The tabletop world of Pathfinder comes to life in Wrath of the Righteous.
The role playing game has come a long way since its inception. From early tabletop games grew an ever expanding universe of games designed to capture imaginations and immerse players in worlds of fantasy. Video games have since streamlined these mechanisms into refined compositions of visual storytelling and gameplay. Pathfinder is no exception as even today it remains a popular ruleset among many tabletop gatherings.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a immersive dive into fantasy roleplaying games. Using the popular tabletop’s mechanics and lore you will create an adventuring avatar and journey into a realm full of magic and monsters. There are powerful enemies to face and a story to experience as you take action using the same dice mechanics as the tabletop classic. Actions like combat and feats of body and mind are determined by each character’s abilities and the outcome of the randomized dice rolls. The results are hours of fun through immersive storytelling.
The city of Kenabres resides on the border between two completely different lands. One of law and society and the other under the control of demons and the abyss. Heroes around the world have traveled there to take up arms against the demons as crusaders. Your story begins as the character you design appears unconscious and wounded in the middle of a large festival celebrating the anniversary of the city’s founding. Shortly after tending to your wound the town’s festival is violently torn asunder by an evil demon lord in command of swarming insect minions. The happy festival quickly turns into a bloodbath. Before your character can come to terms with what all is happening, they’re plunged underground as the ground rips into a fissure that severs the city. It’s now up to you to band together with other surviving adventurers to fight your way back to the surface and retake the city from the demon’s grasp.
Throughout your journey you’ll be presented with opportunities to form a strong adventuring party with allies you meet along the way. Each character has stats and skills that include weapon proficiency, magic spells and many others relating to their physical and mental abilities. These stats are used as modifiers in their favor during skill checks within the environment, in conversations, and in combat by being added to the outcome of dice rolls, a familiar system from tabletop games. There is an incredible variety of playable races and classes of warriors and spellcasters to choose from.
Each character, including your own, has different personalities and motivation that will lead the story down different paths of you choosing. Many choices will question your character’s alignment on what is right and wrong, while others will test feats of skill or knowledge of a particular subject like nature, other parts of the world, or arcane magic. Each Party member has strengths and weaknesses but which allies you decide to trust and hold close will not only help you in combat but eventually determine paths that the story can take.
The game’s isometric camera style takes after favored computer rpgs of the past but has a lot more to offer visually than its predecessors. While the focus is primarily the descriptive text based delivery, cutscenes are enjoyable alongside some wonderful voice acting that bring the main characters to life. The depth of language and detail in the writing is stellar and has the same effect as playing a well developed campaign module. Even players that skim their way through the character stats and reading will enjoy the satisfyingly gory battles.
Combat can either be turn based or occur in real time.The order of turns is based on an initiative roll, as characters can move, attack and use items to survive each encounter. Party members also have the option of operating on A.I. that does a fairly competent job of playing to the strengths of each character and assisting in victories as long as you’re well equipped and balance the needs of the party. Some of the more intense battles are better taken in turn based mode as you can critically choose actions based on knowledge of your foes and consider all available choices.
After finding your way back to the surface from underground the game opens up into a variety of locations in Kenabres. Just as a good game master would do, the city is organized into important locations for your party to explore. Some areas and objectives will require the aid of specific party members and will often reveal backstories and other details that develop the many characters that weave in their own stories. As you explore and interact with new areas and non-player characters, each encounter divulges more information about the world in great detail as you become an instrument in the chaotic battle that has engulfed the city.
Sounds that accompany the gameplay are a treat. The orchestrated soundtrack adds suspense and dramatic effect to every scenario in and out of combat. There are intriguing atmospheres of ambience for each location, but the sounds of landing hits and vanquishing your foes into bloody pulps are most satisfying.
The D-20 mechanisms and lengthy character sheets may seem daunting to players who aren’t familiar with tabletop roleplaying but Wrath of the Righteous is an intricate experience for players who can appreciate the comprehensive world and its lore and want to experience the meticulous storytelling behind this experience. The tutorial smoothly introduces new types of skill checks as they appear and offers methods to gain various advantages and avoid missteps. Allies you meet initially are balanced for an ideal party and allow for deeper customization once you’re set loose to explore the city. There is also a re-training option in case you’d like to reassign a character’s class levels and skills. Combat will become more cumbersome during larger battles and as enemies unleash more powerful magic with mechanics that require more extensive reading. You may only realize too late how ill equipped your party might be for a difficult encounter and soon after question your choices in party members.
While you party members can be set to acquire new skills and progress automatically, they may not always choose options that are the most useful. Since most of the party’s needs can be fulfilled by allies you meet, your own protagonist’s abilities will usually fall short of your comrades unless your character specializes in a specific combat advantage or beneficial book of spells. There’s not many recommendations for building custom characters so there is potential to get lost initially when all the options are laid out in front of you. While the knowledge skills are useful and fun to learn about the world, the party’s makeup will eventually boil down to survivability over flavor.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is an RPG for core fans of the classics. The full use of both language and voice acting weave together a tale of epic chaos that is exciting to participate in. It illustrates a time honored gaming passtime from within the pages of the pathfinder core rulebooks without having to sketch out an entire world through dice and on paper.
Accurate rendition of Pathfinder world and tabletop ruleset.
Immersive storytelling using language and voice acting
Variety of skill checks, spells, abilities, and playable class/race combinations.
Larger and more difficult battles eventually become cumbersome
Complex D20 mechanics can be daunting for unfamiliar players
4 out of 5
Review key provided by PR. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is out now!