There’s a double-whammy of Obsidian-Entertainment-shaped RPG freebies coming to the Epic Games Store next week, so if you’ve been eager to sink your adventuring mitts into either Pillars of Eternity or Tyranny, you now know where to point your internet in the coming days.
They’re both good ‘uns, of course, with Pillars of Eternity managing to secure itself a Eurogamer Recommended badge when it released back in 2015. It’s a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate, deliberately designed to replicate the nostalgic old-school whiff of ’90s RPGs – which is to say, exactly what the 73,000 people who stumped up four million dollars to support the project on Kickstarter were hoping for.
There’s overworld exploration and dungeon crawling to be done as one of the game’s eleven classes – Barbarian, Chanter, Cipher, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard – and the end result is an experience Eurogamer called “an RPG with [its] design firmly rooted in nostalgia, but one that absolutely doesn’t rely on it to be enjoyable today.”
“Instead,” reviewer Richard Cobbett continued, “it’s both a great reminder of why those games worked so well, and a brand new adventure well worth the hours upon hours (upon hours upon hours) that it takes to pick away at its secrets and its world”.
As for Tyranny, that also secured itself a Eurogamer Recommended when it released the following year. It’s similarly nostalgic in presentation, but starts off with a slightly more characterful premise, casting players as a very definitely bad guy – more specifically, as the arbiter of law in an utterly bleak world devastated by a despot.
Eurogamer called the ensuing adventure “terrifying, captivating, and desperately sad, where you wade through a sea of death and torment clinging onto whatever scrap of humanity you can”. Reviewer Rick Lane felt an excessive focus on combat let the side down, but its unflinching dedication as a “dark cousin” to Pillars of Eternity ultimately won out. “In the end,” he wrote, “Tyranny has far more of import to say, and it’ll make you listen whether you like it or not.”
Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny will be available to add to your Epic Games library for free from next Thursday, 10th December, for precisely one week. And before all that, acclaimed Metroidvania-style platformer-adventure Cave Story+ is your current weekly freebie.