Developer: Owlcat Games

Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One

Gene(s): RPG

Publisher: Deep Silver

 

The Pathfinder main story: Kingmaker will take us through the Stolen Lands. Throughout the adventure, we’ll see plenty of well know Pathfinder characters (of course that is only for those who already know Pathfinder’s tabletop RPG game) and locations, with a dozen companions to get acquainted and equipped. It will delight fans of classic PC RPGs. In Pathfinder: Kingmaker there are moments of humor, political intrigue and warring factions, all of this is pretty much expected from this kind of RPG/Fantasy. In Pathfinder each companion will have his/her personality and moral compass, our actions, questions and answers that we give can cause friction with them and make your companion to even leave the group.

As the main story campaign begins you will need to deal with a group of bandits who have been terrorizing the inhabitants of a region known as Stolen Lands, but first you will be able to interact with countless characters to get to know their personalities, alignments and objectives in order to count on their help in the future (or not). The first quest, which at first glance seems quite simple, can take players, even in the first hours of the game, to encounters with enemies that regardless of how well familiar you are with this type of game, will result in the death of your group.

The game has a lot of different options for difficulty (Including custom), but they are all so well detailed so choose wisely. The game mechanics are simple… but there are a lot of them, so take your time to get used to it, for that the game’s tutorial is very complete and extremely detailed so you shouldn’t have any problem.

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The character creation was the real challenge for me, and I consider myself an expert on the RPG area, there are (like I said before) way to many options to unlock some skills… and you have to understand exactly how it works to get where you were planning to… according with my research is pretty much the same as the tabletop version of the game but for a first-time player it can be very very very confusing… So, my tip is to be patient and read everything as many times as you need to get it right. 

The dialogues take a huge part to this game, which was a big success to me and here is why, during the dialogues, you will notice that some words are bolded in green, these words have their full explanation if you press the glossary button, that is pretty handy for who isn’t familiar with the Pathfinder’s lore. If you give proper attention to the dialogues you will easily have a better game experience. You will also notice that because we don’t have a proper dungeon master to describe things, the game shows the written description of what that person is doing or how they are reacting in details for you, and I must say, they nailed it!

The camping works to heal/recover spells from your characters and rest, each one of your characters can have a job to do during it, like; hunting, camp camouflage, cooking, guarding and special roles. Pay attention to the camp protection because it can be attacked during the night (camping inside a dungeon or on any dangerous area will increase that matter). Using the camp saves the game and it doesn’t run out of times that you can use.

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Level up is pretty standard… although there can be so many options that a first-time player can get very confused, to be honest, I believe that even an experienced player still finds it confusing. Is interesting to know that you can mix classes if you want when you level up, all you need is to follow the requirements and you are gold.

The map is where you spend a big part of your time, there you will have the paths to go through and the cities you can visit when you get enough information of a place that you have to go, that place will automatically appear so you can make you way there. When inside a city or an ordinary area, pay attention to the skills check, because as a true RPG this game asks for specific skills to do some specific actions. 

The game’s quests require you to explore the map by following the clues that were given to you… but that is a lot of times very confusing and not at all clear… what you can do to make it “easier” is to pay very close attention to the names of places that the npc gives you when the quest is accepted. 

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Well… once you finish the Stag lord’s quest you become the new baron… and then the game turns into another one completely, I personally didn’t like it so much because it doesn’t go so well with the vibe the early game gives you (a pool of radiance feeling), but if you are into managing stuff, in this case, a “kingdom” you will definitely have a good time, it just requires you taking plenty of time reading and making a decision, which is pretty much what someone sitting in a throne have to do, you will have plenty of action during the quest but you will have to keep your full mind on your kingdom to keep everyone happy. One of the difficulty’s options before you start the game has the option of you not having to deal with these things, which for me would have been better, but since I was writing this review, I preferred a full game experience. 

The battles are awesome! And you have the feeling of total control! The game has an automatic dice rolling system that works really well (when you are lucky enough). The combat is turn-based, so you have plenty of time to get your strategy built, something important is to always keep your eye on the combat log which has all the information in details of what happened in battle, it is located on the right bottom corner of the screen. You can also during battle access the menu to change your items, just press R2, also pay attention to the game’s tips about some specific foes, because some of them only die with a specific element or magic. Each turn you can do two actions among a few options like; attack, walk, use a spell and a few others.

Voice Acting- The voice acting in this game is very well made, unfortunately, it’s not all the time, only a few characters have the voice acting in some specific situations. 

