Tyranny is Obsidian’s latest cRPG with a twist. Instead of trying to save the world and beat the bad guys you’re working for them.
I received Tyranny for free for review purposes. My thoughts of Tyranny are not biased, or bought in any way. I always give my honest opinion on games and just because I didn’t pay for this one doesn’t change that fact.
Tyranny is a really good looking game. The environments, spells, particle effects, and even character models looked great. Usually cRPGs would do one thing really good while lack in other areas. Tyranny does everything good. I was really surprised by how good the character models looked and it made me want to spend some extra time creating my first protagonist.
I didn’t care much for the character creator until I got to the end of it. After I finished creating my first character I was able to choose my past exploits and how I helped Kyros take over the world. It was really awesome because my choices actually affected how certain factions acted towards me in game.
If I decided to kill the queen the Vendrien Guard would call you, “Queenslayer” and want nothing to do with you, but if made peace with them they’ll approach you with respect. There’s a lot of replay value here because I want to know what the game would be like if I choose other options in the character creator. I’ve already started my second playthrough because I want to get a different ending in the game.
The soundtrack is awesome. As soon as the game started I heard this epic music in the background. It set the tone for the rest of game. It was imposing and sounded like a theme that a world conquering tyrant would have in my opinion.
The other sounds in the game are good too. Casting spells sound like you would expect them to sound in a cRPG. There is voice acting in the game, but it’s not fully voiced. I don’t like this at all and I wish games like this would stop doing it. If you’re going to add voice acting in your game that’s fine, but make sure you do it for the whole game or don’t bother doing it all.
I could be talking a companion of mine and they’ll speak a few sentences, but after that they won’t talk anymore. I’ll have to read walls of text until they decide to speak again. Thankfully the voice acting in this game is really good.
It’s Well Optimized:
The only bug I ran into in my 25 hours of gameplay was a weird animation bug. Instead of my companion walking behind me like she should have been she was sliding all over the map. My FPS never dipped, and I never experienced any game breaking bugs. This is one of the better optimized games that has released this year.
It took me a while to care about what was happening in this game. I’m a fatebinder of Kyros and I help impose his will on the frontlines of battle. The lore in this game is really interesting, but the execution leaves much to be desired. I know Obsidian wanted to give the player as many options and branches as they could, but I would have preferred a set narrative over the many that we have here because none of them feel complete to me.
I don’t want to give out any spoilers because the game will be released in a few hours. Some of the storylines were really awesome and they way I could end a certain edict was fantastic. Getting to know my companions, the Archons, and plotting in the shadows was fun, but I never really got invested in any of it. The ending was really cool even though it ended abruptly and I do want to play through the game again to see what different choices I could make this time around.
I don’t really enjoy playing cRPGs. I’m more of a aRPG guy, but the gameplay here is good if you don’t play as a mage. There was a good variety of weapons for me to choose from, but I ended up going mage and regretting every second of it. Playing as a staff wielding mage was really boring to me. Staffs attacks are really slow and the magic system is slow too. It doesn’t matter how many points I put into my quickness my spell cooldowns never changed. I don’t know if this is a bug or intentional, but I stopped investing in the quickness stat just to be on the safe side.
Another thing I don’t like about magic in this game is the way I acquired new spells. In order to learn new spells I had to hunt them down and find them. This goes with the lore of the game because only Archons can create their own spells, but it’s a bad game mechanic in my opinion. Leveling up my skills in the magic skill tree is pretty pointless if it doesn’t teach me any new spells. In order to learn how to do AOE attacks I would need the right sigil and have a certain amount lore points. The problem with this that by the time I had enough lore to do AOE attacks I was at the end of the game. I never had a chance to enjoy my new abilities.
Playing as warrior or rogue is a lot better. Skill cooldowns are faster, I do more damage, and battles are over faster too, but when compared to Divinity Original Sin’s gameplay this is just average at best.
I’m not a fan of the UI in this game. It’s not modern enough for my tastes. Most cRPGs have a below average UI and this game is no different in my opinion.
There’s plenty of loot to find in Tyranny, but very little of it was worth my time. The legendary items that I found were great, but the majority of the items were worse than items I had found a few hours earlier. I never found any good staffs in the game. The most dps I got out of a staff was about 9dps while the rest of my party did average of 30.
The A.I. in this game is brain dead on every difficulty level. My party members did a decent job of engaging enemies without me having to issue them commands, but there were too many times when no one did anything even after I gave them a command. They would just stand there running back and forth doing nothing. This has got me killed a few times on higher difficulties and it’s really annoying. The werewolf companion’s A.I. is the most broken of all of the companions while the mages seem to have the best A.I. out of the bunch.
Other npcs A.I. was just as bad as my companions. I can’t tell you how many times I engaged in combat and murdered everyone because they wouldn’t fight me back.
I had a lot of fun with Tyranny, but I can only recommend this to hardcore cRPG fans. If you love games like Baldur’s Gate, and Pillars of Eternity you’ll love this game. You probably already preordered it and is just waiting to play it like everyone else, but if you’re just a regular gamer trying to find a good game to play to hold you over until the next AAA title releases I would recommend waiting for this one to go on sale before buying it because it’s not worth $45.
The gameplay will satisfy the hardcore cRPG fans, but do little to impress someone new to the genre or anyone that’s grown tired of it.
I purposely left out some features, and details in this review because I don’t want to spoil the game for anyone on release day. I would rather you play and find out for yourself rather than having it spoiled by a game reviewer.