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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)
Based in Bath with the UK team, Tom loves 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.