After many months of waiting, the three books that make up the video game adaptation of Ken Follet’s bestseller are now available. In this analysis of The Pillars of the Earth, we go through the new graphic adventure of Daedalic to see what it brings back to the genre.
In our first approach to The Pillars of the Earth, we already offered our first impressions on where the German Daedalic was embarking with this new graphic adventure. The final result is not far from what we could see after completing the first of his books. The adaptation of the classic Ken Follet is a beautiful adventure that often resembles more the new productions the Telltale Games or others such as Life is Strange that to its congeners of the past, however much it shares the same aspect.
The Pillars of the Earth seeks, above all, a narration of its history that is not hindered, so in the few puzzles that we find in our path can hardly be considered as such. Find an object here or combine another of our limited inventory there, will be the closest thing to squeeze the coconut we will see to control the multitude of characters that populate this England of the twelfth century, in which the abuse of power reigned and differences between social classes were more marked than ever.
That a graphic adventure leaves the puzzles is neither better nor worse, but it should be made clear to those who believe they know what they will find when they see a few images. Players who are accustomed to the work of Daedalic and expect a similar classical structure here can take a small disappointment, because, despite its classic staging, The Pillars of the Earth seeks, above all, to tell us the fabulous story that the British writer translated almost thirty years ago. The truth is that he achieves it, and not with few efforts.
The pillars of the puzzle
Because adopting a work as dense as this, while adding video game mechanics to the mix, is not an easy task. Many of the chapters of the book have had to adapt or summarize while others have varied a bit to offer the classic decisions we have in this type of game. It is not at all a negative thing that sometimes does not follow the whole story, because the alternative routes and different decisions seem almost like an expanded edition. To understand it better, we can look at the mythical Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a videogame that expanded the plot of the film with different routes and scenes that enriched (and much) the experience of the original film.
In the same way, The Pillars of the Earth is enriched by the decisions of the player. They are not always very important, but at least Daedalic plays clean with them. Instead of promising a ramification of decisions and consequences practically impossible to embrace and develop, it prefers to keep small and offer some palpable and reasonable differences, according to our choices, to make this experience more varied and rejuvenate.
Look, first of all, to tell us the fabulous story that Ken Follet captured almost thirty years ago
Maybe Daedalic has not escaped unscathed from all the challenges that were proposed with this game. Its structure based on episodes has not completely helped the work (although its development), it is a work that would have enjoyed more played the pull than with long breaks of months between each of his three books. The very rhythm of the adventure also happens to him, being quite slow on some occasions, especially when he has to prepare the plot to surprise us in future events. Some of its scenes, like the abundant trips of the protagonists between the different locations of England, can get to be heavy and something anecdotal. And although we awaken a nostalgic vein structure of conversational adventure, which chooses different paths, the truth is that they can slow down a little action. It is true that we can not think of another way to cover the density of such a novel.
Where Daedalic never fails is in his artistic style, and it is more than possible that they have been overcome here. The Pillars of the Earth is one of the most precious adventures of his career, which does not even need to take refuge in a cartoon style to achieve an excellent range of colors accompanied by hand-made drawings of exquisite workmanship.
The animations are also brilliant, although scarce, and in some moments can slow down a little (more) the development, but The Pillars of the Earth is not a work to cross fast, but to delight in each of its scenarios, review all the points of interest with the mouse to know the point of view and thoughts of each of its protagonists and exhaust all dialogue options. It is clear that the proposal of the Germans is not to enjoy only the end, but the road, entering the perspectives of their characters want to know more and not just advance the plot.
The Pillars of the Earth cannot be attributed much more than perhaps that lack of rhythm that we have mentioned on some occasions. It is a game that has clear ideas and that is not other than to bring this great work to the fans of the game, whether they have enjoyed the original novel as those who want to know through a more visual and interactive. Moreover, the traditional fan is the one who has to decide if it is for him or not, because he makes drastic decisions on how to abandon the puzzles almost completely and, therefore, his difficulty, to approach a more current narrative style, albeit with a classical perspective.
On the other hand, yes we could have refined some small technical failures that we have found in its development, such as some problems with the interface, the translation itself into our language and some occasions in which the game has not managed to transfer our game well to next chapter. Small problems that we hope will eventually be corrected in the near future.
It is one of the most precious adventures of Daedalic’s career. It is, however
a good adventure that perhaps lacks a bit more of a sensation of discovery, since it takes the player very hand in hand at all times. a very linear experience in which it is impossible to get lost. It is, however, ideal to know this great story with a style and setting rarely explored, that brings freshness and a breath of fresh air not only to the graphic adventure but to the world of video games.
The Pillar of the Earth is a good graphic adventure that fulfills above all its objective of transferring this great novel to video game format, and it does so with a sublime artistic section. He abandons almost completely the classic puzzles that have always accompanied the genre, but he is fully aware of it. Although the pace during the adventure can be improved, it is undoubtedly a good adaptation for those who want to approach this great story for the first time or revise it in a more visual way.
- The beautiful artistic section was drawn by hand.
- Good acting work that gives life to each of the characters.
- Great adaptation of Ken Follet’s original novel.
- Lack of rhythm on some occasions.
- Too linear with little chance of discovery by the player.
- Some small technical glitches in the interface translation and management of games.