Exodus isn’t content to just be one kind of first-person shooter. After an open first half focused on survival and exploration, the latter portion plays much more like its linear predecessors, to mixed results. The final two of Exodus’ four major locations suffer from their own particular issues, as well as more exasperating versions of issues that pop up all throughout the rest of the game.
Pillars of Eternity II could've been brilliant were it more focused. It has a lot of good ingredients—scraps of interesting narrative, clever characterizations, a complex faction system, and pirate-themed spins on the RPG tropes of yore. The game's got so much unfulfilled promise that, even though I think it's a plenty enjoyable game on the whole, I can't help but feel disappointed by it.
It is, on so many levels, an incredible achievement, packed with enough heart, intelligence, and confidence to sustain ten lesser games. It’s a testament to its form, even as it’s held back by it in places. It still feels premature to declare Original Sin 2 an all-time classic, as some have, but I imagine plenty of future games will borrow ideas from it. It’ll be a crying shame if they don’t.