Full Disclosure: I pledged money to the Project Eternity/Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter project almost a year before I had ever professionally written about video games in any form, let alone for GameSided.com.
The Kickstarter project created by Obisidian Entertainment, “Pillars of Eternity,” will not feature romances, according to an interview with Eurogamer. The game’s director, Josh Sawyer (Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, Neverwinter Nights 2), downplayed the idea of mature themes being centered around characters having romantic relations, but instead about players’ ideals and their stories.
In my mind, this is an excellent choice for Pillars of Eternity. Considering the way isometric 3D CRPG’s work and their emphasis on story, lore and gameplay, getting tiny-in-scale characters together romantically would detract a lot from a focus on a serious and deeply mature game. When you consider the fact that romanticism in video games (when it is not the primary focus of the story, but of a “sidequest”) is lousy with horribly-written dialogue, omitting it seems to be the better option.
It would affect the pacing of Pillars of Eternity the most. You could see it in games past, like Baldur’s Gate. While it is an excellent example of a CRPG, the romance aspects of the game are comparatively weaker than the rest of the adventure. It breaks up the game’s rhythm. Most importantly, the developers don’t want to do it and aren’t bound by a publisher’s demands. If they feel like their time could be used better at improving other aspects of Pillars of Eternity, then I’m all for it.
Obsidian Entertainment plans on releasing the game for PC’s in Winter 2014. It’s a long ways away, but the wait for a true-to-life isometric RPG developed by Sawyer, Avelone and Cain is more than worth it.
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