[PlayStation 4] Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition Review

by the_nmac

Assemble a team, and stop the Stag Lord to reassemble the kingdom! Are you ready for battle? Then check our Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition review!

Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition is the ultimate single-player RPG experience based on the acclaimed Pathfinder series.

Explore and conquer with your party the Stolen Lands of Golarion, a world rich with history, mystery and conflict featuring real-time combat or optional turn-based fights.

• STORY RICH: Hundreds of kingdoms have risen and fallen in these lands.

• CONQUER: Conquer new regions and claim them as yours.

• CHARACTERS CUSTOMISATION: Create heroes and customize your character choosing from more than 1000 different abilities, skills, and feats.

• FOCUS ON COMPANIONS: Meet 12 characters including iconic one from the Pathfinder setting itself.

• KINGDOM BUILDING: Expand your Kingdom, build new towns and community.

• PLAY YOUR WAY: Fight in real-time with pause or switch to turn-based mode to have a better control over the fight placement.

The Definitive Edition includes the base game, new features plus 6 DLCs.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition is a port of the PC version of the game that was released back in 2018. With the console release on PlayStation 4, it’s bundling in all updates to the game as well as the DLC into one nice complete package. There are dozens of hours of content here for people who enjoy CRPGs, making this one an excellent option on Sony’s home console.

Now just for some explanations for D&D fans, this is using a newer set of D&D rules, the Pathfinder rules, and on D&D version 3.5. As someone who doesn’t play D&D that heavily, I don’t know how this affects the game itself, but if you are familiar with these sets of rules, I do believe it’s important info to give out.

You do get the option to choose from six different difficulty settings when starting the game so that you can find the right one for your playing style. They range from Story for players who want to enjoy the tale and the writing, going all the way to Unfair, which is probably for people who hate themselves. I played on Normal, and the challenge, while fair, was certainly higher than expected.

When I fired up Pathfinder: Kingmaker, it brought me to an option to pick a pre-built character for the game or to make my own character. Honestly, I’m not sure who would use the pre-built characters, unless you are in a rush to play the game. I got started on working on a custom character, and boy was I blown away by all of the options in the game! There are nine different races to select from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, 15 classes, each with subclass options, which makes it possible to create your character until it feels just right, with a variety of potential perks, abilities, and skills.

Honestly, I spent over an hour in the character creator going through different options. I ended up going with a human Paladin as my choice, thanks to its high strength and charisma. This is pretty on-brand for me, and how I typically play these games, since I like to give my self lots of options to talk, and avoid battles when possible, to take on the greater evils of each adventure.

Once you are through the character creation process – unless you picked a premade one – you are thrown right into the story as you meet with a bunch of other champions from across the world, with the intent of taking down the despicable Staglord. After you get through the meeting, you retire to your chambers, but alas, there is an attack during the night laying waste to people. This is the jumping-off point for the story, and it’s a really fun journey with interesting twists and turns along the way.

Combat can be done in realtime – with pausing – or with a more proper turn-based system. I preferred playing in the realtime with the pause options, which reminded me of the older Baldur’s Gate games. It just felt more fluid. Playing in the turn-based mode gave me vibes of the original Fallout for PC, since you can only move so far during your turns, and actions required more thought. Whatever you prefer, though, there is an option here for you. All of the combat is based on dice rolls, which you actually see on the screen, helping to retain that D&D feel in the game, which you don’t normally see in these types of games.

One thing Pathfinder: Kingmaker doesn’t do particularly well though is showing people how to play. Now, I’m sure on PC the control scheme would be much more intuitive – since this is a CRPG in the first place – but when moving it to console, all of the mouse and keyboard inputs had to be moved over to the DualShock 4 controller, which definitely could have used a little more information than what is given at the beginning. When I popped into the game, I had a cursor and was surprised I couldn’t control the character directly with the analog stick, instead of pointing and clicking, and the character would move. At least I was able to switch between two control methods by pressing up on the D-Pad, but this is not what happens. This made me jump into the options menu to spend some extra time to go over the controller layout, to make sure I didn’t miss something important.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition is a really complete package with a ton of content, now ready for you on PlayStation 4. Is it the best CRPG on the console? It’s hard to say since the PS4 definitely has other entries in the genre that also shine, but Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition is certainly a great game to take for a spin on PS4. Other than the lackluster tutorial, there is a ton of good things going on for the game, between the main story, the battles, and all of the DLC you’re getting, which will probably keep you busy for the next few weeks easily.

This Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Deep Silver.

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