Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is one of the best RPGs we’ve seen in recent years, and perhaps one of the best cRPGs of this decade. You can read our review here. TL;DR- we loved it. The first DLC for Pillars of Eternity II, Beast of Winter came out earlier this month and we’ve been tearing through it.
Beast of Winter: Plot and Setting
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire- Beast of Winter is set on an iceberg on the Southern edge of the Deadfire Archipelago, called Harbinger’s Watch. A group of Rymrgand’s worshipers have gathered here and in hopes of fulfilling some bizarre prophecy, they invite the Watcher to a feast. In case you didn’t know Rymrgand is the god of death and disease, basically everything that causes pain and suffering.
At first sight, the task appears quite simple- kill a dragon that has been a major nuisance for quite some years, centuries in fact. But how do you destroy something that doesn’t stay dead? I mean after you chop a creature into tiny bits, dragon or not, its supposed to stay dead. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule for that kind of thing.
After following the now re-animated dragon, you discover that it has actually made it’s lair in the White Maw, the domain of Rymrgand and take it from me that guy is the worse of the gods. I know all the gods are just plain rotten after ruling for so long, but Rymrgand is literally rotten, at least the form he takes is anyway.
Rymrgand confronts the Watcher and reveals that the dragon has been a major pest in his dead realm ever since it managed to cheat death. He allows the Watcher to enter his realm, soul intact, with the promise that they’ll rid him of the dragon.
Next you can directly jump into the dragon’s lair and beat it, but it’ll be an insanely difficult fight especially at the higher diff levels or if you’ve not maxed out your party’s power levels.
The other option (and the most logical and enjoyable one) is to explore the depths of hell and gain some knowledge as to how you can beat your undead foe. It’s not exactly a lively place. I mean its every soul’s last destination, where they are disintegrated into nothingness, but hey at least you get to explore it and who doesn’t love a bunch of trap-ridden areas full of soul-reapers.
Bridging the Gap Between Pillars of Eternity I and II
But enough with the jokes. The best thing about Beast of Winter is that it clears up a lot of questions that you might have about the first game- most importantly, the Saints’ War. The bridge where the Godhammer bomb was detonated to supposedly destroy Eothas (the god of light) is one of the areas you can access and view the course of events as Saint Waiden, the invader from Readceras is torn to bits. Eothas’ motives and objectives are further explored, filling the gaps left by the main story while also setting the stage for the events of the first game.
The other primary areas that you can chew through are the drowned Kingdom of Ukaizo and an Inquisitor’s realm who has forgotten her identity after being trapped in the White Maw for several centuries.
The Beast of Winter DLC is mostly linear with a couple of small side-quests. However, the asking price of $10 more than justifies the 6-8 hours of content it offers. So as long as you liked the base game (which is quite impossible to hate), I don’t see any reason to not recommend Beast of Winter, the first story DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.