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Ken Folletts The Pillars of the Earth

Based on Ken Follett's world-bestseller, ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ retells the story of the village of Kingsbridge in a whole new interactive way. Play as Jack, Aliena and Philip and change the events of the book through exploration, decision-making and dialogues. 12th century, England: In a time of great poverty and war, a small town begins the construction of a cathedral to claim wealth and security for its people. In their struggle to survive, lives and destinies intertwine. Philip the monk becomes prior of the small abbey of Kingsbridge. At the same time, a boy called Jack is raised in the woods by his outlawed mother. His apprenticeship as a stonemason paves his way to become a gifted master builder. Together with the disgraced noblewoman Aliena, Jack and Philip begin the construction of one of the greatest cathedrals England will ever see. One of the most successful novels of all time, now adapted as a three-part videogame series.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Introduction
Pillars of the Earth is a point and click adventure, that plays more like an interactive movie. The story takes places in medieval times and spans across five decades. The game is based on a book of same name written by Ken Follett. I'm not familiar with the book and its' author, so I'm going to judge the game by its' own merit.
Pros & Cons
Pros:
+ Engaging story that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster
+ Charismatic characters with different backgrounds and opinions
+ Beautiful graphics
Cons:
- Dull gameplay
- Bare bones animations
- No skip or pause buttons during cutscenes
- Ending feels like it doesn't belong in this story
Story
The game starts in England, in the year 1135, but later moves to other locations as time passes. The story spans decades and features multiple playable characters. The first one you'll play as is Tom Builder a master craftsman, who’s dream is to build a cathedral. The second one is prior Philip, a monk trying to save his priory from debt. The next one is Jack, a boy who grew up in the woods, forced to adjust to a new way of life. Last but not least, lady Aliena, who’s being chased by a sociopathic ex-lover. I won’t give any more details, as they might spoil the story for you.
The story is divided into 3 books. The first one introduces main characters and paints the historical background. So naturally, it feels very slow and boring. Some parts may be hard to understand if you’re not familiar with English history. However, the game tries its’ best to give you all the info you need. As soon as you think of a question, the game drops a dialogue with an answer or unlocks a short historical note, that you can read from the menu. After book one, however, the plot thickens quickly. It throws dramatic moments at you at the speed of a machine gun. Each scene can easily make you cry or bring tears of joy just as well. Genre-wise the story has everything: mystery, political thriller, action, romantic comedy/drama, road movie. It’s varied and will keep you engaged if you manage to play through the first introductory part.
Gameplay
Gameplay-wise it is a point and click adventure, that feels more like an interactive movie. It features a dialogue system, where choosing different options will lead to different consequences. Though, it’s like Telltale games in that regard, even though it feels like you’re making a big decision, it will only change slight details of the story. It also features QTEs, but they are very easy and it doesn’t feel like you can fail them, most of the time you get another try. And if you don’t get another try, then the QTE just leads to an optional achievement. There aren’t plenty of them, most of the time you’re required to complete some side-quest to help out some character. As far as point and clicks go, this might be the easiest one I’ve played, goals and their solutions are always simple and logical. The game has a button, that shows every active area on screen, so no pixel hunting is involved. Your inventory space is very limited, so even if you somehow managed to get stuck, it won’t take long to try every possible interaction.
There are some issues with the gameplay though. Most of the time it feels like a walking simulator, because locations are big and your walking speed is slow. There isn’t a button to skip walking, like in many classic adventure games, so you have to sit and wait until your character travels from one screen to another. It’s better to play with gamepad, since you can press right trigger to make your character move faster. I couldn’t figure out how to do that using the mouse. The other problem I have is mainly concerned with replayability, the game doesn’t let you skip cutscenes. You can skip dialogue, but it doesn’t skip character animation, so you still have to wait to see the stuff you’ve already seen. Another problem with cutscenes is that you can’t put them on pause. So, mute your phone and don’t forget turn off the oven before you play this.
Graphics & Audio
Visually the game looks beautiful. Backgrounds have a lot of detail to them and they just look gorgeous. Each character has a distinct memorable look and their emotions during cutscenes are easily readable. Animation on the other hand is not so great. It feels like you’re playing a flash game from late 00s. Sometimes instead of a cutscene, the game just shows you a static picture or even a black screen with action sounds in the background. Feels like the budget was running thin when they got to an animation phase. Though, it’s not as dire as it sounds, because for the most part of the game you’ll be listening to the dialogue. Which is well-written and delivered in a believable way by professional voice actors. Soundtrack is not very memorable, but works great in setting up the right atmosphere and highlighting turning points in the dialogue.
Performance
Specs: Intel Core i5-7300HQ, 12GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1050 4GB.
The game doesn't have any issues running at 1080p. Steam overlay shows it running at 100 frames per second, though due to the poor quality of the animation it may look like its running in 30 FPS.
Conclusion
If you value games for their story, this might be one of the best recommendations for you.
If you’re looking for puzzles, then it’s better to pass this one as it can’t offer you anything.

