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Pathfinder: Wrath of The Righteous Review
I logged 160+ hours playing this new installment of the Pathfinder series since it came out. Let’s talk about whether you should play it!
Author's Note: This review was initially published in 2021 and updated to include my experiences from an updated version in 2023.
I loved this game's predecessor – Kingmaker – so much that I wrote a productivity article about it. But Wrath of The Righteous was an unknown quantity to me.
On the one hand, will this make me a leader again? I guessed it would because it promised me to lead an army, but I didn't know if I would have the same level of city-building or micromanagement.
Just for context, I love it when RPGs add a level of city-building into the game. Building your city shouldn't take over the story, but it is a great addition. I even wrote in the past about five games (Kingmaker included) that did that perfectly and why it's awesome.
The game delivered on many things I look for in RPGs.
So, without further ado, let's dive in!
There's no better way to begin a story than with conflict. And the writers at Owlcat knew what they were doing when they destroyed the world as we know it in the first 10 minutes of the game.
An incredible cinematic, a jarring beginning, and a display of the character's weakness in the face of the enemy are all things you want to show the player in the beginning so that it feels satisfactory when they achieve wins later on.
For example, the game's first scene portrays you arriving wounded at the festival square. A Silver Dragon in human disguise called Terendelev is healing your wounds with a Greater Restoration spell. Five minutes later, she gets her head chopped off by a demon.
This scene happens in the game's first ten minutes, so I'm perfectly OK with telling you about it.
I can listen to the music in this game for HOURS! Especially the music that plays in mystery or quest moments.
Music is an integral part of any content it is added to, and video games are no exception.
Although it's good, the music is not as varied as I expected – or at least it's not as noticeable. Overall, I think there are around five to six tracks I constantly listen to as I play.
According to Owlcat, there are over 70 tracks used in the game. I guess I encountered some that played only once or twice at specific game points and are not repeating.
One thing that I also noticed on Kingmaker and is now repeating for this game is the slow progression of the storyline.
We all understand that the meat of the game is when you start to manage your crusade. That's what we're promised in the description of the game.
But I think I got there only after 20-25 hours of gameplay.
You need to do a lot in those first hours: retake a city in chaos, travel up towards a captured city, and reclaim that city while doing side-quests with your companions.
If I had ignored the side quests, I guess it would still be around 15-20 hours of gameplay to get to the point where you start managing your crusade.
I'm not complaining about the amount of story – I just think that restructuring it in a way that would bring the meat faster would have been more satisfactory – but that's just my opinion. Do you agree with me? Let's discuss this in the comments!
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Great Combat System
The combat in this Pathfinder game is intuitive and fun.
I'm not a huge combat guy and am more immersed in the story most of the time, but I found the combat system fun and rewarding. Throwing a freaking fireball at people is a delight. And, when I have ranged fighters, I find it easier to play in turn-based mode.
Pressing space to pause in the middle of battle is a lifesaver! I'm constantly using it.
Also, once you start adding group feats, combat turns into a massacre, and it's very satisfying to watch.
Great Character Building
The characters in Wrath of the Righteous feel like real people to me. Some of them that I want to punch in the face and some that I want to hug. But none of them feel weird or underdeveloped.
I think that's a true achievement of Owlcat's writers. The characters make the story, and if your companions weren't satisfying to be around, then what's the point?
Weird Evil Alignment Choices
I always play good characters. Even when I say I will play an evil character – I still make good decisions.
But looking at the Evil choices in Wrath of the Righteous, I find that the evil alignment is more chaotic than Owlcat intended. You can have a normal conversation with someone, and then an "Evil" decision to kill them because they're annoying will come up.
Where's the logic behind that? If it was a chaotic evil decision, I wouldn't mind, but it happens with plain evil choices too.
And it's not that Owlcat doesn't know how to write great evil characters – just look at Regill or Daeran.
So, perhaps some fine-tuning is required for those of us who like to be a little naughty with our characters.
Great Game Engine
The software engineer in me wants to get his hands on Owlcat's game engine and start creating my own adventures. The funny thing is that they use Unity! It's impressive how far Unity has come in recent years.
Kingmaker was created with Unity, and Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment was made with Unity. All of these games look and feel amazing!
I wonder if one of those companies will allow us to create worlds with a base Unity project to start building.
There are many courses to learn how to develop this kind of game with Unity. Most of them are long and tedious. But I intend to go through with Unity's learning path, and we'll see how my skill improves. Maybe I'll offer you a mini-game one day soon.
Overall, I'm very much enjoying Path of the Righteous (and streaming it on Twitch), and if you love Role-Playing games, I highly recommend it.
The story and characters will keep you invested for long hours of escapism, and it's genuinely a delight to experience.
Let me know what you think of the game in the comments below!
You can find Path of The Righteous on all platforms. Visit their website for details.
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