During the recent PC Gaming Show, Obsidian Entertainment showed their latest title, Tyranny. The tagline is even intriguing, “Sometimes, evil wins.” The world that it takes place in, has actually been taken over by evil.
To put a turn on the usual gameplay, Tyranny does not simply take place in a world that’s been taken over by evil, the role you will be playing is on the evil emperor’s side. According to Alec Frey, who is in Obsidian quality assurance, it is this feature that makes the game unique among so many other RPGs.
What Tyranny is about
Frey said, “You get the chance to be the judge, jury and the executioner. You will be making decisions regarding nearly all aspects of the world you’re in. This allows you to serve justice as you see fit.”
Although the bad guys may be the victors here, that does not mean the world of Tyranny has become less politically tense. As you progress through the game, you’re going to decide between various factions, which many of them ostensibly work for the same overlord, but each faction has different approaches and motives.
As you choose your faction, then build a reputation and support the faction, you will notice this uses a lot of focus within Tyranny.
Frey added, “Reputation is one very significant aspect in our game. It not only changes the way people react to your role in the story, it will change the abilities and skills gained throughout the game.”
Gameplay adds to the story
The skills you gain become very important, as with most RPGs, a large portion of gameplay is combat along with the challenges and tactical aspects. You are going to learn skills such as Blood Soaks Stone, that knocks enemies on the ground, Sunder which lowers enemy armor. Blood Soaks Stone is a combo ability, and only gained once you’ve built enough reputation.
In the end, it is the skills that define a character in Tyranny, and it is done in a way like no other.
Frey described it as being “skill based, not class based. You are going to build the character based on what you plan to do. If you teach your character fire spells, and wield a one-handed sword, you would a one-handed sword, fire spell fighter. It all depends on how you want to build the character.”
This freedom also converts into the storyline too. You will have the ability to choose to be in more factions than just the various factions serving the evil overlord, you can choose to join the rebels and battle evil. Of course, you could always decide to go the path where no one is ever happy.
Obsidian really shines with its IP titles
In the demo we did, we took the side of the rebel fighters and defended a fort from two invading factions at the same time. However, when we reached the final boss, we choose to use the anarchy method, so we betrayed the rebel forces, and continued to be hunted by other factions. Frey laughed, stating it appears we put our character on a very challenging journey. Although challenging, it is still a feature that Tyranny provides at all times.
Frey added, “When creating a Dungeons and Dragons styled game, one of the challenges is that you can’t always do everything you would like, as you can in D&D. This is where Tranny really starts to excel, as it offers options for players to go on any path they would prefer.”
The last RPG project by Obsidian, Pillars of Eternity, created a reputation for being unforgivingly challenging. The developer is hoping Tyranny has an easier approach. Frey announced there will be many difficulty options available, with some that will allow you to easily walk through and kill everything. So, if you are just wanting to play for the story and not have any challenges, there’s an option for that.
Additionally, the developer has stated they are considering feedback from Pillars of Eternity fans while creating a game that should be easier to understand and play. But overall, they are just happy to be able to create another old-school style RPG.
Frey smiled and stated, “With Pillars of Eternity, the biggest thing learned is that a community exists of people that really want these type of games, and supports them fully. We have listened to those fans.”
Tyranny comes out on Windows, Mac and Linux later in the year.