HIT AND MYTH
PC Gamer|December 2021
PATHFINDER: WRATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS is so dense it’s got its own gravity
Jody Macgregor

NEED TO KNOW

WHAT IS IT? An ambitious CRPG that follows the zero-to-hero formula then keeps going

EXPECT TO PAY £43

DEVELOPER Owlcat Games

PUBLISHER Meta Publishing

REVIEWED ON Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060

MULTIPLAYER No

LINK wrath.owlcat games.com

The first boss in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is character creation. It’s as daunting as any multi-limbed demon. There are 25 classes, most subdivided into six archetypes. There are prestige classes you can’t choose until later, which show up here if you want to plan your build around one. You choose a race, heritage, background, religion, skills, feats, maybe an animal companion, which gets its own class, skills and feats.

At the end of this process you may well end up with a character who is completely inappropriate for getting what you want out of Wrath of the Righteous and, several hours later, want to restart or respec. Maybe they’re too weak for the challenge of Core difficulty if you’re keen enough to bother with that, maybe they double up with an early companion and feel superfluous, maybe they have an ability that doesn’t work the way you thought and kind of suck. Compared to this, fighting some big water elemental or shadow demon seems easy.

MATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS

Your character, whether a rage-powered blood rider with a pet smilodon, a halfling knight who charges into battle on a dog, or just an elf who is a wizard – that’s cool too – is off to join a crusade against the demons of the Worldwound. These demons marched through a hole in reality years ago and have been making a mess of the place ever since. Eventually, you’ll become the crusade’s commander and a mythic hero with incredible powers.

This happens in an isometric RPG that evokes Baldur’s Gate so much sometimes I walk under a patch of autumn leaves and think I’m back on the Sword Coast. If you played Pathfinder: Kingmaker you’ll be familiar with the effect, though this isn’t a sequel to Kingmaker and is in fact a better introduction to the Pathfinder rules. Owlcat Games has learned that tutorial pop-ups are good and boxes of text will warn if you equip items with bonuses that don’t stack or goof up the rules of the tabletop RPG it’s based on.

Better tutorials make combat’s flow of numbers a bit easier to keep up with, though it could be presented better. (I will go to the grave not understanding why it shows the unmodified results of dice rolls next to the difficulty target they have to beat, rather than showing the modified number that actually gets compared to the difficulty.) Another thing that smooths out combat is the option to switch between turn-based and real-time-with-pause mode, even mid-fight. You can go turn by turn when tackling bosses, or taking out the alchemists trying to burn down your local pub by throwing firebombs at it, then switch to RTWP when you’re mopping up cultists or other filler. (There’s a lot of filler.)

MIGHT & TRAGIC

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