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-   -   RPGWatch Feature - Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41665)

Myrthos December 27th, 2018 15:24

RPGWatch Feature - Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review
 
Purpleblob send us her review of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, a game she spent quite some time with.

Quote:

Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a cRPG inspired by classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Fallout and Arcanum. Based on Pathfinder P&P adventure path modules, the game features a unique kingdom management system which forms a crucial part of gameplay, allowing the players to experience the role of both adventurer and ruler of the land. Will you become a benevolent ruler of the land as Sarenith or reign as an evil overlord?

Kingmaker was first announced via Kickstarter in June 2017 by a new developer, Owlcat Games, based in Russia. My initial reaction to this Kickstarter campaign was sceptical to say at least, especially following the severe disappointments I had experienced with previous games that claimed to be the "spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate". However, Owlcat Games provided solid updates throughout the kickstart campaign, which eventually led me to pre-purchasing the game at an early access tier.

To my surprise, Kingmaker far exceeded my expectations, and provided me with more than 100 hours of immensely fun gameplay. I was given a plethora of options to create a character of my desire to explore the vivid and rich world filled with colourful and mysterious characters, and was captivated by the amazing story-telling. However, the game is not without its flaws - Owlcat Games appeared to have bitten off more than they could chew with their ambitious first project - a buggy release, mediocre kingdom management system and atrocious end game design marring an engaging and deep game. A furious post-release patching schedule has seen the most glaring technical issues resolved, allowing players to experience the full scope of Owlcat Games vision. For me, Kingmaker is the true spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate, a feat no other games have achieved up until now.

More information.

Couchpotato December 27th, 2018 15:36

Nice review @purpleblob.:thumbsup:

Still even with all the fixes the last act still feels broken.

Oh look another patch was released today.:biggrin:

Link - https://steamcommunity.com/games/Pat…37068978609131
Quote:

2018 is about to end - and what better way to say goodbye than by adding new stuff into the game! A while back, we've asked you which new portraits you would like to see in the game. The winners of the poll - an Aasimar Paladin and a Human Sorcerer - will now be available on character creation to all players. Apart from portraits, we're also adding more hairstyles and beards. Hooray for character customization!

We're also delighted to inform that we're entering the final stages of work on Patch 1.2. We're planning to begin the open beta test for this large update this week. All who want to join us in testing are most welcome to - as always, your feedback is invaluable to us!

Exact details on the open testing will become available later this week. Patch 1.2 will go live somewhere mid-January.

This has been a very eventful year for us. We have built and released our first game, and even though it was months ago, it feels like it was yesterday. We would like to thank all of you once again for being with us and supporting the project - without you, none of this would ever happen!

Happy holidays to you all, and best wishes to you and your loved ones! May the new year find you in good health and bring you much joy!
Spoiler – Hot-Fix Patch 1.1.6 Notes

Carnifex December 27th, 2018 15:49

This is a really well done, thought out review, thanks for the work involved, Purple. I'm still not bold enough to go back to the game as of yet, but when I do I'll likely reread this review just for the great vibes before diving back in. My fondest hope is that Owlcat will continue to make games quite similar to this one, and establish an impressive franchise down the road.

ikbenrichard December 27th, 2018 15:49

Thank you for this review Purpleblob !
Gonna wait for some more patching, and then i will enjoy this game !

yemeth December 27th, 2018 16:08

Same. Waiting for all the patches and DLCs to drop before I pick this up.

Pongo December 27th, 2018 16:10

Thanks for the review @purpleblob - well written and interesting. Your observations about the end game are a bit off-putting, I hope they do sort out the encounter balance. I'm going to wait until it's fully patched before diving in - there's plenty of NWN to catch up with in the meantime. :)

HiddenX December 27th, 2018 16:37

You can start playing - you need >100 hours to get to the endgame.
Thanks @purpleblob!

Darkheart December 27th, 2018 17:26

Thanks for the review! Definitely a GotY candidate for me!

txa1265 December 27th, 2018 17:31

Thanks for the review pubpleblob - I skipped this KS due to lack of time for gaming, and seems like I made a wise choice to wait … because I still wouldn’t have had time. But it also looks like my patience will be rewarded - look forward to buying and playing this one in 2019!

Feist December 27th, 2018 18:04

Great review! It mirrors my experience to a high degree.

Although it does give me pause, since I'm currently at the point where my companions have called for a meeting in the throne room and says the time has finally come to leave my lands and confront the last "Big Bad" enemy.

At this point, I still consider the game to be incredibly good, despite the loading times and design shortcomings, and so I'm somewhat reluctant to face the part of the game that seems to "sour the whole thing" for a lot of players.

I just might decide to wait for the 1.2 patch myself, in the hope of recieving a greater ending, to a truly great adventure.

Carnifex December 27th, 2018 19:11

I believe when I ceased play in this game several months ago, I was in the middle of some troll invasion and things were really ramping up within the kingdom. My biggest concern is not recalling everything that was going on when I stopped playing, but, should that actually happen to me, I believe I'll just simply start over from the beginning again. But man, I really do want to squash some trolls when I get back to this game!!!

lackblogger December 27th, 2018 20:33

Excellent review blob, great to see another game on the shelves you can really dig your teeth into at long last.

