PC Gamer - Best Writing 2018
PC Gamer nominated its best writing for games in 2018.
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Best writing: I'm going to cheat a bit and talk about a game I helped write: Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. In the interest of objectivity, I'm not bringing up any of my contributions.
So we have these characters called "sidekicks." They're companions you pick up along the way who don't get the full "companion treatment" of personal quests, deeper relationships, or emotional arcs. That said, sidekicks are more than just fighting mannequins—they get their own unique voices, personalities, and in some cases intellectual growth. My colleague Kate Dollarhyde wrote the sidekick Rekke, who the player discovers shipwrecked, having sailed from a distant land. He speaks Seki, a mysterious language Kate painstakingly invented, and over time Rekke learns to communicate with the player and share his story.
What I think works about Rekke is that his origins are so far removed from the context of the game that he approaches the plot as a stranger squinting at the unusual locals. While all of the other characters bicker over political alliances, cultural struggle, and religious tension, it's refreshing to have Rekke observing from the sidelines and taking it all in with a sense of lighthearted bemusement. He's a breath of fresh air when intrigue and annihilation get a little too overwhelming. It also helps that he's perfectly charming. — Paul Kirsch