Pillars of Eternity (original working title Project Eternity and Project Trenton) is a party-based role-playing video game inspired by the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and Planescape: Torment) set in an original fantasy world created by Obsidian Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux. The game was crowd funded via Kickstarter campaign and PayPal pledges. The Kickstarter campaign achieved its initial funding goal within 24 hours of launch, and was concluded on October 16, 2012 after raising $3,986,929 in total from 73,986 backers, with additional $324,650 from roughly 5,698 backers PayPal pledges.
Pillars of Eternity was released on March 26, 2015. Two years later the release for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles followed – on August 29, 2017.. On July 26, 2019, Obsidian announced that the game would be coming to the Nintendo Switch on August 8, 2019, and as expected, the game went live on the Nintendo eShop two weeks later.
Pillars of Eternity takes the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur's Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.
The world map is dotted with unique locations and wilderness ripe for exploration and questing. You’ll create your own character and collect companions along the way – taking him or her not just through this story, but, with your continued support, through future adventures. You will engage in dialogues that are deep, and offer many choices to determine the fate of you and your party. And you'll experience a story that explores mature themes and presents you with complex, difficult choices to shape how your story plays out. The keys to success in combat is positioning your party and coordinating attacks and abilities.
The game uses a tactical "real-time with pause" system and a slow combat toggle that can be used with or in lieu of the pause feature. The camera has a fixed axonometric (high angle like isometric) perspective with zoom. The environments are 2D backgrounds combined with 3D characters and visual effects.
Setting and story
The game takes place in a brand new fantasy world, Eora. It is roughly based on 16th century medieval technology levels, where magic and power is determined by the quality of a person's soul. The story takes place in a small nation in the world's southern hemisphere called the Dyrwood (DEER-wood). The Dyrwood is a heavily forested, coastal region where colonial powers from across the ocean have settled and formed an uneasy relationship with the local residents, the Glanfathans, tribes of orlans and elves who are protective of the ancient ruins of Eir Glanfath on the forest's interior. Eir Glanfath was the home of the Engwithans, an ancient melting pot of races that built elaborate, often massive, structures out of a living shell-like substance called adra. Though the fate of the ancient Engwithans is unknown, their dangerous and complex ruins show evidence they possessed extensive knowledge of how souls work. For this reason, all of the surrounding colonial powers aggressively fight for the chance to explore and plunder Engwithan ruins, often bringing the local tribes into conflict with their relatively new neighbors and the neighbors into conflict with each other.
The central character in the story is a newcomer to the Dyrwood, caught up in a bizarre supernatural phenomenon. This event puts them in a difficult position, where they must explore the new world to solve a series of problems that have been thrust upon them.
Obsidian chose to use a crowd funding model for Project Eternity instead of the traditional developer/publisher arrangement, since trying to get funding for a traditional fantasy RPG through a traditional publisher would be next to impossible. On 16 October 2012, Project Eternity's funding campaign concluded with a total of $3,986,929. The Project was tentatively scheduled to be released in Quartal 4, 2014. On December 10, 2013, Obsidian announced that the official title for the game will be Pillars of Eternity, dropping the working title Project Eternity.
In March 2014, it was announced that Paradox Interactive will publish the game. They will handle the fulfillment and distribution of the physical copies of the game along with the physical rewards from the Kickstarter campaign, as well as the localization for foreign languages. They will also be offering Quality Assurance Testing for the title. (Obsidian retains the rights to the IP)
- Destructoid: 8.5/10
- GameWatcher: 9/10
- IGN: 9/10
- MMORPG.com: 9/10
- PC Gamer: 92/100
- PCGamesN: 10/10
- The Escapist: 5/5
As of February 2016, the game has sold over 700,000 copies.
A two part-expansion titled The White March was announced by Obsidian at E3 2015. The White March - Part I was released on August 25, 2015, and The White March - Part II was released on February 16, 2016. The expansion adds The White March, a new mountainous arctic region to the map, along with new companions, characters, quests, creatures, abilities and items.
A free content pack, the Deadfire Pack was released on November 16, 2017. It adds a collection of items and new portraits, inspired by the game's then-upcoming sequel, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. It is the only content pack for the game, not including the backer and pre-order in-game items. While included in the Definitive Edition, it can be downloaded as a separate addition for free.
Other unique in-game content
The following items are granted to eligible players upon creating a new character.
- Gaun's Pledge and Miniature Giant Space Piglet, as a reward for pre-ordering the game.
- Cloak of the Obsidian Order and Tiny Obsidian Wurm pet, included in most Kickstarter backer tiers.
Pillars of Eternity was released in a few different editions. Each edition includes the base game, and a series of bonus content and material, with the higher valued packages containing more additional content and bonus material.
On Steam, each of the editions (Hero, Champion, Royal, and Definitive) can be purchased as normal. On other DRM-free platforms, Obsidian have since consolidated this to only the Hero and Definitive editions, for simplicity. The expansions The White March - Part I and The White March - Part II, can be purchased individually. On Steam, upgrade packs can be purchased on top of the base game in order to unlock the additional content contained in both the Champion and Royal editions.
On consoles, the release is consolidated to a single Complete Edition, containing the base game and its expansions. No additional digital or physical content is included. The game can be purchased on the systems themselves, or via the Playstation Store, Microsoft Store, and Nintendo eShop.
|Features||Hero Edition||Champion Edition||Royal Edition||Definitive Edition||Complete Edition*|
|Pillars of Eternity (base game)|
|The White March - Part I|
|The White March - Part II|
|Deadfire Pack (free)|
Pillars of Eternity: Hero Edition contains only the base game and the Pillars of Eternity Manual. Expansions, DLCs, and upgrades to other editions can be purchased separately.
