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.