The White March: Part II expansion for Pillars of Eternity boasts better pacing and lore than its humdrum predecessor, but at the cost of a running time that feels somewhat inadequate. A welcome new Story Time mode helps dull the force of the brutal combat though, and memorable settings and enemies make this an expansion to savor.
The White March Part II wraps up the Pillars of Eternity saga with heavy combat and a one-note mythological quest.
Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 2 offers a focused, fast-paced endcap to the Watcher's tale, answering all of the lingering questions from Part 1, and then some. The encounter design brings some ongoing problems with Pillars combat to the forefront in several areas, but the overall experience is balanced out by high quality storycraft, interesting new locales, and momentous, world-shaping decisions available to the player.
The White March Part 2 brings this multi-part expansion to a satisfying, and typically well-constructed, conclusion; solidifying Pillars of Eternity as one of the best CRPG titles of recent years.
This second part is far better than the first: the focus is back on storytelling, and gameplay is fine as well.
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Hats off to Obsidian Entertainment for creating and curating a fantasy world I can care about again, and here's hoping for many more adventures in the future.
A necessary purchase for those who enjoyed Pillars of Eternity.
Damn near everything I could have hoped for out of a Pillars of Eternity expansion
If only marching through the snow was always this much fun
[SPOILER WARNING] The White March has its issues—pacing problems in the first half, an over-reliance on huge groups of enemies in the second, and three companions who aren't given enough time to breathe before their quests are over—but it's a solid expansion with some incredible moments sprinkled throughout.
Ultimately, it comes down to your own relationship with Pillars. I know, I know. Lazy journalism. But if you've taken a lot of time off and don't feel like you can re-engage with the world in a short time, you'll maybe miss some of the fun. When you roll back into Stalwart and the locals are coming up to you and talking about things you can only vaguely remember, something is lost. If I remove my own personal feelings on the matter, though, it's exactly what you'd hope for: a roughly ten-hour excursion back into a fantasy world you know and love.
The first part of The White March wasn't exactly a bastion of innovation, so fans who were satisfied with it will certainly enjoy this conclusion, as it is undoubtedly the better of the two halves, regardless of its steps toward stagnation. It's telling that, despite having already put around 100 hours into the first two Pillars of Eternity releases, this one was still thoroughly enthralling enough to sink in another 10-15.
Pillars of Eternity: The White March in its entirety represents a worthy expansion for the classic role-playing experience that Obsidian has created and shows how the studio can tackle other regions of Eora in the future.