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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Beta Stage 2 Impressions

Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is an upcoming party-based cRPG developed by Owlcat Games and an indirect sequel to the studio’s previous work Pathfinder: Kingmaker. If you haven’t been following the development of the game or are unfamiliar with the titles, consider checking out our review of Pathfinder: Kingmaker or the impressions of the first stage of beta

As the game nears its release date, revealed to be September 2nd for PCs via Steam and GoG.com, the developers tirelessly work on the new content and gather players’ feedback about all aspects of the title. 

And now, with the second stage of beta available for backers of certain tiers, the sheer amount of content to explore has been increased greatly. So grab your sentient sword, and let’s check out everything that the new beta stage has to offer! 

Note: there will be some minimal spoilers ahead, no more than you can find by scanning the game’s Kickstarter page or its Steam/GOG.com hubs, like the names of the available Mythic Paths. If you’d like to stay completely unspoiled, you may want to skip reading further. 

So, what’s in the new beta? 

Players can now go through the prologue and the first four chapters of the game which roughly amounts to 60 hours of classic RPG content. The character creator has been greatly expanded and now offers access to 25 classes and 12 character races that you can try out for yourself. 

What kind of character are you aiming to play as? An honorable Paladin that fights against the evil because it is their calling? A ferocious Barbarian looking for a fight? The game has it all, and more to create an extensive background and character for your avatar. If you are someone new to the Pathfinder franchise and don’t want to do the min-maxing to achieve the ultimate peak of character creation, the game will offer you a suggested build so you can’t screw it up as badly as I did. 

Of course, more content also means more chances for you to select and use your chosen Mythic Path: Azata, Angel, Aeon, Trickster, Lich or Demon. The team is really excited for players to dive into the Mythic Paths and learn the cost of their powers. 

The Mythic Paths also affect the story and even the relationships with your companions and the Crusade at large in a grand way, providing the game with a greater degree of replayability than even the Kingmaker and its alignment-driven options. 

Those interested in trying out the path of merciful Gold Dragon, hideous Swarm-That-Walks or a resolute Legend that chooses to completely leave aside Mythical Powers will have to wait for the later chapters of the game to see their decisions pay off. The best things are worth waiting for, right? 

But the real treasure are friends and enemies made along the way! Then again, perhaps you are someone who’d like their Crusade Commander to embark on a romantic adventure while you save the world? If so, you’d be happy to know that a cast of 12 companions have made it into the game complete with personal quests and romance options for some of them. 

The four full chapters of content means finding out more about your chosen party: what drives them, what they are afraid of, are they even the kind of people they want to be seen as? Can they be inspired or influenced to change? How can one choose to forget their own race until reminded of it?! 

You can take the sentient sword Finneas (that will, sadly, remain unromaceable to the great sadness of all Bioware fans) and the newly added dinosaur companions along with you when you go to fight the corruption of the Worldwound or visit the unique locations, be it magnificent cities, mysterious planes of existence or dungeons to delve into. 

The developers have also promised that there will be enough plot twists and unexpected turns of the story to keep players engaged and thrilled until the very end, whatever it will be! Can there be a secret ending, alike what could be achieved with Nyrissa in Pathfinder: Kingmaker? 

Well, the team didn’t outright say yes, but they also didn’t say no! 

A new feature introduced in Pathfinder is the ability to mount your companions! No, not like that

Provided your animal companion is big enough to carry your character in combat, they can serve as a mount with their own progression system and even items to equip. 

Have you ever wanted to play as a dashing commander on a noble steed? Or a ferocious protector rushing into combat atop a dinosaur to hack away limbs with the newly introduced dismemberment feature? Now you can, with a variety of mounts to choose from and to serve as your secondary tank if you want it to. Horses, giant cats and wolves, dinosaurs – the limit is your imagination (and character stats). 

The mounts might be especially helpful with the re-introduction of the Kingmaker’s feature that made it into Beta Stage Two, namely the weather effects that will assault your party of heroes. Be it rain, snow, storm, the Crusade never stops… but it can get greatly slowed down!

After the announcement that Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3 will be turn-based only like the Divinity: Original Sin 2, the fans of the classic oldschool real-time combat with pause have despaired greatly. 

Regardless of whether you prefer RTWP or TB, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous provides both options. The game’s predecessor, Kingmaker, only featured the real-time with pause with the turn-based mode available as a fan-created project.

The fluidity of both systems allows you to swap options on the fly, for example tackling a great big battle like the Siege of Drezen in RTWP mode only to swap to TB when it comes to a boss fight where you’d like to have a little bit more control over your characters and their buffs. 

As I mentioned in my impressions of Beta One, Kingmaker was my entry into the Pathfinder franchise. It came with certain difficulties as it was just different enough from the other RPGs I played to give me a hard time with the lack of guidance offered by the game.

For those that struggled in a similar way or the complete newcomers to the series drawn in by Wrath of the Righteous, Owlcat Games have introduced a completely new in-depth tutorial that will ease your way in Golarion. 

It is currently missing certain entries, but altogether it has been a great help.

Those who have been around for the initial launch of Pathfinder: Kingmaker, might remember that it was a hard time for the game due to the sheer amount of bugs and glitches it had. So much so that I preferred to sit it out until a few patches were introduced and kept fondly calling the game “Patchfinder” instead. 

If the recollection sent a shiver down your spine, you will be happy to know that Owlcat Games have taken players’ feedback to heart and launched themselves at those pesky things with an unshakeable determination. 

The earlier stages of the game run basically bug-free, with an infrequent typo or a small glitch. While the number of problems does pick up in the later chapters just made available in the beta, it is still day and night compared to the state of Kingmaker at launch. I’m sure with months still left between Beta Stage Two and the actual release, Owlcats will wipe those things out with the help of players participating in the test.

Beta One shed the light on the gradiouse scope of Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Beta Two proved that it is bigger, better, deeper, more epic than the initial impression indicated. 

If you were looking for a great RPG to spend countless hours in, perfecting your character and experimenting with a great variety of choices, the second stage of beta will provide you with just that. 

However, you might want to keep yourself away from the game until its official full release on September 2nd to check out the entire magnitude of content that it will offer and that is still missing from beta, be it unfinished features or still locked story beats. 

Written by
While growing up in the wilds of Russia, Catherine learned to talk, write and game at almost the same time. You can follow her attempts at latter two at MMORPG.com and GameSpace.

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