Obsidian Show Off New RPG Tyranny In E3 Trailer

Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind Pillars of Eternity and Alpha Protocol, have given the first in-motion look at their next RPG. Tyranny [official site] is an RPG set in a world where the big nasty villain has already won and made everyone’s life awful but maybe, just maybe, you can make it a little better. Or, y’know, worse if you’d rather.

Here, it looks like this in motion:

We haven’t posted about Tyranny much, but Obsidian have been gabbing about it. Here’s a chunk of a dev blog post:

“With Tyranny we wanted to create a more nuanced evil. One where the choices players make aren’t so obviously black and white. We wanted to make a game where players were free to take the evil path as far as they want to go, and feel powerful and rewarded for it. Ultimately, RPGs are about the choices players make. With Tyranny we wanted to focus our efforts on making the world react to player choices – both in game systems and in dialogue. By now you’ve probably seen interviews where we talked about your ability to shape the world during character creation, and the alliances you can form during gameplay. These all come out of that goal – making Tyranny a highly reactive game that you can play multiple times. Each time seeing how the world changes as you make different choices.”

Or, if you want to get more technical, they’ve talked about skills, attributes, and progression.

No firm word yet on when Tyranny will launch.

Do check out the rest of our E3 2016 posts, previews, odds, ends, and gubbins.


  1. Jeremy says:

    I always chuckle during trailers when the voiceover says things like “conquer the known world” and “flames of war”… and then it pans to 4 or 5 people fighting. Maybe just a bad juxtaposition, but funny nonetheless.

    That being said, this game looks right up my alley, and I am looking forward to another isometric RPG from these guys!

    • Emeraude says:

      Well, you don’t need big numbers in the actual fights to take over via a good old coup d’état.

      Really looking forward to this one. I don’t really care about the subject matter itself, but shorter and a lot more reactive and layered is something I’ve wanted for the genre for a while now.

      I’d be glad is this was successful enough to make it a thing (not that I have high hopes).

  2. piercehead says:

    “No firm date yet” :)

  3. Andy_Panthro says:

    This just reminds me that I haven’t finished Pillars of Eternity yet.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      Why? Lack of time, or lack of interest to keep going on?

      • heretic says:

        In the same boat here, but my answer would be lack of interest :( I got to the town with the big tree (which was kinda cool), but I could never really buy into the world and gave up when something else distracted me for too long to go back to it now.

        Mind you I’ve had trouble keeping up with Shadowrun HK when I loved the earlier two games, maybe I just have RPG fatigue.

        • Don Reba says:

          Dropped out for lack of interest a bit later. The game branches out, and each choice seems as inconsequential as another. Though, I am generally prejudiced against fantasy settings, and a game has to try extra hard to win me over.

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          Probably much in the same boat as you, because I’ve also got SR:Hong Kong on hiatus. I was enjoying that much more, and I’m more likely to get back to it (no idea how long I have left though).

          • icarussc says:

            I stalled out at the same point in Pillars, but just finished SR:HK. I recommend going back — it is well, well worth it. One of my favorite RPG experiences in a long time!

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Yeah, once I got to the last area I did the minimum required quests and fast tracked it to the end. There was just no motivation to go through that area.

          Did kill a bunch of dude’s into sacrifice though. Felt like a real big man.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Lack of interest I suppose?

        I got most of the way through (Assumption here, but it feels like I’m well into the third area, not touched the DLC). I’ll go back to it eventually.

        I quite liked the world, but not so much the characters in it. Seemed a lot of potential there, but nothing really grabbed me.

        My biggest problem has always been the combat. I found it far too difficult on Normal, and just tiresome on Story Time. (Story Time seems a very patronising name too, and I really wish they’d just cut loads of the encounters and limited things to the important fights). I find the RTwP combat a confusing mess most of the time, I much prefer Turn-based stuff. The way the combat works is also quite complex, but doesn’t interest me enough to figure it out, so just seems a chore.

        I wrote a couple of rambling and overlong posts about it here: link to playedbypanthro.blogspot.co.uk and here: link to playedbypanthro.blogspot.co.uk

        • Emeraude says:

          I need to go back to it myself – done with the game, but expansion still not touched upon. My biggest lament would be the number of changes to systems in place post-release.

          I don’t mind complex systems. I like learning the intricacies on the fly as I experiment. I don’t like things being changed and me having to re-learn right and re-adjust in the middle of a playthough.

          You’ll tell me, I shouldn’t have updated, but then I guess I’m getting old, and to me updates are meant to fix issues. Not re-balance the whole game.

