Pathfinder Kingmaker Definitive Edition is an RPG based on the popular tabletop game and alternative to Dungeons & Dragons called Pathfinder. It is available this month on PS NOW. I think one of the best things about modern and classic role-playing games is that sense of exploration as it’s basically what brought me to tabletop games in the first place, traveling across dangerous uncharted lands and maybe ruling them.
Pathfinder Kingmaker sets itself apart from other campaigns by making it part city builder and the goal of the campaign wasn’t just to defeat bad guys and get treasure but you also had to rule the kingdom from its infancy and be a wise and just ruler or just burn it all to the ground which is always an option. Those ingredients are basically tailor made for a classic RPG style video game adaptation. Initially there’s a lot going for this game as you can play any sort of character you like.
There are countless races, classes and sub classes to choose from and you can be a good guy or bad guy. When you get into the world there are lots of party members to discover and recruit as you take over a new developing civilization and have to make important decisions for the future of your people. You’re a Baron but you’re a get up and do things yourself kind of Baron so the game is divided between the throne room and the battlefield which is awesome. There are uncharted pieces of the map that need to be uncovered.
There’s tons of loot and all kinds of quests from the personal ones to the adventures that’ll make your kingdom thrive. I really like the attitude of Pathfinder Kingmaker as there’s a ton of that grim dark stuff out there lately but there’s something sort of old school and idealistic about this game like a classic “I’m going on an adventure theme” that’s become less and less common as the 80’s fade into the distance. I like that the game isn’t afraid to be overly excited about slaying monsters and there’s something sort of pure about that.
Ultimately the game got really frustrating for me due to the combat as it’s so unbalanced that it made the satisfaction of all the other moving parts smaller and smaller as the game went on. I know that might sound funny as I just praised the game about all the great things it has and then essentially said that it was constrained by combat alone. As me and my party got stronger, I was not expecting to keep fighting little goblins forever but the amount that the bad guys scale up in difficulty as you level up feels a little out of whack.
The sheer scale of the fights gets crazy and it feels like every fight is 50 percent longer than the one that came before it. That’s where an adaptation of the paper and pen tabletop game has its limits, if you’re a Dungeon Master and you notice that your players are getting bored by having a knock down dragged out fight every 5 minutes followed by a day of resting and healing followed by more fights.
You would have to make some changes to keep your players engaged and there were times I wish I could have had a chat with my DM during Pathfinder Kingmaker as all too often it gets boring and more than a little tedious. It gets to the point where it’s actually kind of hilarious where a quest to pick up some fruit for an NPC ends up taking forever because I’m constantly being swamped by dozens and dozens of enemies.
This sucks because Pathfinder Kingmaker has so much working for it that it really should have been a home run. Pathfinder Kingmaker Definitive Edition also has all of its DLC bundled with this edition and adds 3 story quests, new spells and items to the game. If you enjoy Tabletop games or the isometric RPG’s of old you will enjoy this game but just be prepared to grind a lot.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Definitive Edition has been permanently added to the PS NOW service.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Definitive Edition has some fun interaction between roleplaying, combat, and ruling the land but some of the combat can be unforgiving and feels more like a chore than fun.