Judge Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound today


If finishing Tyranny [official site] has left a hole that can only be filled by subjugating peasants and acting like a magical Judge Dredd, don’t fret. Bastard’s Wound, the first — but hopefully not last — Tyranny expansion is due out today. Better dust off that gavel.

Bastard’s Wound opens up a new region of the Tiers, containing a hidden settlement nestled in the forbidden Old Walls. There’s a dungeon beneath it, civilians needing help, and three companion quests for Lantry, Barik and Verse.

While Tyranny proved to be one of Obsidian’s most subversive and unusual RPGs, I’d recommend waiting for reviews for this one. I’ve got to keep my impressions to myself until after 2PM BST today, but let’s just say that my return to the Tiers didn’t lack for issues.

If Bastard’s Wound doesn’t tickle your fancy, Obsidian have also put together a free update to launch alongside the expansion. It adds new voice acting, a new ending and an expanded third act.

Bastard’s Wound launches today on Steam and GOG for $14.99.


  1. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    “let’s just say that my return to the Tiers didn’t lack for issues”

    Are these technical issues or “crappy expansion” issues? Will your review be able to account for the patch and any changes it might bring?

    • Fraser Brown says:

      They are a bit of both. I only played the expansion, not the updated main quest. You’ll be able to read it shortly, though it’s on PCGamesN, not RPS.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Dang. There are a lot of cool ideas in Tyranny. It’s a shame that they are compromised by so many weird design choices (the character development systems alone are an enormous blow). I had hoped that this DLC/patch combo would right the ship somewhat.

        • Xerophyte says:

          I love a lot of things about what Obsidian make, but they’re also about the only company whose games I routinely cheat in because so many of the mechanics tend to fall into the hole of cool in theory, awful in practice.

          They especially tend to be a little bit too enamored with the idea of meaningful and permanent choices. In the narrative? Sure, sign me up! In the highly complex game mechanics that I’m trying to figure out? I’d like some room to experiment with my magical powers du jour, thanks, and not be locked into the consequences of blind choices made early on.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Another quick question: I understand you didn’t play the updated quest, but did you encounter any changes or updates to the mechanics from the original release? That matters more to me than anything else.

        • Fraser Brown says:

          Nope! Mechanically it was identical, just with more bugs.

  2. wombat191 says:

    How dare they flee the just rule of Kyros!

  3. durrbluh says:

    I don’t know whether it’s the lack of compelling imagery, or that the trailer was narrated by Ted from Accounting, but I don’t think I’ll be returning to the Tiers any time soon.

  4. Sinester says:

    I wonder if the conclusion of the story will be a DLC or sequel? As there are a lot of questions left unanswered and it would be a pity if it stays like that.

    • Fraser Brown says:

      A sequel is highly unlikely, given how disappointed both Obsidian and Paradox were with sales of the original.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        The game is something of a misfire for Obsidian, but it’s odd how poorly it sold given how well Pillars of Eternity did. Between the success of Pillars and the enthusiasm for Pillars 2, there really should’ve been more people like me who thought, “More isometric, party-based RPG goodness from Obsidian? Sign me up!”

        • Sinester says:

          Well, I couldn’t finish Pillars (at least for now) as I had trouble investing in the story for some reason and it is really a lot bigger. Yet for Tyranny I was hooked from the beginning till the end and I’m still hanging there waiting for more…

        • aepervius says:

          That is why I prefer RPG which can be modded, because I can hope for a continuation by fans, even in the cases where the original publisher/maker is disappointed by sales and decide to give the game up.

        • His Dudeness says:

          I bet that the main sales problem was the disappointment in the repetition of this badly made fight in real time with a pause.

        • Werthead says:

          It’s because it didn’t have a Kickstarter.

          This is the same thing Stoic figured out with Banner Saga, and CMON Games mastered a while back for board games. Kickstarter isn’t just a fundraising platform, it’s also a successful and powerful way of getting marketing and PR out there about your game. It keeps your game in the mind of the prospective community and gets everyone excited for when it comes out.

          In the case of Tyranny, Obsidian and Paradox funded the game themselves because they felt that going to Kickstarter with it was unnecessary, and as a result the game came out, quite a few people proclaiming it as good as or even better than PoE, but it didn’t pick up anything like the traction due to not having that years-long marketing campaign that Kickstarter gives you (it didn’t have much of a standard PR campaign either, which is another problem).

