Obsidan RPGs Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny are free on the Epic Store

Pillars of Eternity
(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

It turns out that Cyberpunk 2077 could stand just a wee bit more work before it's really ready to deliver on its promise, and that may have thrown a wrench into your holiday gaming plans. You're ready for a massive time-suck RPG, but you'd really rather not spend that time wrestling with, you know, a buggy mess. What to do?

Maybe the weekly selection of free games on the Epic Store can help. As promised, this week sees not one but two big-ass RPGs from Obsidian: Pillars of Eternity Definitive Edition and Tyranny Gold Edition.

Pillars of Eternity is a very Baldur's Gate-like party-based RPG (the originals, that is, not Larian's new venture) set in a cursed land where children are being born without souls. There's an overarching story about gods and science and stuff, but the real attraction (for me, anyway) is the sense of nostalgia that permeates it. The hand-painted backgrounds, real-time-with-pause combat, and plentiful side quests really capture the sense of playing those old BioWare/Black Isle games, without actually feeling old.

Tyranny is also an old-timey isometric RPG, but takes a different approach narratively: It's set in a fantasy world where the bad guys have already won, and you're actually part of Team Evil. Your job is to travel the realm to help restore and enforce order, making choices that "mean all the difference in the world." It's quite good too: The combat didn't really ring our bell but said that's balanced by "incredible writing" and "unparalleled" worldbuilding in our 75/100 review.

They're both really good RPGs, you can't beat the price, and between the two of them they have the potential to eat up a lot of role-playing hours. Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny are free on the Epic Store until December 17.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.