Game Reviews from around the web

90

Tyranny weighs in at significantly fewer hours than Pillars. But a lot of this is replayable in ways that are interesting and thought-provoking.

90

A game that makes you ask yourself if evil is indeed something that must be fought is a game worth of both respect and remembrance.

90

Obsidian Entertainment has created another fantastic RPG, with a well told storyline and great replay value. Tyranny is brilliant.

90

Tyranny is a tale about evil, but not as you know it. It sidesteps the predictable tropes of grayscale morality by shifting the spectrum entirely. The first few hours of the game are spent in disgust, but by the end you’ll become numb to your actions; evil becomes banal, terror and violence normalized. You’re not a moustachioed villain, as you so often are in games with morality meters – you’re a bureaucrat. And it’s terrifying.

90

Although it’s conventional in some ways, Tyranny feels fresh. The theme has been explored before in other games and genres, but not to this degree. The characters are extremely interesting, whether they’re tragic or humorous. Dialogue choices are expansive, and the sheer number of permutations that can arise from your decisions give the game near-limitless replay value. Supported by solid RPG mechanics, Tyranny is a game for those who couldn’t get enough of Pillars of Eternity and its ilk.

90

The work of Obsidian on Tyranny is absolutely brilliant, may it be in terms of story, characters, dialogues and universe. This is undoubtedly the best western RPG this year.

90

Tyranny is an exercise in depicting humanity’s worst facets, and it does so in a nuanced, interesting way while being an engaging and accessible CRPG.

90

Tyranny is a game that must be played by any RPG fan. Some may knock its “old school” approach and style, but that’s about the only complaint that could be levied against such a wonderfully unique and deep RPG. It does everything Pillars of Eternity tried to do and it does so better. Consider Tyranny highly recommended and one of the best RPGs of the year.

90

Tyranny perfectly encapsulates what makes a role-playing game great. With superb writing, an engaging story and setting, solid mechanics and huge replay value, the new game from Obsidian Entertainment is a must play for all true RPG lovers. Tyranny isn’t just about the triumph of evil: it is the triumph of role-playing games.

90

Another fantastic game from Obsidian, the formula they have created from Pillars has served up another brilliant RPG for people to sink their teeth into for hours of Tyrannical enjoyment.

90

The game is not perfect, and some may find the odd all-or-nothing decision regarding forces to recruit jarring, or the locations within the world itself a little too devoid of scope to be a truly immersive experience. However, it’s in the large concepts, and in its gentle manipulation of the player’s trained responses, that Tyranny finds its purpose. A must-have for fans of the genre, and a worthwhile title for those after a truly different experience.

89

While lacking in the traditional gameplay department, if Tyranny is approached as an interactive adventure title with fascinating choices, it will surely satisfy. I’m eager to thrust myself back into the world, perhaps with a more magnanimous bent, if Obsidian will allow.

88

Well done RPG with a great story and its very own universe. Lots of decisions with comprehensible consequences.

88

With a rushed third act and a few frustrating quirks here and there, Tyranny falls just short of reaching the legendary heights of the games that inspired it. Obsidian has, however, once again delivered on their pedigree with an engrossing and inventive story of betrayal and tyrannical rule. This game is a must-play for fans of isometric narrative roleplaying games.

88

Set in a masterfully-designed world where Evil has already won, Tyranny takes the concept of role-playing choices and consequences to a whole new level. Obsidian’s latest game is sure to delight RPG fans once again.

87

Tyranny is a must-buy for the players that enjoy the RPG genre. It features thousands of options and a great plot, but with a very abrupt ending that does no good for the player.

86

Tyranny is an important entry in RPGs as it exchanges good vs. evil for order vs. chaos and demands the player to consider what they believe is just in a cruel world. A powerful achievement in its own right, Tyranny is an absolute must for players who loved Pillars of Eternity and seek a rich, engaging tale of how people act in difficult circumstances.

