Tyranny is a very cool evolution of the classical RPG. Where it does quite a few things very right, and one very much not so.
Choice is the name of the game, with every action having a reaction down the line. Sometimes these are quite immediate and obvious, and at other times, you’ll never notice until you start a new playthrough and a faction goes from hostile to ..not.
The choices in the game take the tried and true method of giving you a few options and having you pick from them, and it even has the normal “you cant do this one yet because you aren’t at 50 Strength” options. But where the game takes it a few steps further is that the dialogue are impacted by more – your companions with interject with their opinions, the person you’re talking you might not WANT to talk to certain characters or might offer completely different dialogue.
Coupled with the way the game moves the decision making into the world, with the way you solve puzzles and dungeons as well as how you complete quests also greatly shaping the world. add a healthy reputation system and you’ve got every knob you turn to make a great roleplay experience.
But that’s not where it ends, because a RPG needs loot – and loot means combat. and the real time combat, coupled with the tactical pause button to manage it, adds a nice mix away from the usual FPS or Turn based mechanics we’re used to with – again – choice being the number one thing: Various characters gain abilities based on reputation that range from buffs, to massive multi-character abilities with a large impact in any fight.
Sadly for Tyranny – where it shines in talking and stabbing, the loot you get in combat needs to be equipped, carried and bartered using the inventory system, and here the game does lose some points. The inventory system is way to cumbersome and tedious and has you spend endless minutes deciding if you can use an item on character X or Y and even if you can, if the 0.12 DPS increase is worth it vs the 0.1s recovery penalty… very underwhelming.
As with any obsidian RPG you can expect a massive campaign, and unlike many games this isn’t a open world experience – the experience is quite targeted and directed, slowly opining up the world to you as you progress through the story.
Tyranny does a damn good job of being a solid classic style RPG, and while not perfect – the good outstrips the bad by far.