Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Fantasy Blokes for Regular Folks
I think we’ve established that I’m not a fantasy guy. I don’t play tabletop RPG’s, I don’t have a character sheet tucked away from prying eyes, lest it belie my secret love of Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. I never found much to like in fantasy settings, and I’m not sure why. This has changed a bit with Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. A CRPG by Owlcat Games, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous makes me get it. Normally, I would scoff at an RPG like this and say something like, “I’m not reading all of that. I’m either happy for your, or said it happened”.
What Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous does right, is as soon as you open the game, it’s teaching you. It will walk you through building a character, giving them attributes, picking their appearance and portrait, and setting them loose on an unsuspecting fantasy world. I can’t get over how well this game explains things. I don’t know the first thing about character sheets, talents, blessings, and all that other stuff. Pathfinder doesn’t care. It will guide you through these things, with solid explanations for everything. If you dream of bringing your tabletop character to life in a video game, the option is there. By the time I was finished, I had a serviceable Elf bard, who was also a beast tamer, with a hunter background.
The game even takes out the guesswork for naming your character. I could never have picked a convincing or even passable fantasy name. After a few clicks on the generate name button, I settled on Meorise. I picked out a cool portrait with an elf holding a scythe, which didn’t match my character at all. That’s my choice. If you want a personalized character portrait, the game has a built-in function to let you upload one. Pathfinder goes out of it’s way to accommodate you. If you’ve chosen feats that don’t synergize with your previously selected attributes, the game will tell you. It let’s you avoid the pitfalls that would normally come with designing a character with zero experience.
Meorise entered the world beaten and bruised, clinging to life. You’re brought in during a kind of fantasy carnival. Everyone in town seems to be pissed about it. Here, you’re introduced to the excellent voice acting in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Every character that speaks to you does it with full voice acting. This isn’t lazy. I couldn’t detect a re-used voice actor anywhere. As the town-at-large fretted over what to do about Meorise, a giant eldritch monstrosity attacked the town. The town’s protector, a dragon disguised as a human, was quickly and unceremoniously decapitated. Oh yeah, Pathfinder is bloody. As gouts of hot blood exploded from the dragon’s neck, I was given a choice: Stay and fight the monsters, or get out of there. I am a huge coward, so I got out of there.
After falling through the earth, I met up with companions who joined me on my adventure. The game’s companion options are expansive, and throughout the starting dungeon, I built up like 5 of them. When I spoke to the developers about the companions, they informed me that an upcoming companion would be a sentient sword. I asked if there was a romance option for the sword, and they laughed at me. They were quick to make sure that didn’t sound ambiguous, and after they finished laughing, told me absolutely not.
The combat is deliciously strategic. You can pause the battle and set your attacks or spells. This brings a bit of tactics into this fantasy world. In true Pathfinder fashion, your attacks and other actions are based on a dice roll that you can see in the bottom right. It’s nice to have an outlet for my frustration in the form of the dice that I can blame for bad rolls. The combat, even though it’s not real time, feels meaty and satisfying. I could spend all day walloping on giant centipedes, demons, and all other forms of weird miscreations. The strangest thing happened while I was playing. I was having fun. Honest, authentic, fun. I went in with the attitude that I didn’t like fantasy, and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous told me to shut up and enjoy a good time.
So in my time with Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, I got to experience high fantasy, blood, some light explosions (very fantasy-like), and a whole lot of dialogue. It’s not a game for everyone, but it definitely strives to be. In it’s current state, you can see the groundwork for the full release in September. Features are being constantly tweaked. The mount system has had a lot of work put into it. You can totally ride a velociraptor in this one! Later on in the game you can control whole armies, which I understand is a big change for Pathfinder. I’m not a fantasy guy at all, but dang, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous might make me one. You can wishlist the game HERE.