— Obsidian Entertainment

It’s hard to imagine takes place in real-time, with each of your party members acting automatically. You can tweak each companion’s AI to decide what abilities they’ll use on their own, or take direct control at any time. By pausing the game, you can issue orders to each party member and set up more coordinated combos. It’s a system that includes all the complexity of something like Baldur’s Gate 3 without you needing to give commands for every individual attack.

Every character class in Pillars of Eternity II feels totally unique, with class-specific mechanics and resources. Some of the more out-there systems include the Monk powering abilities by taking damage, and the Chanter swapping out verses of songs to sing in battle for customizable buffs.

If you want to give Pillars of Eternity II a shot, you should get on it soon. Clocking in at more than 40 hours a playthrough, it’s not the kind of game you can breeze through in a weekend. And if it really gets its hooks in you, you’ll find dozens more hours of optional content to explore. Pillars of Eternity II demands a lot of attention, but its captivating world and deep gameplay are more than a worthy reward.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s included with PS Plus until January 16.

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