Pillars of Eternity: Champion Edition delivers additional content on top of the base game:
- The digital original soundtrack with 26 tracks
- This soundtrack contains many of the game's music tracks performed by a live orchestra. Contains at least 17 tracks in MP3 and FLAC formats.
- A digital campaign almanac of 36 pages: the Almanac Of The Eastern Reach, 2823 AI.
- The Campaign Almanac contains everything related to the lore, history, and world of Eora as originally told by Hylsman Horag and revised by the Hand Occult. The 35 page almanac has commentary provided by a variety of authors and is an engrossing read for anyone keen to delve deeper into the world of the Pillars of Eternity.
- A making of documentary video of more than 1h 20m length: The Road to Eternity
- A video documentary of the entire Pillars of Eternity development process - from beginning to end. Includes commentary from the developers and behind the scenes footage of game shows and events.
- A digital hi-res game map
- A high resolution map of Eora's Eastern Reach. Details include locations that players will be traveling to and locations that they may be seen in future Pillars of Eternity products.
- Eight wallpapers
- High resolution and multi-monitor wallpapers of cool concept art and in-game artwork.
- Nineteen mobile phone ringtones
- Short clips of sounds and music from Pillars of Eternity. Perfect as mobile ringtones.
Pillars of Eternity: Royal Edition expands the bonus content further:
- A 76 pages digital novella by Chris Avellone, The House of Wael, in various e-book formats and as audiobook.
- A digital novella that focus on the backstory of some of the more interesting characters that players may encounter over the course of their travels in Pillars of Eternity.
- A collector's book of 114 pages, the Pillars of Eternity Guidebook Volume One
- Digital version of the book that is being published by Dark Horse. It contains lots of information and art on the setting, story, and creatures of Pillars of Eternity. 112 pages.
- 35 hi-res concept art pieces
- High resolution pieces of our concept art. Contains everything from concepts of areas and creatures to props and mood pieces.
- The digital version of the Pillars of Eternity Collector's Edition Strategy Guide, 512 pages
- Digital version of our strategy guide from Prima penned by the same writer of the Fallout: New Vegas guide. Contains all the information players will need to master Pillars of Eternity and reveal all of the content available.
The Royal Edition is only available on Steam. Again it is offered as an upgrade to the Hero Edition and Champion Edition.
The White March Expansion Pass
An upgrade pack containing the Champion and Royal Edition bonus content, as well as Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part I, and Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part II. It was available to purchase at launch, and served as a pre-purchase for The White March expansions.
Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition was released for computers on November 15, 2017. It contains all previous digital content from the various editions, up to the Royal Edition, both expansions and the Deadfire Pack add-on. It is the most comprehensive digital edition of the game, and is available for purchase alongside the Hero Edition.
On Steam, the Definitive Edition is only missing the "Cooking with Tim!" cookbook. It is only included with the DRM-free versions (GOG, Humble), and as a Kickstarter backer reward.
Pillars of Eternity: Collector's Edition included a physical box with additional physical contents, and was only available to backers who funded the campaign with $140 or more. In addition to the Collector's Edition Guide by Prima Games as a bound book, it contained various extras, depending on the backing tier.
- A cloth map of the game world
- A Project Eternity cloth patch in different qualities
- A mouse pad
- The documentary on an optical disc.
- Early access to the game's beta
- The box signed by the developer team
- The game's manual as printed version
- A t-shirt
- A special forum badge
More promotional items were available and could be purchased during and after the funding campaign, including a physical copy of the soundtrack and playing cards.
Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition was a release for home consoles; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and later the Nintendo Switch. It contains the base game and both expansions - The White March - Part I and Part II.
A sequel to Pillars of Eternity was released on May 8, 2018. Also set in Eora, it takes place in the Deadfire Archipelago, approximately 5 years after the events in The Dyrwood. It sees the return of many characters, and continues the story of the Watcher. The game was successfully crowdfunded through Fig.
- Frequently asked questions
- Official website
- Crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign and pre-Kickstarter Teaser.
- Update #34: FIRST ART UPDATE - Pillars of Eternity "We use code names for our projects, because we’re professionals. Project Eternity (also a code name) is Project Trenton. BOOM! Yep, you got it! And nope! I’m not gonna tell you any more about that."
- Release Trailer on Paradox Interactive's YouTube channel
- Console Announcement Trailer on Paradox Interactive's YouTube channel
- Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition Available Now!
- Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition is out now!
- Pillars of Eternity for Switch Release Date Announced!
- @WorldofEternity on Twitter - Twitter announcement of Nintendo Switch release.
- Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition Available Now on the Nintendo Switch!
- Update #50: So... Project Eternity!
- Mega-Impressions: Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity
- Pillars of Eternity – Partnership FAQ for Backers
- Review: Pillars of Eternity Destructoid
- Pillars of Eternity Review GameWatcher
- Pillars of Eternity Review IGN
- Pillars of Eternity Review: A Modern Classic MMORPG.com
- Pillars of Eternity PCGamer
- Pillars of Eternity review PCGamesN
- Pillars of Eternity Review - More Than Homage The Escapist
- Pillars Of Eternity Expansion Out, More Pillars Coming Rock, Paper, Shotgun
- Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition Arrives November 15th for PC, Mac, and Linux!
- Project Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment — Kickstarter