The first expansion pack for Obsidian Entertainment’s brilliant Pillars of Eternity.
Obsidian Entertainment have now released their first expansion for the real-time with pause Role-playing game Pillars of Eternity. More than just random DLC, The White March Part One easily offers double figures worth of additional time in the game, making this expansion a great reason to head back in.
And the good news, for those gamers who like to take things slowly, is that The White March Part One is not an end game expansion only for those who have finished the core game, but rather it is open to anyone who has reached a certain point in the main game. That is not to say that everyone will be ready for The White March, but at least they have the option.
Upon reaching the point in the core game’s story where the player takes control of their stronghold, they will receive a letter from the town of Stalwart asking for help. This will see the player heading into the frozen north.
The town of Stalwart is failing, but the Mayor has an idea about how to reverse their fortunes. There is an ancient Dwarven fortress known as Durgan’s Battery, which contains a legendary forge capable of making the strongest steel in the world. It has been sealed for many years, and guess who gets the job of opening it up and bringing prosperity to Stalwart?
The main story in The White March Part One is enjoyable, but doesn’t really measure up to the main story in the core game. Also, the numerous side quests don’t feel as engaging for the most part, although they are still quite well varied and plentiful, offering yet more insight into the lore of this fantasy world.
It seems as though the emphasis on this first expansion is more about challenging the player with difficult combat encounters. Players who have not quite leveled their group of adventurers high enough will soon know about it. For players with a high level group, the option to increase the difficulty of the enemies is offered, but even without choosing the more difficult option, even high level players will be tested. The expansion includes two new dungeons to explore, and alongside the Durgan’s Battery dungeon there is an even more taxing dungeon called Cragholdt Bluffs, designed specifically for high level, highly skilled players. Cragholdt Bluffs is surely only for the brave.
In addition to the new main quest, side quests and dungeons to explore, The White March Part One brings two new party members for the player to enlist in the shape of Zuhua and the Devil of Caroc. Zahua is a monk who happens to be handy with his fists and decidedly quirky. The Devil of Caroc is perhaps the more interesting though, being the spirit of a murderer trapped in a mechanical body. Both of these new characters are welcome additions to the game. Also with the expansion, the level cap is increased to 14.
In The White March Part One, players move out of the green and into the white. It is a nice change to be wandering in the icy north, and the team have done a wonderful job of creating a chilling landscape for players to explore. While keeping with the same style as the rest of the game, the addition of snow and ice to the environment really makes the game feel cold, and the creatures and monsters that the player will face fit in nicely with the frozen theme.
The White March Part One is a good first expansion. It doesn’t feel as epic as it could, and it doesn’t do anything drastically different. But it does provide an excuse to spend yet more time playing Pillars of Eternity, if an excuse was ever needed, and it provides a challenge that players will not have to wait for the end game to enjoy. If you to expand your Pillars of Eternity experience, and are ready for a challenge, then The White March Part One is well worth picking up.