          Stoic found that out when they decided to reward their backers on Banner Saga 1 by funding Banner Saga 2 themselves from BS1 sales and leftover Kickstarter funds, and the game sold really poorly when it came out. That’s why they went back to Kickstarter for BS3.

          Board game companies like CMON have now mastered this. As the creators of several massive-selling games with a Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones licence, there had 0 need to go to Kickstarter for their new GoT tabletop wargame, but they did anyway because they view it as the best way of building excitement, marketing and awareness of the game pre-launch.

        • Jerykk says:

          Pillars of Eternity had tons of hype and drew heavily upon Baldur’s Gate nostalgia. Tyranny did neither. I think I actually preferred the setting and more concise nature of Tyranny. I’m not a big fan of filler combat, of which there was plenty in PoE, and PoE’s setting was about as bland as they come. Tyranny’s premise is also much more interesting.

        • E_FD says:

          I can’t speak for anyone else, but I bought and played Pillars of Eternity, but never got hooked enough to finish it. And I consider myself a fan of the ’90s isometric RPGs its drawing upon, but even though nothing felt notably wrong with PoE, nothing felt compelling enough to keep me playing either.

          So even though the premise of Tyranny actually sounds more interesting than PoE’s, I decided against getting it. Other people feeling the same way could well explain the disparity in sales between the two.

        • mavrik says:

          I think it was just horrible horrible timing of the release – I remember not picking it up for months just because it released together with so many other huge blockbusters and the reviews made me push it back. I think a lot of people did that (most responses I got about the game were “oh, I need to get around to that!”).

          Having said that – I kinda loved it more than PoE. Pillars IS a better gameoverall, but Tyrannys storytelling was really way more interesting than the usual fantasy slog.

  5. ye-ole-PK says:

    I really wanted to buy this,but I didn’t because everyone said it was terrible.

    Why can’t someone make a solid and current RPG where you play the bad guy?

    • Daymare says:

      One instance where a game could genuinelly take some inspiration from the MOBA genre.

      But who’d have thought that it’d be the toxic, hateful community?

    • Oasx says:

      Tyranny is a good game, so you don’t need to look any further.

    • Grim_22 says:

      Huh? Tyranny is a wonderful game, I’m not sure why anyone would say otherwise. I really, really enjoyed it – the only problem I had was with the third act, and if that’s now expanded in the latest patch then I can’t see any reason not to get it if you crave an RPG where you play the villain.

    • Werthead says:

      Tyranny is excellent. I enjoyed it far more than either Pillars of Eternity or Torment: Tides of Numenera (although I haven’t finished the latter yet).

    • Someoldguy says:

      It’s not terrible, but it is certainly flawed. Unfortunately, having just read Fraser’s review of Bastard, it seems Obsidian have decided to double down on all the worst parts of their game design instead of trying hard to put some polish on things that badly needed some. It definitely doesn’t read like anything I’ll be paying money for, which is a great shame because I enjoyed PoE and want PoE2 to be good too.

    • BewareTheJabberwock says:

      I put PofE in the “Best Game I’ve Played in a Decade” category, and I was an early backer of PofE2. But I didn’t give much thought to Tyranny at launch, bkz it got a lot of really awful reviews (incl on RPS). I’m seeing a bunch more positive about it now, but if they’re going to keep putting out DLC and patches and whatnot, I’ll wait for a GotY edition in a year or so, which I’d guess will happen around the time Deadfire arrives (Q4 2018, they say at the moment).

      • InternetBatman says:

        This is my situation exactly. I backed both Pillars games, which blew my game budget for months and months. The stuff I heard about Tyranny (mainly solid but flawed writing, very easy combat) made it seem like a wait for a sale game, and it hasn’t really gone on sale yet.

        • BewareTheJabberwock says:

          It is actually on sale on Steam for 50% off right now (til Mon). I’m still going to wait, tho, since I won’t be able to play it anytime soon. And there was something weird about the coupon that came as a Deadfire backer reward, like it’s already expired or something? Can’t get into my backer acct to look at it right now, tho.