Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous pits humanity against a demon invasion

(Image credit: Pathfinder)

It's Tuesday, and demons are invading again. It's the sort of cataclysm you'd expect from a place called 'the Worldwound'. A planar tear to the Abyss has opened, and now mortals must push back against a tide of demonic rage flowing into the world of Golarion.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker was part of a welcome clutch of new cRPGs to follow Pillars of Eternity's success. Path of the Righteous is set in a different part of the world, with new heroes and villains, and Owlcat Games promise "a more epic conflict". There won't be a straightforward divide between righteous mortals and furious demons, however. Traitorous mortals are all too happy to sacrifice a few friends for a taste of demonic power, and there are demons among the hordes who are fed up with endless war.

(Image credit: Pathfinder)

The new Mythic class system lets you occupy this grey area by adopting demonic or angelic qualities on top of your original class. You can be a powerful angelic wizard, or a demonic Oracle, for example. Your shift in either direction is accompanied by appearance changes that will change how you're treated by NPCs. Go full demon and you can have a honking great pair of horns, though not everyone you meet will be into it.

I actually prefer the sound of the other Mythic classes. You can be one of the most powerful spellcasters in the world if you decide to be a Liche—though you have to be slightly undead to access those powers. The Liche is unlikely to mix well with another Mythic class that Owlcat describe as a kind of fantasy Judge Dredd who must squash corruption wherever they find it. They can look into a soul and know if it's guilty or not—though they don't always know what a person is guilty of exactly. 

Finally, my favourite: the trickster. Tricksters are masterful game players. So masterful, in fact, that they can break the fourth wall and affect dice rolls in your game. Rolled a result of one for a critical miss? Have the trickster sneakily flip that to a 20 for you. Shhh, don't tell the developers.

(Image credit: Pathfinder)

Kingdom management was a big part of the first game's appeal. The system has been overhauled for the new setting. As the head of a crusade, you are now raising huge armies and deploying them to squish demon incursions. That might not sound as deep as a system that lets you run an entire kingdom, but there is plenty to do. You have to appoint characters to key positions—make sure you have a trustworthy general, and a barely trustworthy chief spy. You also need to raise armies, secure troops, and move those armies to key strategic positions on the world map. If you have a spare force, you can even send armies to distant corners of the map to explore and discover secrets.

I played a section of a fortress assault mission, which involved killing a lot of giant spiders. The darker tone is immediately obvious. I bloodily dispatched giants and archers on the ramparts, unlocking doors that led deeper and deeper into the castle. This combat-heavy section can't show off the game's most promising features however. The new Mythic class paths look great, and Owlcat are determined to do a better job of polishing the sequel to make sure consequences correctly line up with your decisions during the final stages of the game. Time-limited decisions are gone too—apparently players absolutely hated them. Now you will be able to really ponder those difficult moral decisions. Angel or demon? The choice is yours.

(Image credit: Pathfinder)
Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.