Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition Review

If you'd asked me a year ago, I might have told you that porting an old-style isometric RPG like Pillars of Eternity from PC to consoles without making it an unwieldy mess was effectively impossible. Obsidian Entertainment's incredible adventure draws so heavily from early BioWare RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale that it demands the similar use of a dizzying array of hotkeys, precise mouse clicks, and menus, and that design seemed hopelessly better suited to keyboards than gamepads. Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition overcomes these obstacles, and that's why I find this adaptation so impressive.

As the name implies, the Complete Edition includes all the content and patches released for the PC version to date, namely the base game from 2015 and the two halves of the underwhelming White March expansion. But Obsidian ) has achieved wonders with the transition to gamepads. Holding down the left trigger grants access to options like the quest log, leveling menu, and inventory, while squeezing the right trigger opens the menu for combat abilities. Pressing the square or X button lets you pause to issue orders, while the bumper buttons let you easily switch between characters. Most impressively of all, Pillars automatically highlights whatever you're looking toward so you can easily interact with it. Sometimes it bugs a little and requires precise handling, but these moments are mercifully rare. Its intuitive control scheme is nothing short of elegant, and it proves that this style of RPG no longer needs to be the stranger to console gamers it once was.

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