Slow is probably the best way of describing The Pillars of the Earth now that I’ve finished it. It is focused on story more than any other game I have played in a long time. It tells a long book’s story, and as such it dances across the bridge between hard-core story and point-and-click adventure. Not much has really changed here as we enter the final episode, and if you couldn’t stomach the others you cannot stomach this one, no matter how good I may think it is.
The story continues straight off from the previous episode. Jack is off travelling to find his father, and plenty of characters have left Kingsbridge to seek luck in a less violent place. Kingsbridge is still a central focus, and the fate of this cathedral and its residents hangs in the balance. That’s all I can say without giving anything away.
Now even more than before the narrative is slow, and it surprisingly has become almost slower. Large plot devices are revealed and this episode requires a lot of listening and reading for you to understand everything that is happening. A lot of the time you’ll be stepping back from the controls so you’ll want some popcorn on hand for those moments.
The gameplay is the same bread-and-butter as before. There was no reason for change, it’s tried and true and still works here. Dialogue decision are your main staple, with a smattering of simple puzzles and quick-time events. A little development of gameplay would have been nice but what is there works and it’s hard to find fault other than the reliance on dialogue as player action, more impact in those actions and how more puzzles would have been appreciated by people such as myself.
Now the review could stop right here, but it is given that there should be the comparison to the previous 2 volumes. Compared to them, In the Eye of the Storm falls a little short. Particularly this is due to the pace; it is faster than the others, ending rather starkly also. The conclusion isn’t dissatisfying, and it is difficult to compare the ending to the others, as they are designed to compel you to continue rather than provide a solid end. But going from around 5-6 hours in book 1 and 2 to around 3 hours for book 3 feels a bit cheapening and you will feel the difference in time.
Overall, In the Eye of the Storm is a solid end to the story, despite a rather sudden halt in its finish. Everything is up to the par you would expect from the previous chapters; it is polished, with stunning art and voice acting, and the story is satisfying. The short length is slightly disappointing, and well as the story-heavy shift, but for those who have made it this far it is worth seeing it through. For those who are coming in here this is probably one of the finest point-and-click adventures to date, and definitely worth a try for those who love the genre.