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Pillars Of Eternity 2's Beast Of Winter expansion rises from the waves

A shot of blue rum on the rocks.

Those of you who've found the time to sail through Obsidian's piratical RPG Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire have good reason to dust off your flintlock and buckle your swashes once more. The first of three planned expansions - The Beast Of Winter - has burst forth from the churning sea, adding a vaguely Norse myth-themed adventure to the game. There's apocalyptic prophecies abound, and an icy dragon with the means to fulfil them, so it's off to save the world through judicious application of rum and violence once more. Plus, a big new patch and a bit of free DLC too.

One perk of the nautical-but-nice Pillars Of Eternity 2 being set across an archipelago full of trouble is in making expansions more enticing. No longer do they have to fit in or alongside the main story, but can stand alone as self-contained, level-scaled adventures, playable in whatever order you see fit. On paper it might sound like anathema for the old-school RPG crowd, but it fits the free-wheeling format of the game so much better. The Beast Of Winter expansion has you sailing to the far south, and butting heads with some very un-chill icy beasties.

Accompanying this expansion is a major patch, which improves balance and fixes a vast number of bugs, according to the lengthy change log here. It also introduces special challenge modes for the truly hardcore to practice their min-maxing on. Think you can stomach losing party members forever if they bleed out for more than six seconds? How about beating the game without a party? There's also the Deck of Many Things free DLC, which introduces a new roaming trading ship with a name that will make any D&D nerd groan.

You can find Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire on Steam, Humble and GOG for around £33/€46/$50, plus another £18.74/€25/$25 for the season pass. The best deal right now seems to be over at Chrono.gg. For the next two days, you can snag the game and the Beast Of Winter DLC together for $42.50 - roughly £32.60/€32.60 - although the later two DLCs will have to be snagged separately.

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