Whoa, guys! Pathfinder: Kingmaker is great so far! I mean, I'm only about an hour in (thanks to spending too long looking at character creation), but I already feel like this little Russian game dev studio - Owlcat - has succeeded far better at capturing the feel of the Baldur's Gate saga in a modern engine than Obsidian managed to do with Pillars of Eternity. Some thoughts:
1. Since Pathfinder is an almost exact copy of D&D 3.5, it's instantly familiar to anyone who played the classic 90's and early 2000's CRPG's. And it's immediately a more robust (and better) system than the weird hyper-balanced thing Josh Sawyer cooked up for PoE. The game just came out, and it's already got all the classic D&D classes plus a few more, with sub-class builds for each, and you can multi-class on the fly - a feature that was only added to PoE in the sequel.
2. The characters are immediately more colorful and fun than PoE's rather dry cast. Okay, they're a little corny at times - especially the "RAAAARRR ANGRY KILL" barbarian woman - but they feel much more like Baldur's Gate's rather cartoony squad. The voice acting isn't terrible either - at least, it doesn't seem super low budget. I've only recognized one VA so far though.
3. Choices & consequences seem alright so far. The game uses the D&D style alignment system, and there have been several alignment-based dialogue options, although I was disappointed to find I couldn't even select one Evil option because my character wasn't already Evil-aligned. Kinda lame - I assume the game tracks your alignment by some kind of point system, but how are you supposed to potentially get evil points if you can't pick evil options unless you're already evil? But I did like how, at the end of the first little mission, the companions you've met will leave and join the other guy's team if they didn't like the way you behaved. Waiting to see if I can get them back later...
4. I'm not super crazy about some elements of the art style, but at least it's way better than other Pathfinder artwork I've seen (most of which is hideous imo). The character models have slightly weird proportions, but it's not too much of a bother in-game. Everything about the UI and gameplay looks & feels like Baldur's Gate and PoE except with slightly more 3D graphics. It's all very familiar. Which is fine with me. I noticed they even used the exact same sound from Skyrim when you accept a new quest...
I have yet to find a way to create your own party companions, sadly, but I will keep my hopes up that one exists. Otherwise, so far I feel inclined to say "Obsidian, take notes" - this seems like it might be a much better spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate than anyone else has managed to make. Why are Slavic devs so good??
I swear I'm being completely honest and not trying to be a hipster when I say that mainstream AAA games very rarely pique my interest in the slightest. BUT, here are RDR2 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey sitting in my Amazon cart...
It's standalone? Huh, I didn't know that. They've been talking about it for quite a while now. I'm excited to see how it turns out, and the idea of "Witcher Tales" is encouraging. I hope it comes with updates to the base Gwent game too, because the current meta has gotten pretty stale. I see in that video they changed the board to 4 lanes instead of 6, like they said they would. Nice.
That Elder Scrolls card game got a big update recently as well. The gameplay is the same, but the graphics and UI were completely revamped. Looks nice, but seems to be pretty buggy right now. I could barely find a match, and when I did it suddenly disconnected me.
Cool guide. Organizing your army well is indeed key to making it look a lot bigger and more impressive, with unit squares, reserves in the back, cavalry on the flanks, etc. Much cooler than just a giant sea of 'figs.
Wow, I searched for "roman legion organization", and the first image result just happened to use LEGO figures, haha: