If Pillars of Eternity didn’t grab your attention, I can say with certainty that Tyranny will!
My personal hype for this game was high from the outset, the marketing campaign leading up to the games release was second to none all the way up to the release date. In this review, you will see me compare Tyranny with Pillars of Eternity, because they’re similar, in so many ways.
Tyranny is an isometric role playing game that was released on November 10th, 2016. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Paradox Interactive, the game has some serious pedigree behind it. All cards on the table, I have played through Tyranny 4 times at the time of writing, with each time delivering a diverse and unique experience.
Tyranny is set in Terratus, a vast, and diverse fantasy world, where an Overlord, Kyros, is slowly conquering various factions, either through sheer force or terrifying intimidation. Kyros commands a vast army that is both fierce and powerful, lead by a host of generals, known as Archons. The Tiers is the last corner of Terratus to surrender to Kyros' rule, with only one area remaining, Vendrien's Well, the focus of Kyros and her quest for absolute power.
This is where your story begins, where you begin to forge your own path, through “Conquest” mode. You see you play as one of Kyros' minions, so in essence, a bad guy. You are a "Fatebinder", a law officer tasked with enforcing rule. When you start up this mode you create a back story for your character, akin to a choose-your-own-adventure book. Deciding where you went, areas you conquered and what tactics were used. These choices will reflect your in-game notoriety amongst NPC’s. It's a clever way to set up the game, allowing you to set up the state of the world you're playing in and outlining the stakes involved.
Once you’ve made your choices in the Conquest you’re kicked into the world your actions created. Out of six cities you’re allowed to visit three during the Conquest, and your actions in each city can be either merciful or murderous. The evil dynamic is expertly handled by the developers, controlling a "bad" character in a video game is always a fresh experience, but seeing your actions ripple across countries is a site to behold.
Faction warfare is one of the games strongest points, forcing the player into a balancing act of getting realms to work together while also having them play off one another. Soon enough though, you're ultimately forced to choose a side.
With 8 classes and 10 skill types to choose from, there is a high amount of replayability within the game. Each class has multiple skill trees to choose from, for example, a Pit-Fighter choose to place debuffs or enemies or instead handing out high damage attacks in a flurry of strikes. Every class within the game can be tweaked and altered to suit your preference, at first you may be overwhelmed, but some time spent among the skill trees will have you comfortable in no time. The diversity of the character creation and the amount of builds you can make is very much like Pillars of Eternity and allows the player to truly create "their" character.
Combat feels tight and constantly puts you in a fight for your life, the difficulty levels make things challenging, more than a few times I felt I had the upper hand in a battle only to be chopped down seconds later.
Without diving into spoiler territory the conclusion to Tyranny didn't deliver on a level I had anticipated it would, the 30+ hours I spent in game does a brilliant job of generating hype but, in my opinion ultimately fell flat.
Tyranny is another solid delivery by Obsidian Entertainment, which will give you a rewarding experience that provides a solid story, voice acting and some impressive visuals. The ending didn't hit the right note for me, but ultimately didn't negate the fun I had during the rest of my time in Terratus.
4 out of 5
+ The Story and voice acting are amazing
+ Diverse classes and skills to keep you playing, over and over again
+ Gorgeous art and visuals with astounding sound effects.
+ Strategic combat which can go from your advantage, to instant death, in mere seconds
- Ending is unfortunately a letdown.
TYRANNY WAS REVIEWED USING A RETAIL WINDOWS DOWNLOAD KEY