Hmmm, I played on Hard, I think, and I wouldn’t characterize it that way. The later-game stuff wasn’t a walk-over on Hard, with a Chanter main and a party of the actual characters (i.e. not min-maxed ones I’d made). I’m pretty good at this kind of thing, and everyone was fairly well-optimized with me making sure I got good gear and so on too.
That’s not to say the combat was good, per se. But it definitely wasn’t just “LOL HOW FAST CAN U KILLZ IT?” - a style I am very familiar with from many games (particularly MMOs), rather it was actually a challenge to stop people getting taken down or damaged too much, or blowing too many cooldowns, because with only two rests before needing to get more supplies or whatever, you needed to be pretty micro-heavy and not fuck up.
Now if the last time you played was when Cyphers were hilariously OP and/or on Normal, I dunno, it probably did go that way, but when I played? Nah. The problem I experienced with combat on Hard was quite different - it was “Holy shit I am having to micro the ever-living SHIT out of this because CANNOT I trust these little shits to use their AI scripts” (of course, they didn’t even HAVE scripts until fairly recently so there’s that). I haven’t had to micro an RPG that hard in a long time. But it wasn’t like I was losing fights - I was just having to prevent too much attrition. I mean, I guess I could always have gone back and got more supplies etc. (not always true though), but I wasn’t up for that.
Ummmm, what Obsidian/BI games featured murder being more optional than this? Because I can’t, off-hand, think of any except maybe arguably Fallout 1/2/NV and I think that’s kind of arguable. Serious question not being difficult. Torment maybe? IWD and BG were super-murder-fests. I feel like KotOR II and NWN2 had more murder, but it’s been so long since I played either. Alpha Protocol there was a lot of avoidable murder but that’s like a different genre entirely imho.
Agreed. I felt like I could see ways it could be improved, or where they could have dragged you in more, and it had that classic fantasy novel “See it’s ALL COMING TOGETHER NOW, HUH?!” deal right at the end where I personally felt like they’d been holding out on me a bit, but it was a good story well told, and not some big-man-dick story of conquest nor a common-as-ha’pennies story of “A RISE TO POWER” or “THE CHOSEN ONE”. The threat and response was more complex and interesting than that, even if I did feel the response of some of the NPCs to the revelations at the end was a bit histrionic.