Review from Steam

10/10 recommend.
As the game indicates, it is based on the Ken Follett's historical novel that was published some 30 years ago.
But a good story never fade away.
The Pillars of the Earth tells a breathtaking, beautiful and loveable story. This is more of an adventure game than the usual click-and-point-collect-to-solve-puzzles genre of game, the story is well developed and alternated for a video game, heavily story driven, and each chapter has an independent title that keep it to the point.
There are so many things to love about this game: The epic story, rich maps, loveable characters, detailed graphic, even insights about life in the Middle Age. What I love the most is how Philip of Kingsbridge sees through things. He enlightened me a great deal.

Review from Steam

found a Great Book at Steam's Game Store

Review from Steam

What. a ride it has turned out to be, I didn’t expect that it would turn out such a pleasing and rememberable experience. It’s an insanely underrated video game capturing its very well-written story through a fairly less orthodox gameplay style. Technically, it’s a point-and-click game but this is where many might go wrong, it is way more than a traditional point-and-click. Outstanding in its story presentation, it gives you lots of choices along the way that might or might not change the course of the future.
I had very high expectations from this game as it is based on a commercially and critically successful novel written by Ken Follet, and it exceeded my expectations in all departments. The story is the most consistent and methodical I have ever seen in a video game. Sets in one of the most intriguing timelines in history--the Middle ages--the game is full of interesting dialogues, cunning plots, and the nature of the simple ordinary folk.
One of the playable characters out of three is Phillip of Gwynedd, who I would even go as far as calling the most lovable and complex yet simple protagonist ever written in a videogame. Just the presence of him, makes you adore and respect him. He is not a traditional ant-hero character but he is indeed not without flaws but that’s what made his character even better. Hell, I wouldn’t even call him an anti-hero. He resembles all the qualities a good protagonist needs to have, yet manages to be as realistic as possible. I truly cannot wait to read the novel to learn more about his character.
The soundtrack also does its job very well, and how it fits through the charming environment of this game makes it even more striking. Especially Ellen’s Lullaby called “The Lark in Hunter’s Net” very beautifully sung by an unknown singer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything related to her online. This theme also proves out to be the main theme of Jack and his family and resembles deep emotions.
It offers a minimum of 15 hours of joyful gameplay, separated into three books with 7 chapters each.
With the closing of each chapter, it gives you a summary of the choices you made in that chapter. Most of the choices do matter, and they will ruin your story if you’re not careful. The animated graphics are also top-notch and to some extent, it gives the story even more meaning. Would have been better if they used modern techniques but this was the best they could do, and I don’t complain.
Overall, I would rate it 10/10 and I really wish that there were more narrative-based games like this considering the Medieval era is my most favorite era for books, movies, and videogame. There are so many stories of that era that can be told through video games and I really hope Daedalic Entertainment gets enough support to make more games like “The Pillars of the Earth”.

