Whenever a narrative heavy title hits the store shelves, critics and pseudo intellectuals alike, go head over heels for every single minute piece of the plot they can put their hands on. However, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of narrative driven titles are just incredibly shallow, and presents the player with a rather simplistic tale. And that’s not because games writers are bad, but because they’ve learned to write in a very particular way which is fitting for games, but one that is not necessarily fitting for a New York Times bestseller. But from time to time we get a chance to play a title which wasn’t written by an unfulfilled screenwriter, but an actual literary author. And the recently released Ken Follett’s The Pillars of The Earth is one of such titles.

Ken Follett’s The Pillars of The Earth is based on the book of the exact same title, and takes place right after the death of Henry I of England, in 1135. A tumultuous period of time, full of lies, deceit, and manipulation which led to the demise of countless peasants and nobles alike. And the game, just like the book itself, refers to this particular period of time, in order to present a story centred on alike themes. However, where history only remembers the Kings and Queens, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of The Earth concentrates on protagonists who by status, are far removed from such circles.

In the game, you’ll be presented with a profoundly large cast of protagonists, of which a number will be playable throughout the story. First you are introduced to Prior Philip, who is unveiled in a rather unfortunate way, as his arrival coincides with a death of another, senior Prior. Within the second chapter, you are presented with Jack Jackson and his mother Ellen, as well as Tom Builder and His Family. And later on in the story, you have a chance to meet Aliena, who is the only main protagonist of which you cannot take control of within this part one of the story.

The Pillars of The Earth’s main selling point is the story, and it would be a crime to spoil it, as it is one of the best you’ll ever have a chance to experience. And once it begins to unravel further with the forthcoming parts, I’m sure most will fall in love with it – and with the way it is presented. Because unlike in other titles of this ilk, every feature is used to build the characters, and to showcase their development.

Within this part of the story, you’ll have a chance to play as both Prior Philip and Jacks Jackson. And despite the rigid nature of this title, the gameplay is above and beyond one’s expectations. And that’s because the gameplay mechanics of each and every character, showcase who he/she is, and how he/she develops over time. For example, Prior Philip is all about conversing and interacting with others. His main method of solving conflicts revolves around patience and understanding. And in the time of need, he refers to the bible passages, in order to strengthen his belief and reaffirm others. However, as the title unravels, so does the personality of Prior Philip. He is no longer passive and tame, as all the atrocities to which he was a witness to, have a tremendous impact on him. And in turn, all that happens to him, impacts the way in which he interacts with the world.

By the time the player reaches chapters 4 to 5, he/she will notice that Prior Philip is no longer a sheep. He understands that everybody including the Bishop himself, has ulterior motives, and therefore he has to stop caring about the others and concentrate on his Priory. And once this happens, his answers are no longer tame, his temper can get the better of him, and he is capable of objecting to the demands of others. Even the way in which he uses his bible changes, as he no longer quotes passages to support himself or others, but to threaten them with eternal damnation, and the fiery lakes of hell.

The character development which takes place within Ken Follett’s The Pillars of The Earth is truly spectacular, and in fitting with the story and its development. And I feel no shame in saying that it is likely that by the time this story comes to an end, once the credits of the third part begin to roll, this is going to be regarded as one of the greatest stories ever told within this medium. And once one takes into the consideration the spectacular visual façade of the tile, which resembles an era relevant puppet-play, he/she will realise how meticulously crafted The Pillars of The Earth is. As from the beginning, until the very end, the art of the title just like the story is not just awe inspiring but also entertaining, and most importantly functional. And despite it’s mainly two-dimensional nature, it manages to portray a living, breathing world which is easy to navigate.

In short, it has to be said that The Pillars of The Earth is a title which has to be experienced first-hand, and it would be a travesty if anybody were to have it spoiled through a review and/or short synopsis. And while some may be turned off by the rather high price tag, then I’m happy to say that such worry is ultimately baseless, as in total, for the £32 which you’ll spend on this title, you get over 24 hours of content over the three parts of this spectacular story. And seemingly, the only downside of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of The Earth is the fact that it has been divided into three parts, and that we will all have to wait for the rest of the story to come out ‘’soon’’. But if the following parts of this masterpiece are even half as successful as part one, then we might not get one of the best titles of this generation, but one of the best adventure games of all time.

 



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.