The Pillars of the Earth is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. When I was looking for games to see at E3 2017, The Pillars of the Earth shot up my list immediately as I fell in love with the art. The best thing about this narrative-driven adventure game is that the story has more or less been pre-approved, as it is based on the extremely successful novel of the same name.
The Pillars of the Earth takes lace in 12th century England, during what is known as The Anarchy, a succession crisis that starts a civil war lasting 18 years. Players see the story from three different characters' point of view over the course of 40 years. The developer made a lot of Game of Thrones comparisons in terms of the grandness of the scale of the game and the multiple points of view it is stolen from. And, I guess a lot of people die.
While it is story-driven, there are some gameplay elements other than meandering from one conversation to the next. There are some skill-based QTE moments, though they aren't a huge part of the game and stand to serve as something to spice things up for some variety.
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The primary gameplay will be solving puzzles. The developer stressed that the puzzles were going to be grounded in reality, meaning they would make some sort of sense. The puzzles aren't just a random assortment of items that were then forced to work together—like find the handle for the bucket in the fish so you can then attach it to the bucket so it can be carried. It's a nice thing to know they are thinking about and should reduce the frustration that can come in some puzzle games that force you to developer's logic.
Nothing is forced on the player either, their decisions are their own. For example, in some of the gameplay I saw, we had the choice to kill a deer for food. We didn't have to, but we chose to do so. Later, the deer's meat was hanging up and it was our choice what to do with it. We decided it was a good idea to smoke it for preservation, but then got distracted as we heard a baby crying in the woods. We went to investigate, of course. When we returned, the deer meat was spoiled. It seems inconsequential, but it made me excited. If what seems to be so frivolous received that much care, what about the big things that matter? I can only hope they have as many little intricacies built into them as well.
The Pillars of the Earth will be released in three parts, the first of which arrives August 15th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux. It will have English and German voice overs and pretty much every major language you can think of for text translation.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.