“Pillars of Eternity” and “Baldur’s Gate 3” (BG3) are two critically acclaimed role-playing games (RPGs) that have captured the attention of gamers with their deep narratives, strategic gameplay, and immersive worlds. Both titles draw inspiration from classic isometric RPGs, yet they offer unique experiences. Determining which is “better” is subjective, as it depends on individual preferences and priorities. In this comparison, we’ll explore various aspects of both games to provide a comprehensive view.
Narrative and Storytelling: “Pillars of Eternity” boasts a rich, original fantasy world with a compelling narrative that revolves around the player’s character, the Watcher. The game delves into complex themes, moral choices, and a deep lore that adds layers of intrigue. BG3, on the other hand, is set in the iconic Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) universe and follows a gripping tale involving Mind Flayers and a mysterious tadpole infection. The narrative in BG3 benefits from the established D&D lore, but some may argue that “Pillars of Eternity” offers a more unique and intricate story.
Gameplay and Combat: “Pillars of Eternity” features a real-time with pause combat system, allowing players to issue commands and strategically plan their moves. This system is reminiscent of classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate. BG3, developed by Larian Studios, employs a turn-based combat system, providing a more tactical and methodical approach to battles. The choice between real-time with pause and turn-based combat is subjective, depending on individual player preferences for pacing and strategic depth.
Character Creation and Development: Both games excel in character creation, offering a plethora of options for players to customize their characters. “Pillars of Eternity” allows players to choose from a variety of races, classes, and backgrounds, influencing the character’s story and interactions. BG3, following D&D rules, offers extensive character customization, including race, class, background, and alignment. The depth of character development in both games contributes to the immersive nature of the RPG experience.
Graphics and Visuals: Graphically, BG3 stands out with its impressive use of the Divinity 4.0 engine, delivering stunning visuals and dynamic environments. The character models, animations, and spell effects contribute to a visually engaging experience. “Pillars of Eternity,” while visually appealing, adopts a more traditional isometric style reminiscent of classic RPGs. The choice between a modern, visually striking aesthetic (BG3) and a nostalgic, classic look (Pillars) depends on individual preferences.
World Design and Exploration: Both games feature expansive worlds filled with diverse landscapes, dungeons, and interactive environments. “Pillars of Eternity” focuses on a handcrafted world with intricate details and a strong sense of place. BG3, true to the D&D spirit, encourages exploration, discovery, and interaction with the environment, allowing for creative problem-solving and emergent gameplay. The preference for a more curated world (Pillars) or a dynamic, interactive environment (BG3) is subjective.
Companions and Relationships: Both games emphasize the importance of companionship and relationships with NPCs. “Pillars of Eternity” presents a cast of well-developed companions, each with their own unique backstories and quests. BG3, true to Larian Studios’ style, introduces companions with distinct personalities and interactive dynamics, often leading to unexpected outcomes based on player choices. The depth and complexity of companion relationships contribute to the emotional impact of the narrative in both games.
Bug and Polish: BG3, being in early access as of my last knowledge update in January 2022, might have encountered bugs and lacked polish due to its ongoing development. “Pillars of Eternity,” having been released earlier, likely had fewer issues in terms of bugs and overall polish. However, this aspect can change over time as both games receive updates and patches.
Modding Support: “Pillars of Eternity” has a robust modding community that allows players to create and share a variety of mods, enhancing the game’s replayability. As of my last knowledge update, BG3 was expected to have modding support, but the extent and community involvement may have evolved since then.
Final Conclusion on Pillars of Eternity vs BG3: Which is better?
In conclusion, determining which game is “better” between “Pillars of Eternity” and “Baldur’s Gate 3” depends on personal preferences. “Pillars of Eternity” appeals to those who enjoy a deep, original narrative, real-time with pause combat, and a more traditional isometric RPG experience. On the other hand, “Baldur’s Gate 3” caters to fans of turn-based combat, a dynamic and interactive world, and the rich lore of Dungeons & Dragons. Both games stand as shining examples of the RPG genre, offering unique experiences for players with different tastes and preferences.