          I think another complaint with the game is that, well to quote an editor friends, “they wrote the wrong book”. There’s so much interesting stuff which went on or is going on in that world, which would make for a more engrossing narrative to play in and with.

        • PoulWrist says:

          I did start to like the world more as I played, but I had a hard time being invested in it at first. I didn’t find the characters all that interesting and many of the things going on took a long time to get going.

          I’m around 35 hours in and come back to it about once a week or so and play an hour.

          My main issue is the combat, though. It isn’t enjoyable. Things just happen way too fast and your characters spend too long doing individual actions for all the myriad of powers you get from gear and lvling up to ever really come in to play. You just sort of click all your guys on one enemy at a time to take them down as fast as possible.

          Tactics are almost impossible to use because things move so fast and eratically. Gear seems almost nonsensical as well, my lvl 10+ party uses the gear they started out with except for a few weapons. I didn’t notice any difference from equipping capes, rings, shields and whatnot, even when they seemed to have high numbers. The combat system with all the many stats just seems too complicated to worry about considering how simple and un-fun most combat encounters are. It feels like it could’ve done with something a lot simpler and done a much better job of it.

          Maybe it’s just that I’m unfamiliar with it and haven’t taken the time to understand it, like I understand D&D, but there seems no reason to try and understand it, outside the general idea that a higher number is better and as such I should go that direction.

          The way that there are so many things to do and pick up on is very impressive, and there seems to be a decent amount of options for progressing through the game and they’re not presented to you in the usual “pick this, this or that”, but are rather more organic and result from your playstyle rather than just a “here’s a choice, take it”. I liked that a lot. In fact, I like a lot of things about it a lot, but the way it’s so focused on combat in many situations and combat is just not fun at all is a problem that has blocked my enjoyment :( at the same time I don’t feel like switching to storymode or whatever, that doesn’t sound appealing.

  4. BlackMageMario says:

    Obsidian? More like ObsidiWIN!

    I’m always excited for Obsidian games. If the choices and nuance are anything like Fallout: New Vegas, I am going to be a very happy man.

  5. skalpadda says:

    Are they self-funding this or are Paradox chipping in? It’d be lovely if Pillars reached the level of success Obsidian to feel confident enough to do more of their own thing.

    Whatever the case it looks like another game where Obsidian are playing to their strengths, which is always exciting.

  6. Darth Gangrel says:

    “With Tyranny we wanted to create a more nuanced evil. One where the choices players make aren’t so obviously black and white” That’s good, because Wikipedia tells me that obsidian can also be blackish green as well as deep black.

    While I’d rather want a new KotOR game from them, I like that Tyranny allows you to bask in the Dark Side. However, what I enjoyed most from KotOR 1 was fooling the teacher at the Sith Academy that I had done lots of terrible deeds, when in fact I had been doing good things. Hopefully there is something of that here as well (though I know Obsidian had no part in KotOR 1).

  7. Zenicetus says:

    Well, kudos for trying something different with playing evil options, but I hope this means they’re polishing up all the work they did to come up with new RPG and combat systems for Pillars, and not starting something brand new.

    The skill development and combat in Pillars was okay, but it could have used a few more major releases to polish up and refine. Maybe that’s what they’re doing here with a new skin.

  8. caff says:

    Nice. Hopefully I can actually understand the waffling of the NPCs in this one, unlike Pillars where I feel like I’m reading 10 random books concurrently.

  9. DrMcCoy says:

    Me, I really loved Pillars of Eternity. And this here looks quite interesting as well, so yeah, really looking forward to it.

    In fact, despite Unity being a bit sluggish, I’m very much ready for dozens, nay hundreds of games by Obsidian all build with their Unity-based engine thing. :)

  10. Freud says:

    Blue: good choice
    Red: evil choice

  11. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Is there any word on what system this game will use? Is it going to be the same as Pillars?

  12. TomxJ says:

    I was thinking this woiuld be alot like FF games Midnight, but I’m getting serious Avadon vibes from this instead.

    Neither are bad though.

  13. tumbleworld says:

    “For centuries, Kairos the Overlord has conquered the known world.”

    Over and over again, you mean? Like swarm over everything, crush it beneath his undoubtedly black, spiky, glowering boot, then sigh “Right lads, back to the East coast,” and start swarming again?

    Wow, he really must be Eeeeeeeeeevil.

    • Korakys says:

      I wonder how he keeps his empire together. Must be hard when it’s so big and being evil does tend to factionalism.

  14. mercyRPG says:

    Particle effects shine in this video: Kudos to the technical artist, who made them. Otherwise the combat looks like exactly the horrible mess Obsidian pulled off with Pillars of Eter-Ever-Wretchedity.