Ephiron December 27th, 2018 21:54

The "mediocre kingdom management system" is better than anything else I've seen aside from Crusader Kings 2 and that's a grand strategy. I'd be interested to know what RPGs did that better.

purpleblob December 27th, 2018 22:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061549024)
This is a really well done, thought out review, thanks for the work involved, Purple. I'm still not bold enough to go back to the game as of yet, but when I do I'll likely reread this review just for the great vibes before diving back in. My fondest hope is that Owlcat will continue to make games quite similar to this one, and establish an impressive franchise down the road.

Thanks Carnifex! Well, I'm very fond of this game so I wanted to share my love of this game with you all :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pongo (Post 1061549034)
Thanks for the review @purpleblob - well written and interesting. Your observations about the end game are a bit off-putting, I hope they do sort out the encounter balance. I'm going to wait until it's fully patched before diving in - there's plenty of NWN to catch up with in the meantime. :)

Yes, the end game was a huge disappointment to me, but as @HiddenX mentioned, you will easily get 100+ hours before you reach chapter 6, I did mention it in the review but perhaps not quite clear?

"To my surprise, Kingmaker far exceeded my expectations, and provided me with more than 100 hours of immensely fun gameplay."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkheart (Post 1061549041)
Thanks for the review! Definitely a GotY candidate for me!

GOTY for me as well, without a doubt ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Feist (Post 1061549044)
Great review! It mirrors my experience to a high degree.

Although it does give me pause, since I'm currently at the point where my companions have called for a meeting in the throne room and says the time has finally come to leave my lands and confront the last "Big Bad" enemy.

At this point, I still consider the game to be incredibly good, despite the loading times and design shortcomings, and so I'm somewhat reluctant to face the part of the game that seems to "sour the whole thing" for a lot of players.

I just might decide to wait for the 1.2 patch myself, in the hope of recieving a greater ending, to a truly great adventure.

I'm not sure if Owlcats will be addressing issues with chap 6&7 in patch 1.2 - if they don't I suggest you finish the game now - ending slides are pretty cool ;) I wonder what ending(s) you will get :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by lackblogger (Post 1061549076)
Excellent review blob, great to see another game on the shelves you can really dig your teeth into at long last.

Thanks! Yes, first one I really LOVED since BG2 (well, second if I count The Aielund Saga as well) :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ephiron (Post 1061549084)
The "mediocre kingdom management system" is better than anything else I've seen aside from Crusader Kings 2 and that's a grand strategy. I'd be interested to know what RPGs did that better.

No RPGs did better (that I know of), but doesn't mean it's brilliant. I found it mediocre, because your kingdom fate is more or less decided by luck, and the "result" doesn't really flow through to the main game - its just all fluffs. You may disagree, but I think I made it quite clear why I found the Kingdom system mediocre in the review.

joxer December 27th, 2018 22:08

Top notch review!

Quote:

The hidden timers are also incorporated with many quests, as it checks how quickly you've reacted to certain events. For example, some companions may be locked out of the entire first chapter depending on how quickly you went after them.
IMO "timers" should go in cons. Luckily for me, Couch found some cheats to render them irrelevant. :)
Quote:

I wasn't even able to unlock the best ending, and found it was much more satisfying to finish the game in chapter 6 by choosing a different dialogue option.
Spoiler pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee!!! :D

purpleblob December 27th, 2018 22:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by joxer (Post 1061549089)
Top notch review!


IMO "timers" should go in cons. Luckily for me, Couch found some cheats to render them irrelevant. :)

Spoiler pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee!!! :D

Sorry joxer, I know you dislike timers, but I didn't mind it since its tied to C&C :) Now, go play it! :P

Yes, there is a little bit of spoiler, but I didn't think it was that impactful :P I didn't tell you how to unlock the best ending ;)

purpleblob December 27th, 2018 22:16

I hope you all enjoy the review (and the game!!!), any feedbacks are appreciated.

A big thank you to @Myrthos for editing and putting up this massive review, and also to @Morrandir and @Maylander for the peer-review :D

Also, thanks to my previous peer-reviewers, @forgottenlor and @Silver :)

Pongo December 27th, 2018 22:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by purpleblob (Post 1061549087)
Yes, the end game was a huge disappointment to me, but as @HiddenX mentioned, you will easily get 100+ hours before you reach chapter 6, I did mention it in the review but perhaps not quite clear?

Absolutely clear and I'm sure I'll really enjoy it when I get round to playing it - all the positives in your review sound fantastic. I'm just not in a rush to get to it, partly because I'm only gaming in short bursts at the minute. Im happy for it to sit in my Steam account patching itself for a few more months when I can give it some serious attention. :)

NFLed December 28th, 2018 00:00

Very enjoyable review. I don't know whether or not I will eventually purchase this, but it's on my radar maybe for the future.

Moorkh December 28th, 2018 03:57

Playing this right now, but while I love the game's systems and game world, I find myself quite entirely unimpressed by its premise. I feel the game's lvl1-cast to be a woefully inadequate choice for the primary quest (it seems absurd that Jamandi wouldn't task a band of veterans instead) and, frankly, no pc I'd ever generate could be a natural leader-type. So there is no sense of urgency, no sense of involvement or, indeed, any real motivation at all for my rogue to pursue her monumental task of usurping power in a war-torn province. Already in the first encounter at Oleg's place, I feel railroaded towards dialogue choices that seem entirely alien. Why would I get involved in that squabble at all? The prospect of having to babysit an entire barony of complete strangers does not appeal at all.

Should I continue or chuck this from my hdd before I waste any more time? I have the nagging feeling that I'd miss out on a great adventure, but I just don't see it atm.


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