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GC18 – Pathfinder: Kingmaker

My first appointment at Gamescom this year was with OwlCat Games – and their game Pathfinder: Kingmaker. A CRPG (Classical Role Playing Game), which is heavily focused on choices and exploration. According to the developers the main story takes 80+ hours to play through.

During the showing of the game, one thing that really struck me was how huge the dungeon we got to look at was. Each dungeon has several levels, and is unique, as far as I was told. The game looks rather good too. Unfortunately the UI was a bit cluttered, and it was way too much info at the screen at any given time (at least in my mind). When it comes to the gameplay mechanics the game is definitely taking some inspiration from Dragon Age, with a you selecting a party to join you on your adventures, which the AI controls (unless you decide to take control over them).

Another cool thing is the focus the developers have had on environmental storytelling – during the showcase we got the choice to stay at a mysterious camp, or to keep walking. A quick look around revealed lots of burned corpses(…) – not a good sign, so we decided to move on. Shortly after we encountered a massive dragon – which I suspect might have taken us by surprise during the night if we had stayed. Luckily we weren’t playing on hardcore mode, as this enables permadeath for all NPC’s. The looting system too is very cool. You never know what you pick up. Well, you know that you are looting for example a helmet, but you don’t know its stats until you’ve inspected it. And for those of you who like picking up everything you come across – good news! You seemingly don’t have a max number of items in your backpack, but rather an encumbrance system (sort of like Dark Souls) which makes you move at a slower pace the more things you’re carrying.

Unfortunately time was scarce, and I soon had to run to other meetings. Although the game didn’t look like my cup of tea, I must say that it looks extremely promising. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is simply huge, and the storytelling seems really cool! I’ll surely keep my eyes on news about this game in the future. And let me put this straight – if you like games like Baldur’s Gate and Pillars of Eternity, this will surely be a game for you!

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