85

Obsidian’s new RPG excels at delivering greats amounts of reactivity and replayability with a great narrative and characters alongside it. The combat system, although solid and entertaining, is a step back from Pillars of Eternity and offers too little variety.

85

If you like roleplaying games that focus on decisions with consequences as well as moral dilemmas or is simply a fan of adventures like Planescape: Torment, you will find yourself drawn into the world of Tyranny.

83

Tyranny is an old-school RPG that inverts the roles and lets us play as a bad guy. Despite some small problems in the party management, the game is fun and features a great story.

83

Even within the limited constraint of mostly dark outcomes, Tyranny has an impressive array of potentialities to explore, and practically demands multiple playthroughs. Entirely new storylines, allies, and even visited areas might appear in a subsequent adventure, and it’s exciting to confront a new mix of betrayals and dangers.

83

Tyranny is a memorable RPG that looks great and feels fresh, even while largely working in the confines of the old Infinity Engine style. It’s also the rare sprawling RPG that invites you to replay it, as its comparatively short running time and significant changes based on choice greatly change the experience from playthrough to playthrough, and combat is deep enough to last. With Tyranny, the old feels new again.

82

With Tyranny Obsidian demonstrates once again its ability in the rpg craft. This is a rich and deep videogame, with a powerful background and a complex narrative, but it lacks courage, since it keeps the same gameplay structure seen in Pillars of Eternity and ruins its epic final act with some forced ramifications and an abrupt ending.

81

While smaller in scope than Obsidians last RPG, Tyranny astonishes with its clever way of handling choice and consequence. There are so many variables in Tyranny, you just have to play it twice.

80

Tyranny may have its issues and it may be shorter than other RPGs but it often means that, in the end, it comes together as a greater and more concise experience.

80

It might have a cliffhanger ending, poorly developed party and multiple crashes in its MacOs/Linux version, but it is hard to argue that this is the best “bad guy” RPG we have ever seen. Impressive lore, deep storytelling, meaningful choices and beautifully crafted character development make this new gem from Obsidian yet another must play for RPG aficionados.

80

Obisian knows how to drag us into Tyranny’s lore and story. One of the most attainable RPGs of the last years. Both the newbie and the veteran will enjoy Tyranny at his best.

80

Obsidian proves once again they know how to make RPGs, and if you’re a fan of the classic ones, you can’t miss this one.

80

Aiming at the old school hardcore RPG gamer, Tyranny offers a great universe and a very catching storyline. Like it’s heir, Tyranny demands quite an investment from the player in order to get aboard, but is immensely rewarding.

80

Tyranny is a great RPG with the flavor of the old Infinity Engine style. A dark, cruel, and most importantly, clever in way of handling choice and consequence.

80

Despite feeling new and familiar, and at times plodding and rushed in turn, Obsidian are proudly wearing the mantle left by Black Isle and have crafted another enjoyable story for fans of isometric CRPGs.

80

If you walk into Tyranny ready for a one-of-a-kind role-playing experience, then you’re in for an unforgettable journey.

80

Judicial administrator for the Court of an all-powerful Imperial Overlord is one hell of a premise and driving force for an RPG. Tyranny pulls it off, thanks to Obsidian’s reliable attention to world design and a dedication to ambitious, branching choices.

80

The story, and the characters within, blend perfectly, and the expertly crafted world building is something we don’t see in RPGs as of late. While Tyranny might not be as good as I had hoped it would be, it is still a welcome addition to any classic RPG fans’ library, and Obsidian should be proud of the product that they’ve released to the world. Sure, there are things that could be better, but in the grand scheme of things, Tyranny is a brilliant jaunt through a land riveted by evil. For once, it’s good to be bad.

80

Evil may be banal, but Tyranny is not. While I have some personal misgivings over how much I enjoyed such a twisted, unscrupulous game, this is a unique experience that makes you think about human nature, morality, and what role mercy and compassion should (or even could) play in a centuries-old war. It reaches beyond the standard heroic fantasy RPG where you slay monsters and save the kingdom, inverting that familiar story and setting and creating something utterly different–and somewhat depressingly realistic.

