I confess I havenít read the book/s but I did the see the TV mini-series
several years ago and rather enjoyed it. Which meant my investment in how the game would go on delivering on this epic was limited in
which is either a plus or a minus, depending on your point of view.
Telling a story has always been an element of an adventure game, but the
story as the primary thing has really come into its element of late. Think Telltale as perhaps the aptly named pinnacle, but there are many
others, especially of the indie variety (eg The Park, Gone Home). Pillars of the Earth fits that bill, and on a
much larger scale than
What starts on a very specific personal level, spreads into a sprawling and rich medieval tapestry, with
Catholicism, politics and architecture
very much central elements. The building of a grand cathedral over a
lengthy period that will outlast the builder provides the backdrop, a personally interesting coincidence as I
have just returned from
Barcelona, where Sagrada Familiar continues towards completion 100 years
later. If there is a grander and more grandiose example of church building as both monument and inspiration, I donít
know what it is. I
suspect Mr Follett would be as impressed as I was.
But back to the game.
The narrative unfolds through a number of playable characters, and there
is a palpable sense of the grimness of the 12th century. The graphic style is a key element of that aesthetic, as is the colour palette,
which is never other than muted and subdued. Which does not detract from
the richness of detail; rather, that detail is subservient to the nature
of the times in which the story is set.
The writers and designers clearly desired to convey the fascination that
Follett had with architecture. They also clearly wanted the narrative to
flow, and so there is no real puzzling challenge to speak of. Your goal is known, and walking and talking will generally move you forward.
Indeed, talking and observing will result in choices, options and thoughts, all of which will either flesh out the
story and/or be
relevant to the path/s by which to move forward. You may not know that events are
available to you if you arenít inquisitive.
The voice acting is excellent, and imbue the characters with appropriate
life. The pious Philip is to be contrasted with the nasty William, and the acting sets them at appropriate ends of the spectrum. If that is
impressive, the musical score is arguably more so. I often turn it down to be background music, but that isnít
the case hear. The orchestral
arrangements contribute mightily to the tone of the particular events, and
deserve to be listened to in their own right.
There are some confronting scenes and dialogue, including one about sexual intimidation, that are
appropriate in context but which I feel it
necessary to mention. There are also a very few sequences which might be
described as action (click at the appropriate time to fire a slingshot) but which should in no way
put off the most ardent adventure purist.
Half a dozen hours later, there is a lot more I could say about Pillars of the Earth, but I am not going to. Two
more books await, and it is
such a worthy endeavour I am going to deal with them in detail as a job lot. I am
not suggesting this is episodic, but the first part made such
an impression that I intend to binge on the lot when it is available. Well done Daedelic.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz