Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous hands-on preview

We had a chance to check out Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous before its Kickstarter campaign went live. Please take a look.

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Back in 2017 the team at Owlcat Games launched a Kickstarter for their flagship title Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The game was based off the table-top version of the Pathfinder RPG and was chock full of isometric action somewhat akin to classic D&D PC titles like Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate. It quickly found an audience and, after a successful funding campaign, got a lot of positive feedback from critics and fans alike. Now, the crew at Owlcat is ready to continue the journey they started in their first game with a brand-new Kickstarter for their latest title Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. I got a chance to go hands-on with an early work-in-progress PC build ahead of their newest crowd-funding endeavor.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is the upcoming sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is the upcoming sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is another adaptation of one of the table-top adventures. Players will find themselves stuck in the middle of a 100-year war between demons and humanity. Early on in the game, players will be tasked with freeing a nation that has been taken over by those demonic forces. The narrative promises to explore themes of corruption and redemption and have a more epic and darker tone than the last game. Just like its predecessor though, it will be up to the player how they approach the story. Will you save everyone or make hard decisions that will require real sacrifice?

Along with a brand-new story, Pathfinder: Wrath of the RIghteous will have several new features. For starters, there will be two new classes for players to choose: The Oracle and the Witch. Hopefully, we’ll find out more details about their abilities soon enough. Speaking of abilities, the game already had 1,000 spells, feats, and abilities built into it, and the team is hoping to double that number before launch.

Along with a few new classes, there will also be a new feature called “Mythic Path” that will give players a chance to become truly OP and take on some of the game’s bigger and badder monsters. Each Mythic Path adds a new narrative layer and an even more in-depth experience. Right now there are only four announced Mythic Paths: The Angel can summon other angels to heal and protect party members. The Lich uses necromancy and can replace companions with an undead army. Aeon is a cosmic neutral path that fixes disturbances in the balance and can time travel to fix things without the use of a Delorean. And the Trickster can use its mischievous powers to manipulate dice rolls to change nat 1s to nat 20s.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is looking to up the ante with new features
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is looking to up the ante with new features

There are also plans to add a new strategic layer that will allow players to send troops around the world to fight demons, find treasure, recruit new allies and gather war assets. It sounds similar to systems I’ve seen in Assassin Creed and Metal Gear Solid titles where you send out teams of NPCs that you’ve amassed to do automated timed missions, but it’s hard to say how similar they’ll actually be without seeing Pathfinder’s feature in action.

For my hands-on experience I was tasked with raiding a castle and finding a way to take out some of its wall defenses which included two catapults being manned by giants. The battle started off with me exploring a battle-worn village for a way to access the wall’s upper levels. There was no exact way for me to approach anything on the map and it seems like the team at Owlcat wants players to find their own way towards success. I just happened to take a right turn during my exploration and found a blockaded doorway to the upper levels pretty early. In order to access the doorway I had to wait for an NPC crew of soldiers to ram through it, which meant protecting them from things like giant spiders, and undead warriors.

Combat plays out in real time, but the game pauses before every encounter so players can set up buffs, cast spells, select stronger attacks, and set up battle strategies before the real fun begins. For me this meant making sure my tanks had enough life to get through a battle and that my healers and archers kept their distance, but there is definitely a deeper strategy at play due to a hefty number of skill, attack, and spell options for each class. Some characters will even have a chance to check for traps before entering certain areas.

The Kickstarter for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is live now.
The Kickstarter for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is live now.

During my hands-on time I was able to take out the wall’s defenses and fight my way into the city main hall to take on the demon in charge of things around there. I don’t wanna give away too much of the fight, but I will say it was the toughest and most enjoyable battle of the whole demo.

If you like this style of RPG then you’re probably already aware of what the Pathfinder franchise has to offer. And if you’re not, this is definitely one of the more ambitious isometric action RPGs on the market and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous looks like it’s ready to continue that tradition. There’s no current release date for the game, but its Kickstarter is launching today if you want to help bring this ambitious sequel to market or find out more information before committing to anything. Either way, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date as more news develops.

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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