80

Whatever legacy players leave on the world of Terratus, Tyranny will leave a lasting legacy on RPGs. This is a game that truly takes on the whole concept of evil and does it justice.

80

Thanks to masterfully written dialogues, the story and screenplay of Tyranny are intriguing and well-paced. We appreciated as well the freedom provided in the character development, as well as the innovations introduced in the combat and spells systems.

80

It’s hard not to recommend Tyranny to old school CRPG veterans, as its systems and gameplay mechanics are reminiscent both of the excellent Pillars of Eternity and the classics form the early 2000, but, at the same time, it sometimes seems as a lazy reskin of Obsidian’s last efforts.

80

This is not a game that can properly be played casually as it is simply too complex and too vast to get the full experience from fifteen minutes a day. Mastering the nuances of everything that is offered and learning how to best interact with each faction and party member will take time. For those who have the time and desire, however, this is one of the more rewarding time sink titles available. With the winter months on the horizon, Tyranny is a highly-recommended game to lock yourself away with while waiting for the weather to warm up.

75

Tyranny’s bad guy morality system is a little on the nose, and other aspects of the game sometimes suffer. But the game’s dedication to that conceit works, setting a path of bargaining and self-examination. Even amidst self-doubt, I did summon a volcano and destroy a library — and I’d probably do it again.

75

Repetitive combat and an abrupt ending spoil what is otherwise a remarkable feat of worldbuilding.

70

Tyranny comes to a screeching, premature halt, but prior to that it spins an absorbing tale with which player actions have long-reaching consequences.

70

Tyranny is an excellent RPG experience that has many of the hallmarks of great classic role-playing games while still making plenty of smart choices to modernise the experience for today’s audience. Refined systems and a story where choices can often have some real consequence made my time with Tyranny rewarding, despite a disappointingly abrupt ending that left me wanting for more.

70

Playing as the bad guy has never been so disturbing, but despite all the nuanced decision-making the underlying gameplay is never as interesting as the premise.

70

Tyranny is a game of many contrasts and will stir come controversy. On one hand w have an impression that every dialogue counts and we’re always deep inside the main quest (even though we’re doing something else). On the other hand there are many gameplay solutions that look like torn out from a much more complex game and they don’t get to shine. The beginning is superb – later the game loses some of its appeal.

70

Tyranny is another showcase of Obsidian’s penchant for quality world-building and writing prowess, but limitations in the game’s scope and length as well as repetitive gameplay prevent Tyranny from being a must-play title even for fans of western styled RPGs. That said, it is an interesting enough experience that those who decide to undertake the role of Fatebinder will experience a mostly memorable tale of conquest and rebellion.

70

Tyranny is flawed, but more in the vein of a future cult classic than a failure. It’s got great ideas, just not the depth to let them shine.

60

Tyranny offers a few fresh, well-thought-out mechanics and fragments of really engrossing story, between longer periods of terribly boring combat. Open ending is not good, either – all we get after 40 hours is a suggestion that the interesting bits were saved for a sequel.

Game Reviews from around the web

If it didn’t look so similar to the completely splendid (if also marred by dull combat) Pillars Of Eternity, if those expectations weren’t weighing on it, perhaps there’d be even more leniency. But as it is, this is a decent enough RPG that feels like its wearing clothes that don’t quite fit.

My early impressions, therefore, are that Tyranny is a worthy successor to the likes of Baldur’s Gate, taking the party interactions and combat, combined with the more developed dialogue of Planescape Torment – although I can’t say yet whether it reaches the heights of the latter. It’s also a refreshingly nuanced take on the banal realities of evil, which forms an enjoyable and immersive game world that I am only just beginning to get to know. In short, if you have ever enjoyed this type of RPG in the past, I’d already heartily recommend Tyranny.

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