The 20-plus hour commitment to The Pillars of the Earth is well worth it to enjoy this interactive towering tale, faithfully adapted to near-perfection by Daedalic. For patient gamers, this is not a narrative adventure that should be missed.
All in all, The Pillars of the Earth: Book One - From the Ashes is an excellent story-driven point-and-click adventure that mostly knows what its audience wants. This is reflected in the good gameplay and storytelling, and we hope some of the minor flaws and gripes will be addressed in books two and three, which will be released at the end of the year and in the first quarter 2018, respectively.
The first episode of Daedalics The Pillars of the Earth is beautifully designed, has a great presentation but slightly too little gameplay. However it gives you a thrilling and interesting story to enjoy.
Daedalic's novel adaptation delivers a great story, beautiful visuals and interesting characters. 12th century England makes for a fascinating setting, but unfortunately far too much time is wasted on backtracking and tedious puzzles.
The visuals are fantastic and the story is a good adaptation of the book but most choices lead to the same result.
The first book kicks off very slowly but it gets better during the second and third books.
The Pillars of the Earth is a hybrid of visual novel and a 2D point and click game. Usually many hybrid games I play lean one way and the other is just an add on or gimmick. Pillars actually is literally one part 2D point and click for every part visual novel. Each scene you have to solve a puzzle which will be your typical fare of using something in your inventory on the screen or combining items. After each puzzle scene there is dialogue in which you will be making dialogue choices. The game is based on the novel of the same name. You play a variety of characters centered around a power struggle in England in the 1100’s as the King has died without a living heir and a power struggle erupts throwing the country into chaos.
The puzzle parts are pretty standard if you have played any number of point and click games. For the most part it is pretty straight forward and makes sense but there is the odd time where I could understand what they wanted from me but they had a way of getting it done that boggled my mind and didn’t seem logical. Not overly surprising considering that is almost a staple of the genre. The visual novel parts were well done. I enjoyed the choices and thought the game did a good job of not making everything black and white or good/evil. Some choices are timed where more important ones are not. At the end of each chapter you get a summary of your choices and some of the outcomes. If I have one gripe about the game was the story itself. I can understand that since it is based on a book so they probably didn’t want to venture too far off the established path but it was pretty dry at times and I will say I became a bit bored during some parts. That being said when the game was good I was engaged and thought it was great. The ending was a bit different from what I was hoping as things seemed to go a bit darker before settling into a more typical happy ending that I don’t think different choices in game would have changed. The animations were well done as was the art. The voice acting was top notch across the board.
I played The Pillars of the Earth on Linux. It did crash on launch at first. I determined that the game required a file, “****”, that wasn’t shipped with the game and after installing that the game started just fine and never gave me further crashes. It did open on the wrong monitor and I had to manually move it over to my main one. There was no config file I could find to specify which monitor to use and no in game option for it. Alt-Tab worked just fine. You can manually save whenever you want and there are checkpoints for those who don’t want to. While playing the game my total system RAM usage was 3GB, the total CPU usage was around 7% and my VRAM usage was 1.1GB. There were no graphics options besides resolution. I played using version 1.1.703 of the game from GOG.
Overall whether you enjoy visual novels or 2D point and click games I can recommend The Pillars of the Earth. It may be a bit dry and doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it is very enjoyable for the majority of the playthrough and is solid on both fronts. I paid $13.99 CAD for it and would say it is worth $25 CAD.
My Score: 7/10
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X | 16GB DDR4-3000 CL15 | MSI RX 580 8GB Gaming X | Mesa 19.1.4 | Samsung 850 Evo 250GB | Manjaro 18.0.4 | Mate 1.22.1 | Kernel 5.2.8-1-MANJARO
Favorite Thing: After the story got going it was fairly interesting.
Least Favorite Thing: The game starts too slow. I almost gave it up within the first few hours.
Date Completed: 2019-05-24
Recommendation: It's not one of my top point & click games but if you stick with it the story won't disappoint.
This is a point-and-click historical fiction novel. It's a good story that's quite emotional at times. I definitely enjoyed it, but it's also a bit mundane and bland compared to top-notch walking simulators such as The Walking Dead, Life is Strange, and What Remains of Edith Finch--all of which are extremely emotionally-stimulating compared to The Pillars of the Earth.
SummaryBased on Ken Follett’s world-bestseller, The Pillars of the Earth retells the story of the village of Kingsbridge in a whole new way. Play as Jack, Aliena, and Philip and change the events of the book through exploration, decision-making and dialogues.