RPGs are all about choice, and Obsidian Entertainment‘s Tyranny is proof that the player’s freedom can have serious repercussions in a fantasy world.
Baldur’s Gate II was the pinnacle of classic computer RPGs when it came to multiple story and quest branching with decisions that really mattered. While Mass Effect and other more action-heavy titles tried to imitate it, only a few modern examples like The Witcher have succeeded in recreating that feeling of actually shaping a game’s story and a character’s development that changes the world. Tyranny seems to be very close to that lofty goal in that it actively engages the player in having an effect on people’s lives and fates, at least in a fantasy world where evil Kyros the Overlord makes him or her his intermediary as the Fatebinder.
It doesn’t happen too often that one plays the bad guy, and there are few examples when it actually works, e.g. in the Dungeon Keeper series, so it’s even more difficult to do something like this without the humor twist for high fantasy. However, being given a bit of leeway when it comes to interacting with the populace, it’s all about finding the right balance between force and diplomacy to keep the land productive and also submissive to the high ruler and his insubordinates. Of course the game still looks a lot like a standard RPG in terms of graphics (although with all sorts of spell and lighting effects in addition to stunning environment backgrounds) and tactical real-time combat gameplay, which is no surprise, as the developer did Pillars of Eternity as well. But with a shorter playtime during each playthrough, this might be more accessible to those who’d rather like their decisions to matter than following a typical fantasy story.
The game is now available in various editions, the standard one being the Commander Edition that includes ringtones, a Commander Edition forum icon, and forum avatars; the Archon Edition which adds exclusive Archon Edition avatars, a digital soundtrack, a digital game map, 4 exclusive coats of arms, a short story collection, and digital wallpapers; and finally the Overlord Edition that also has 3 exclusive short stories, a guide and an art book.
If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using one of the GOG or Amazon links and buying the product also helps ;).