During this semester one of my favorite video games I’ve played is Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Wrath of the Righteous released last year and is the second RPG from Owlcat Games based on a Pathfinder adventure path campaign. I found the story and character of Wrath of the Righteous more interesting, so I played it before Kingmaker. In the story the protagonist develops otherworldly powers and becomes the leader of the crusade to fight back against an army of demons.
The amount of content in the game is massive. I have 150 hours in the game according to Steam and I’m at most 75% through my first playthrough. My time is bloated though from the fact I only play on turn-based mode in combat instead of real-time. The main replayability of the game comes from its mythic path system. Early in the game you pick which of 6 different sources your powers are from. I picked Azata which are like good-aligned fey. There are some special paths you can unlock later in the game, but they have much less unique content from what I’ve heard. My favorite aspect of the game so far is the characters and story. Several of the party members are unique and interesting. Even a few of the NPCs not in my party are very intriguing. The representation in game is very good, especially LGBT representation. The story is a war of epic proportions facing off against powerful demon lords. Picking Azata allows me to roleplay as a hero that doesn’t stick to closely to the rules. The worst Azata content is a bit too silly and weird, but having a pet dragon who participates in scenes like my other party members is more than worth it.
The problems with the game come down to its difficulty and lack of information about its systems. I have been playing on normal, the third of seven difficulties, and have found many fights in the game unfairly hard. Also, as someone very familiar with 5e D&D rules but not Pathfinder learning to rules of the system only by playing this game is extremely difficult. If you don’t have a ton of spare time to plan builds you should let the game decide what to learn on level up. A lot of mechanics such as status conditions are only explained by pop-up windows that show up when you are under its effect. The crusade mode has entirely different mechanics and you could screw yourself and waste a lot of time if you lose battles. Too much of this mode isn’t explained in enough detail and your game difficulty doesn’t affect crusade mode at all. The developers did add an auto crusade mode if you prefer to not play it at all at least.
Leadership is a huge aspect of the story once you take charge of the crusade. A significant amount of time must be devoted to building up your forces to fight demon armies in battle. Crusade management also has meetings with your advisors to make decrees. Each of the advisors suggest a different solution to the current problem and you decide which path to take. There are no right or wrong decisions, each choice has its own benefit. Even outside of the crusade you are managing an adventuring party. All the different party members have different classes and abilities to fulfill different roles. Having group members with the right skill sets is important for success both in game and in real life leadership teams.