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gamescom 2016


Gamescom Demo Shows Off Spell Creation And Combat
by Elise Favis on Aug 25, 2016 at 09:00 AM
Platform PC
Publisher Paradox Interactive
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Rating Not rated

In Tyranny, the world has turned upside down. Evil has conquered good, and you're one of the baddies. During Gamescom, we got a better look at one of Tyranny's dungeons, and its spell creation system.

Tyranny is an isometric RPG from Obsidian, similar to the likes of Baldur's Gate and Pillars of Eternity. Set in a magical land following a devastating war, you play as an officer to the evil overlord Kyros. While evil reigns in Tyranny, certain story choices you make affect the world around you. You can either continue to be merciless, or try to make this land a better place.

In the demo, we chase after another character, leading us into a dungeon beyond the Old Walls, which are large structures believed to have been built by an ancient civilization. 

Before diving into combat, I saw the new spell creation system. Around Tyranny's world, you come across magic sigils, and these give you basic formulas for spells. These consist of core elements such as fire, ice, healing, or lightning. By mixing and matching different components, you then add accents, where you can change the area of effect or range. Each spell can be given its own custom name and has a runic symbol that changes shape depending on its accents and customizations. Finally, you assign a spell to a corresponding party member who has a high enough lore level to conjure it.

Your party includes up to four members, making it a small group that is easier to manage. Mine consisted of a healer, tank, mage, and ranged character, but unlike Obsidian's previous game Pillars of Eternity, you don't pick standard classes in Tyranny. Instead, you customize your characters into your own unique mold.

Tyranny features play-and-pause combat, meaning you can pause the real-time fighting at any moment and assign moves or attacks for your party members to use. When you're not controlling a party member, they are automatically directed commands by the A.I. Your characters have a single health bar, rather than both health and endurance like in Pillars of Eternity. They can hold their own well, but it's best to issue commands and take charge of their maneuvers to aid your group towards victory.

Combat is a flashy spectacle of ice spikes and fireballs, making fights entertaining to watch. All enemies have weaknesses and strengths, and you can view them any time during battle to help you deduce which damage type is most effective against them. One dynamic part of these fights is that your party members can perform team attacks, such as a character throwing your archer upwards, resulting in a shower of arrows raining down on the enemy. Another addition is artifact weapons, which are special tools that increase in power and effectiveness the more you use them.

I was impressed by Tyranny's deep customization and spell creation, leaving me excited to see more of what this CRPG has in store. Tyranny releases this year on PC. For more on the game, head here.

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