As Obsidian Entertainment's follow-up to the wonderfully old-school Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny throws players into a world where the battle between good and evil has long since passed. Evil won, and it's now up to the people to get in line and live under the rule of the mysterious Overlord Kyros. It's definitely a great concept for an RPG, and in terms of story Tyranny certainly delivers. And then some.
In fact, Tyranny provides a level of freedom and choice rarely seen. And even though the premise sounds like a sales-pitch to get your attention, in the end the narrative is nuanced, detailed, and chock-full of great stuff. Great big, evil stuff.
Where Tyranny excels, is in its premise, setting, and the freedom it gives players to embody the many different shades of evil. From a sales-pitch perspective Tyranny has a great hook, it takes place in a world where evil reigns supreme. The Overlord Kyros, a mysterious being with god-like powers, has won The Great War and only really has a few battles left before the entire land of Terratus is under her control. And it’s her Archons, these evil generals, that are the ones you get to see as they compete for glory to take over the last scrap of land, enslave the people, and usher in the rule of Kyros.
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Tyranny makes no attempt to provide a tale of the underdog, or shine a light on the noble and courageous few that resist the rule of Kyros. Thanks to the magic at her disposal, and the sheer size of her armies, this is a world where choice within a specific window of evil is everything. Where being the ‘good guy’ amounts to convincing a rag-tag group of rebels to drop their swords and join the Scarlet Chorus, where they will either be humiliated and systematically driven to become soulless killing machines or impaled on spikes.