There’s a frustratingly good idea in Tyranny, but you’ll have to push your way through an unstimulating plot and mediocre combat to find it.
It’s not as much of a ground-breaker as Pillars of Eternity was last year, but Tyranny continues to show off Obsidian’s best qualities as RPG makers and their incredible ability to craft interesting worlds and characters.
Unexciting battles are easy to stomach when the beauty of a title lies in its world building, and, thankfully, the drenched-in-evil universe of Tyranny is fantastic, both in the way it is structured and in how it handles the concept of morality. Unfortunately, its potential has been thrown from the tallest spire's window, and instead of becoming the magnificent masterpiece that it sometimes feels it is, it turns out to be a very rough diamond that reeks of rushed production.
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.
That being said, if you enjoy a well-written book that happens to have a few dungeons and some evenly-leveled combat thrown in every ten minutes or so, you really can’t go wrong with Obsidian’s wordy magnum opus. Just get a good pair of reading glasses first.
Evil is a tough nut to crack, but Obsidian have made a few fractures in the shell surrounding it; the next step is to break it wide open with a sequel. Otherwise, Tyranny will likely remain a cult classic RPG in the vein of Arcanum or Suikoden; great ideas that ultimately fall short of their full potential.
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.
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.
Tyranny comes to a screeching, premature halt, but prior to that it spins an absorbing tale with which player actions have long-reaching consequences.
Tyranny is in many ways the Hamlet of videogames. By which I mean it is a fascinating exploration of the ways in which human behaviour can descend into evil, featuring a lengthy middle section defined by delay and conversation, before everything suddenly ends in a flurry of violence and a disappointing final exchange. There is much to like about Tyranny, but the game itself doesn’t live up to its narrative strengths.
Tyranny is most certainly a tale of two halves. The first half is immediately gripping and combat starts off a bit challenging due to the lack of abilities and options. As the game enters its second half, the plot starts to feel rushed and gameplay becomes an issue of "been there, done that." The world and lore built here are worth exploring and I anxiously await another excuse to return to this setting, but at the same time, I really hope it comes with improvements to the AI and combat in general.
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.
Tyranny is a good game, but not a great one. In a year that's been light on RPGs, it's a solid offering worth picking up, but don't expect it to be as good as Pillars of Eternity.
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.
Repetitive combat and an abrupt ending spoil what is otherwise a remarkable feat of worldbuilding.
It has its faults, but its approach to magic and reputation, alongside predominantly good writing make Tyranny a valid choice for cRPG enthusiasts. With all its missteps, I want to go back and replay Tyranny, simply for the sake of making different decisions and seeing what happens if I support the Scarlet Chorus or, why not, nobody. While not flawless, writing outshines combat and, for me, that’s enough to warrant a replay.
Tyranny is one of the few games that can tackle extremism and ethical divergences in a meaningful way. An interesting perspective of how flawed humanity is.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
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.
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.
Review in Italian | Read full review
It seems the Classic RPG is here to stay