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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

It's easy to forget what a surprise Pathfinder: Kingmaker was when it launched back in 2018. Its unlikely success turned Owlcat Games, a previously unknown Russian studio, into one of the primary isometric RPG developers of our time practically overnight. Released three years later, its followup Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is viewed in a somewhat different light. The game is definitely extremely popular, including on our forums, but there's a sense that some players have grown a bit weary of the Owlcat formula. "The same, but even more epic and extreme" might sound good, but it amplifies the parts of a game that people don't like as much as it does the parts that they do like. In his review of Wrath of the Righteous, the esteemed Roguey reached a similar conclusion, though he ultimately still finds the game worth playing for fans of the genre. Here's an excerpt:

In my Kingmaker review, I hoped for a pseudo-isometric fantasy RPG without lengthy exposition dumps. Well, once again, that isn't this one. Walls of text are a frequent occurrence, which is made all the more exasperating when they're fully voiced. Lengthy books, notes, and letters you can collect in the world are fine — I could just do without the long monologues.

Like Kingmaker, the journal entries are written by someone who isn't the player character. It soon becomes obvious that they're written from the perspective of the primary antagonist, which I believe may be a first for the genre. It's an amusing novelty, even if I found myself annoyed by the verbosity, though I'll admit it fits the character's personality. It also led to a giddy sense of pride when my character asserted ownership of the journal with the final quest entry.

WotR has another colorful cast of characters, though this bunch is far more queer in both senses of the term. Owlcat wasn't afraid to be polarizing, though I found myself not ultimately disliking how any of them were written. As an example, Lann's Whedonesque quipping aggravated me at first, but as the game progresses, he behaves more seriously and gets less obnoxious with the jokes. I don't know if that was a deliberate character arc, but it worked for me.

Naturally a game where the player character gains mythic powers to defeat a demonic invasion will be as ego stroking as it gets. The various mythic paths cover a wide variety of motivations: you can be a lawful zealot who corrects all wrong-doing, a tough but fair judge meting out justice with mercy, a free spirit who defeats demons with the power of friendship, a rival evil who wants to eliminate the competition, or someone just having fun. Unlike Kingmaker, there weren't any spots where I felt unsatisfied with the number of decisions available for the character I had in mind.

The story covers themes of corruption and redemption. Unsurprisingly, your allies aren't entirely good or infallible, and some of your enemies aren't entirely bad. As a good character, I had to make some pragmatic decisions for the greater good. For example, early on I met a commanding officer who's revealed to have ordered one of your companions burned at the stake out of belief she was a secret cultist. My initial desire was to execute him on the spot (which would be justified and isn't considered an evil action by the game), but given the dire circumstances of the war, I decided I didn't have the luxury of being too particular about who my allies were. Sure enough, his presence had a beneficial effect on an event many dozens of hours later.

Reactivity like that is abundant throughout the game. The first act has a soft time limit with changes to certain maps after you reach it (or a potential reward if you manage to initiate the act-ending quest before the event can trigger). The second act has reactions to how long you take and your crusade's losses and morale. The availability of certain companions changes depending on what decisions you make, and some can permanently turn on you. Your choice of mythic path will open up certain exclusive options (including at the end) and each has its own particular questline. Multiple companions can have interjecting conversations among themselves and with other characters. Sometimes characters you meet will react to certain magical items you have in your inventory. There's even an ending that requires meeting a very precise set of requirements to unlock (you're gradually given the instructions how to do it throughout the game, with the last set of requirements revealed at the very end; I would recommend against metagaming it the first time you play given that it might not even fit your character concept).

[...] Before release, it was my hope that Wrath of the Righteous would address the biggest issues I had with Kingmaker and become an undisputed classic. Instead it's a whole-lot-more-of-the-same sequel that does some things better and some things worse. That's fine, but once more I find myself not wanting to go through it again even though I would like to explore more mythic paths and make different choices. Nevertheless, if you can accept that Owlcat is dedicated to filling their games to the brim with text and enemies and strategic management minigames, and you have the time to commit to it, then it's certainly worth playing.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous
 

Zed

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Good review and I agree with pretty much everything.

I wish they'd remove a majority of all temporary buffs and add them as auras. I know there are autocast mods and crap. I don't want anything to further risk breaking an already buggy game.

I might resume my playthrough of this, but I have no idea how much I've got left and maybe it's best just to start from the beginning and ease my way into it again.
 

devoncop22

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Interesting mini review which I disagree with almost completely as having played both War of the Righteous and now belatedly tackling Kingmaker I believe Owlcat have produced two of the finest games in their genre available.

The text sections are in no way comparable to the huge walls of text in Obsidian games and the companions, especially in War of the Righteous are multi layed and engaging.

Always good to see the view of others though !
 

smaug

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Finished reading the review. Not as negative as it ought to be but whatever

pathfinder is shit and owlcat should feel bad
 

Roguey

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So a person who has no idea what the strategic layer is for writes a review about the game where this layer is one of the cornerstones.

Now, tell me how you are not Kotaku.

I'm a role playing gamer reviewing a role playing game I finished and spent over 200 hours playing.

I guess it's just a elaborated schema to provide Roguey with free games, noone cares about the review.

