For those who don’t know, Tyranny is the latest game by Obsidian, the brains behind some of the most beloved classic RPGs like Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: KOTOR 2, the last good Fallout game, Fallout New Vegas, and their crowdfunded game Pillars Of Eternity. It’s not a sequel to any of Obsidian’s prior games, but it does build upon the gameplay and engine used in Pillars Of Eternity. so if you were a fan of that, then this one is right up your alley.
But, unlike the previous games, or most games, Tyranny comes with a twist. Instead of working to defeat the bad guys, you are working for them. Or more precisely, you are in a world where evil has won, and now rules the world. The evil in question is the overlord Kyros, and you play as a Fatebinder, a high-ranking member in Kyros’ hierarchy. Your mission is straightforward to begin with. You are set forth with the task of restoring order across the world.
However, things start getting vastly complex pretty soon afterwards. You come across various factions, leaders, and regular townfolk. Interacting or siding with them has consequences.The choices you make hold great import in Tyranny, can make a huge impact in how to play the game. Siding with a particular faction may close off some sections of the map, while opening up other sections and avenues. Some abilities the player possesses are also directly tied in with player choices. While this is a compelling idea on paper, many times I ended up making a particular choice simply because it would result in me getting an ability tied to it, rather than it being the decision I wanted to make.
The game plays in the classic top down RPG style, and therefore it may not be for everyone. However for fans of cRPGs, or even of really good RPGs with a fully fleshed out world and quests, this game is highly recommended. The visuals are top notch, with great care and attention given to the world design and art style. The world is brimming with beautiful details, and towns, cities and outlands look like they have a believable history to them. Spells, particle effects, and character animations look fantastic, enhancing the overall experience. The character creation is also robust, and you can choose from a set of given pasts for you character (much like Dragon Age Origins), which affects you throughout the game. Also of note are the NPCs you encounter along the way, some of which can be taken on as companions on your journey. The companions all have unique personalities, and diverse set of abilities.
Gameplay is again really well done, like their previous games. All classes feel satisfying, and while I usually tend to play as a mage in most RPGs, I have to say that playing as a warrior or a rogue was also equally satisfying. The combat has a combo system, which adds more depth to the combat. Toppling over an enemy to have your companion absolutely pound them into the ground with a spell from above is immensely satisfying and never got stale. Combat animations are also great, thus giving you more incentive to play as close combat classes.
Sounds in the game are the only thing that do not stand out. That’s not to say tat they are bad, but with everything else in the game being such exceptionally well made, it’s just too bad that the audio effects aren’t up there. Voice acting is great for the most part, but most of the dialogues are delivered via text, which is fine by me. However, there are times when combat noises simply disappear momentarily, leaving yo confused. The issues are far and few between, but they are present nonetheless. It’s a minor gripe, and does not take much away from the game. I only wish that it had added even more to the game.
Overall, Tyranny is a fantastic experience, and stands out because of the dearth of great RPGs lately. The story is satisfying, and takes your choices into great consideration. This also allows for more replayability. It’s easy to sink long hours into the game, and the game pulls you in without making you grind to level up or acquire loot. Tyranny is must play play game for fans if classic RPGs, but may not be for everyone.
For more news and reviews, keep checking back at Gaming Central.