Review from Steam

___| GENERAL RATING |___
⭐⭐⭐⭐
___| GRAPHICS |___
⬜ You will forget what reality looks like
☑️ Beautifull
⬜ Good
⬜ Decent
⬜ Bad
⬜ You will get eye-cancer
___| GAMEPLAY |___
⬜ Very good
⬜ Good
⬜ Just normal gameplay
☑️ Not really
⬜ You could play another game while playing this
⬜ Nonexistent
___| AUDIO |___
⬜ Eargasm
☑️ Very good
⬜ Good
⬜ Not too bad
⬜ Bad
⬜ Not worth it
___| STORY |___
⬜ This is now your life
☑️ Lovely
⬜ Good
⬜ Average
⬜ Some lore
⬜ No story at all
___| DIFFICULTY |___
⬜ Too easy
☑️ Easy
⬜ Significant brain usage
⬜ Easy to learn but hard to master
⬜ Difficult
⬜ Dark Souls
___| GRIND |___
☑️ Nothing to grind
⬜ Only if you care about leaderboards/ranks
⬜ Isn't necessary to progress
⬜ Average grind level
⬜ Too much grind
⬜ You will need a second life for grinding
___| GAMETIME |___
⬜ Long enough for a cup of coffee
⬜ Short
☑️ Average
⬜ Long
⬜ To infinity and beyond
___| AUDIENCE |___
⬜ Kids
☑️ Teens
☑️ Adults
⬜ Everyone
___| PC REQUIREMENTS |___
⬜ Check if you can run Paint
☑️ Potatoe
⬜ Decent
⬜ Fast
⬜ You will need a lot of money
⬜ Ask NASA if they have a spare computer
___| PRICE |___
⬜ It's free!
⬜ Worth the price
⬜ If you have some spare money left
☑️ Wait for a sale
⬜ Not recommended
⬜ You could also just burn your money
___| BUGS |___
⬜ Never heard of
☑️ Minor bugs
⬜ Can get annoying
⬜ The game itself is a big terrarium for bugs
___| NOTES |___
➡️ Those are my own opinions, so please don't take them to serious

Review from Steam

This game is so deep.
The cartoonish graphics are simple but really eye catching and keeps a good touch of seriousness in the game.
Voice actors are very good most of the time!
All characters are very unique and it's amazing how they blend in to this huge story.
I almost finished it all in a couple days. It gave me lots of questions of real life value.
Amazing story and amazing game as a whole and i can't recommend it enough.

Review from Steam

I was a huge fan of the original Ken Follett novel, as well as its sequel, World Without End. As a modern epic about medieval times, this story has no peer. It's a great story laid over a compelling political thriller and mystery, and delivers a great amount of atmosphere. In whatever way you choose to consume the Pillars of the Earth--the book, the miniseries, or the game--you're in for a treat.
However, and this is a big however.
IF you don't mind reading a long novel, I would recommend it over this game. It's a well-crafted story in any context, but this is a story meant to be consumed in novel form. The miniseries did well enough, as did the game. But lord, the adaptation troubles show in this. if you could believe it, it took me two years to finish this game. This is mostly because the filler chapters, while nice sometimes, are often gratingly dull. Every dialogue, every movement, every cutscene, takes a long time to wind up. In short bursts this isn't too bad, but when you're navigating multiple scenes of static 2D characters talking about the year's crops or priory politics, there's little payoff for all that delay.
That said, there are definite advantages to the game format. The voice acting is consistently good. The artsyle matches the story much better than I thought it would, and really shines in expansive bids-eye shots of cities. The developers and artists clearly have the same love for architecture and history that Ken Follett has, so their product respects the spirit of his books.
Overall, this is a worthwhile experience. I don't regret buying it at full price ages ago, and if you're already a fan of Pillars of the Earth, neither will you. If you haven't read/watched/played this yet, I'd seriously consider which I'd prefer to engage with first: a well-crafted, if long novel, or a slightly shorter and less consistent video game.