I bought Wrath through Kickstarter.

Interesting mini review which I disagree with almost completely as having played both War of the Righteous and now belatedly tackling Kingmaker I believe Owlcat have produced two of the finest games in their genre available.

The text sections are in no way comparable to the huge walls of text in Obsidian games and the companions, especially in War of the Righteous are multi layed and engaging.

Always good to see the view of others though !
Ezu3iq3.png

Just wanted to know who she was, didn't need her life story.
 

Humbaba

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Now I know why DU has been trying to banish me to the rpghq realm, so I couldn't protest this travesty of a review. Well, I'm still here and kickin.

Any review of Wrathfinder that doesn't conclude with the words "greatest crpg of the modern era" is a crock of shit. You people wouldn't know incline if it killed your only son in front of your eyes on the eve on you and your wife's wedding day.

"NOOOO THERE'S A GAY" So?

"NOOOO THERE'S CRUSADE MANAGEMENT AND IT'S NOT VERY GOOD" Disable it then.

"NOOOOO LE BLOAT" Git gud scrub or lower the difficulty.

"NOOO CRINGY ROMANCE" Don't romance.

I've yet to see credible evidence that Wrathfinder is bad.
 
Vatnik Wumao
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So a person who has no idea what the strategic layer is for writes a review about the game where this layer is one of the cornerstones.

Now, tell me how you are not Kotaku.
Who stopped you from taking the initiative and putting forth your own 'dex-affiliated review if you think you're more qualified for writing it?
 

430am

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Now I know why DU has been trying to banish me to the rpghq realm, so I couldn't protest this travesty of a review. Well, I'm still here and kickin.

Any review of Wrathfinder that doesn't conclude with the words "greatest crpg of the modern era" is a crock of shit. You people wouldn't know incline if it killed your only son in front of your eyes on the eve on you and your wife's wedding day.

"NOOOO THERE'S A GAY" So?

"NOOOO THERE'S CRUSADE MANAGEMENT AND IT'S NOT VERY GOOD" Disable it then.

"NOOOOO LE BLOAT" Git gud scrub or lower the difficulty.

"NOOO CRINGY ROMANCE" Don't romance.

I've yet to see credible evidence that Wrathfinder is bad.
Following your logic I got a better solution to all the downsides -- just don't play it altogether.
 

Roguey

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RPGs dialogue as they should be, by Roguey.

MC: who this sword belonged to?
Seelah: Yaniel. She is famous.

In a well-written cinematic game, a person wouldn't give a 2 minute speech in the middle of a dungeon about another person's backstory.

Ezu3iq3.png

Just wanted to know who she was, didn't need her life story.
So you wouldn't respond in a similar fashion if someone were to ask you who Lesi is?
"Don't bore people with unnecessary details" is one of the things I've picked up on, particularly when speaking.
 
Vatnik Wumao
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So a person who has no idea what the strategic layer is for writes a review about the game where this layer is one of the cornerstones.

Now, tell me how you are not Kotaku.
Who stopped you from taking the initiative and putting forth your own 'dex-affiliated review if you think you're more qualified for writing it?

Codex staff deep corruption.
Odd way to spell laziness. Everybody's a critic these days, but no one is willing to put in the effort to do any better. Strange how that goes, eh?
 

ga♥

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"You are lazy so you deserve these reviews" it's a odd way to look at things, but ok I guess?
 

ga♥

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RPGs dialogue as they should be, by Roguey.

MC: who this sword belonged to?
Seelah: Yaniel. She is famous.

In a well-written cinematic game, a person wouldn't give a 2 minute speech in the middle of a dungeon about another person's backstory.


That's not a cinematic game, so what is the comparison for? As for the 2 minute speech, it doesn't happen in the middle of the dungeon but pratically at end the of it. You only miss the final boss and its the prologue, not a random "dungeon" (which has also the duty to introduce to the setting).

The sword and Yaniel are quite important to the plot also, without spoilering too much.
 

Humbaba

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"NOOOOOO EXPOSITION AIMED AT PLAYERS UNFAMILIAR WITH PATHFINDER THAT FORESHADOWS IMPORTANT PLOT DEVELOPMENTS IT'S TOO LONG I CAN'T READ MY EYES THEY SEAR WITHIN MY SKULL"

Really, Rog?
 
Vatnik Wumao
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"You are lazy so you deserve these reviews" it's a odd way to look at things
Since you are part of the community that comes up with these reviews, yes. If you don't like the quality of them, try to do better yourself rather than shitting on those that have at least bothered to put in the effort of actually writing a review. What does shitting on them (which is not the same thing as constructive criticism) accomplish? Demotivating them from doing future reviews so that we're left with none instead?
 

Roguey

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That's not a cinematic game, so what is the comparison for? As for the 2 minute speech, it doesn't happen in the middle of the dungeon but pratically at end the of it. You only miss the final boss and its the prologue, not a random "dungeon" (which has also the duty to introduce to the setting).

The sword and Yaniel are quite important to the plot also, without spoilering too much.
I believe people should talk like people, even in text games (and my hazy recollection is that this speech is fully voiced so they expect people to listen to the entire thing).
 

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