Sounds- The game sound are well put, like the sound of a pencil writing when you gain XP or something is added to your character.

The game artwork is beautiful and carefully done.

The game graphics are a bit “old” for that matter (looks like Warcraft III) but they don’t get on your way of a good emersion, you will be delighted with them clime changes such as; Raining, fog, sunny, pitch dark night and etc. A nice detail is when you finish fighting an ambush (Which you can choose to avoid) there is an animation of a meeple falling, that helps a lot on the emersion of the game that feeling that you are playing some boardgame.

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My version had the 6 following DLCs

Varnhold’s Lot – Just as you were claiming your first title, another hero from the Stolen Lands also became a baron: Maegar Varn, captain of the mercenary band of Varnling ruler of Varnhold. In this DLC, you join Varn as your general and experience first-hand the value of Varnhold’s story. Playing a completely new story, parallel to the main story, players are important to the results of this adventure into the main story, facing the consequences of their choices as they advance with the main group and the story.

Beneath The Stolen Lands – Brave adventurers meet with the self-proclaimed protector of Golarion and discover what secrets are buried under the Stolen Lands, in an ever-changing maze of madness, where nothing is what it seems and to defend the lands against one of the deadliest enemies the world has ever seen. Enter the dungeon as your main character. You can also wait for an invitation from a mysterious protector of Golarion as you go through the main story. The default version of the dungeon is included in the main campaign, allowing you to use your character and companions to conquer the dark depths.

The Wildcards – The intrepid explorers of the Stolen Lands can discover a new playable race the Tieflings, enjoy the power of a new playable kinetic class, the Tiefling Kineticist his own rich and engaging story.

Bloody Mess – The name says it all – adding more blood to the game as an additional option.

Arcane Unleashed – DLC adding more spells to the game.

Royal Ascension – Includes soundtrack, Digital Artbook, two character card in the game, board game module, hi-rez map and a red panda.

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Tips

– Variety of characters classes are vital for the game so keep that in mind.

– Keep in mind that your abilities like mobility, athletics, knowledge, etc are summed to solve stuff.

– If you pass a part of the dialogue by accident you can easily scroll the dialogue box up to see what you missed, that’s very useful to make hard decisions… believe me.

– There is an early quest that you will have nightmares, my council is to solve that asap because your main character will get very tired for not sleeping well… you can sleep on the trading post (in a bed) to get your energies back up, but camping? Nope… you will be tormented by these nightmares…

– Some items are “made” to be sold to a specific person, so read the item description before selling (some of them even add to the game’s lore is sold to the right person, others can just give you way more money). 

First of all, and most important before you buy Pathfinder, you must like reading.

On this new version of the game, the battles have the option of using a turn-based mode, which gives the game a more of a “tabletop” kind of look and let’s be honest… more RPG like, also allow you to see the attacks/animation better. The “first part” of the game makes you feel like you are playing a true RPG.

We don’t have a dungeon master so they did their best so we can miss it, and kudos to them! Well done!

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As I said before this version of the game comes with 6 DLCs of the game, so be a bit careful when choosing between the “main story” and the DLCs… it can be very frustrating discover that you pick the “wrong” option to start the game… I mean… it still works just fine… But is better to get how the game works beforehand.

For those not familiarized with D&D RPGs, in general, don’t worry, the game gives you a complete explanation for everything… Just be ready to read a lot, but if you are familiar with the genre you will be able to deduce some things. 

The game gives you XP for actions that goes with what you choose for your characters (again, like a true RPG).

The answers are really important and they are fare! Not like some options on Witcher 3 for example, where you answer someone with a “no I don’t agree” and Gerald ends up killing that person… 

Every dungeon you “clean” remains clean afterwards, also the traps that were trigged will stay there as well for a very long time.

To get a better view of what is happening on the battlefield, the camera could spin to see different angles of it.

 “Bad times and good times”; 

Pros

-Your abilities unlock different options on the dialogues. 

-Your group formation whilst walking is important, the game already gives you some options, but my tip is to do your own formation.

Cons

-There are (at least on the early game) very few options of weapons and armour… that can be something really disappointing for some player…

– When you are selling items to a merchant you can select several items to sell all at once… what you can do (but even though is very confusing to learn how to use) is use the bulk selling which as far as I understood is an automatic selling of some items, a tip that I give you is to not sell the books… they can be useful for a future quest… so careful with what you are selling.

– [BUG] On the character build the voices can have a bug, and just stop showing how they sound like.

Overall: 6.5 /10

 

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