face-to-face with patrols and fallen into open combat. This time, King decides to take advantage of Pillars of Eternity II’s improved stealth system, which now tracks the vision cones and hearing radius of your opponents. The noise simulation in particular offers new opportunities - like distracting guards with firecrackers.

Passing by without commotion, the party reaches the cells, discovering what Britch calls the “dirty naked men.” These are not, in fact, a new faction, but a pirate crew that have fallen foul of Benwith’s leadership. Their knowledge of the fort’s layout will be invaluable - but before they will open their mouths, we will have to open their cells.

Pickpocketing is a risky manoeuvre, but made more palatable by another new feature - companions in Pillars of Eternity II can now pool their resources when testing skills. Your second-best thief is no longer a useless tag-along, then, but an effective boost to your party’s overall ability. King manages to procure a key from a nearby guard, and the Dirty Naked Men let us know the whereabouts of Benwith’s ship - a personal weakness that, if threatened, should lure him out from behind his entourage.

To reach the ship, however, the party must face its crew. King begins the battle by targeting nearby barrels of gunpowder, blowing a chunk off the pirates’ health. Fighting in Pillars of Eternity II is much as it was in the first game - a real-time battle system that encourages regular pausing to issue orders. But environmental hazards are new, and so are the deeply customisable AI scripts that govern companions when left them to their own devices.

The crew dispatched, King rings the ship’s bell. Sure enough, Benwith emerges to investigate. There are dialogue options available - like any good pirate, Benwith is willing to barter for his life - but the party opts to instagib him instead.

“We love gibs,” Britch says with satisfaction.

The decision will impact the party’s standing with the Principi. And that matters, since you will need the assistance of one of these factions later in the game’s critical path. This is what distinguishes Pillars of Eternity II from other games that offer sneaky-deaky stealth or blazing guns. Actions make noise, not only in the echoey dungeons of pirate forts, but throughout the Deadfire Archipelago where reputation and consequence carries across the waves with an unmistakable Obsidian timbre.
There's an additional GDC preview at Tom's Guide, though it's far less detailed. It's nice to see that the game exists outside the beta, but hopefully we'll hear more about it this week.

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