We are back for a second helping of DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire with Seeker, Slayer, Survivor. And no, this isn’t about Harry Potter jamming out to heavy metal while watching reruns of his favorite reality TV show. This is all about fighting to the death to overcome challenges set upon you by a bloodthirsty god.
Having conquered the Beasts of Winter, the Watcher has been summoned to another island in the Deadfire by a rather unorthodox means to help the people of Kazuwari. Against the wishes of some nearby crew members, I was off to find the island and help its people. Note that you should be at least level 16 to take on this DLC, so get your party up to snuff before venturing onward!
Once you arrive at Kazuwari, the god Galawain delivers an ominous message to “turn back now or suffer… yada… yada…”. Not heeding his advice, you’ll find yourself in a place called the Crucible relatively quickly. It becomes rapidly apparent that this isn’t going to be an ordinary foray in an arena, but a series of complicated and challenging fights against creatures and beasts you’ve not yet encountered. There are some interesting stories mixed among the NPCs here, and I highly recommend you bring Konstanten with you as he will be also offer information about this new locale and its, let’s say, “traditions”. While the Crucible is the main focus, you’ll also be required to venture out into the wilds of Kazuwari and the Deadfire Archipelago to recover artifacts to help you advance in your combat trials. The island of Kazuwari can become just as challenging as the Crucible, so be extremely careful. I wandered around thinking I was out of the “challenge” part and back into “normal” difficulty arrangements, but was proven wrong by some nasty creatures.
As you progress in the challenges, you’ll work to elevate yourself among the other combatants to catch the many eyes of the Three Faces of the Hunt. This statue greets you rather indifferently when you first arrive to Kazuwari, but through your progression, you will find your party seeking its favor by choosing allegiance to the Seeker, the Slayer, or the Survivor. These choices result in alternative pathways through the challenges. For those of you who aren’t really all that interested in running your party through multiple combat trials, there is a path to completing the “story” aspect of the DLC within a relatively short amount of time. For those who are gluttons for punishment, you can take more turns around the arena for funsies.
The challenges themselves offer combat opportunities that really aren’t available in the main game. You’ll have to strategize each situation based on the setup and objects you find in each challenge, which can really test your character builds and party composition. This is also a great opportunity to try out different characters that you may not play as much. I never really played with Konstanten and was really pleased with his abilities.
Seeker, Slayer, Survivor‘s story is good (as always), which is why I kept persevering through these challenges. Admittedly, I am not a fan of challenge-type DLC – I haven’t really played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s DLC because I wasn’t enjoying myself or the challenges. I like my combat interspersed with exploring or story elements. That’s not to say that this isn’t the case here, but you will be in combat a lot. Like a lot a lot. Comparing the two DLCs, The Beasts of Winter was much more interesting and culminated what I enjoyed about the core Pillars of Eternity experience and wrapped it up in a nice little package. Halfway through this DLC, I was already looking forward to the next one.
If you are really into the tactical aspects of PoE combat, Seeker, Slayer, Survivor DLC is definitely for you. If you are like me and not the biggest fan of challenges, then you might want to skip this DLC and jump back into the main game. Seeker, Slayer, Survivor‘s release comes with a host of new game updates in patch 3.0 (available to everyone, not just DLC purchasers), which you can read about here.
This review is based on a beta turned release copy of the game provided by the publisher.