Hands down I was probably the worst choice for checking out this game. I have never played Pillars of Eternity and didn’t realize that it was an expansion pack that I was seeing rather than a new title. That said I still understood what this expansion pack means for the game, but my excitement for it wasn’t nearly as high as it was for the people who actually played the game. The gist is that The White March is going to add a lot to the Pillars franchise and the developers are going to make a lot of the improvements bleed over into the original game. Even though that doesn’t affect me, the fact that they’re doing that for free for people who have the first game shows that this developer actually cares about their community.
On that note there’s the “Part I” to address. Yes, there’s going to be a “Part II”, but the developers didn’t want to make fans wait in limbo forever while they finished both parts so they decided to split it. They said because of this they were actually able to work faster and get more done in a shorter time. Again, the fact that it wasn’t a money grab shows that the developers are really aware of their fan base.
As for the game itself it’s heavily influenced by Icewind Dale and has new dungeons and fortresses to explore and raid. The level cap has increased and the characters can have multi-class talents. That seemed to make the biggest impact as it could really change-up your gameplay style. There was also a lot of improvement done to the party AI, having played similar games in the past I could tell that they put a lot of thought into the AI and it seemed incredibly easy and intuitive. Hopefully other game developers catch on because worked very well with this style of RPG.
Overall the game looks wonderful and while I’m not the demographic for it I still liked what I heard and think that fans of the franchise are going to be pleased with the upcoming expansion. That said look for it later this year.