I Can't Wait to Turn on my Allies in Tyranny

How deep will the faction allegiances go with Obsidian's new RPG? A new demo offers Kat a glimpse.

RPG factions tend to stress me out. Too often they mark the point of no return in an RPG - the moment when you have to definitively choose which path you wish to travel en route to the endgame.

When handled well, they have a memorable impact on the story. When handled poorly, they feel forced and artificial. Fallout 4 actually manages to have examples of both.

Which brings me to Tyranny, the upcoming isometric RPG by Obsidian. In Tyranny, you are a Fatebinder - a powerful agent of the conquering emperor Kyros. With the world firmly on Kyros' control, the empire's attention has turned inward as various factions vie for influence. You can ally with some of them, go it alone, or even turn against the empire entirely.

The scenario I saw at E3 2016 was the last case. After taking a brief survey, I was cast as a member of a rebel group fighting a desperate battle against two of Kyros' armies: the Scarlet Chorus and the Disfavored. What followed was fairly standard RPG fare as I handled a few groups of enemies alongside my party, then confronted one of the enemy leaders.

It was there that I was confronted with what I considered the rather amusing option to turn on my allies. In a normal run, I doubt I would ever do such a thing; but as I was in the middle of a demo, I figured, "Why not?" I renounced the rebels, at which point Kyros' forces decided I couldn't be trusted and attacked anyway.

Sadly, I didn't get to deal with the fallout of my rather rash decision. Nevertheless, I was assured that there would be some major consequences to turning on my allies. In fact, according to director Brian Heins, renouncing your allegiance to the rebels will kick off an entirely different quest line. Now that's something I'd like to see.

Decisions like these are why I've been keeping an eye on Tyranny since it was announced back at GDC. Freed of the onerous demands of triple-A development, Obsidian can take their isometric RPGs in some pretty interesting directions. A simpler engine makes it easier to create content, which in turn makes for more flexible storytelling - something that Obsidian is leaning on heavily for Tyranny. The ability to turn on your allies is interesting in itself, but I'm really curious to see how deep Tyranny's rabbit hole ultimately goes. How many alliances will I be able to make and break before I'm finished? I want to see.

To this point, Tyranny has been mostly flying under the radar; but if it ends up being as ambitious as it seems, it stands a chance of being one of the year's better RPGs. And given Obsidian's strong history as an RPG developer - one that stretches back to Black Isle Studios and the original Fallout - there's every reason to believe that Tyranny will live up to that promise.

Tagged with Previews, Tyranny.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Destiny 2 Daily Active User Count Surges as Interest for Series Returns

The player count hit over one million for the first time in a while.

Cyberpunk 2077 Quest Director on The Witcher 3 Comparisons, Life Paths, and Keanu

At E3 2019, we sit down with the director of Cyberpunk 2077's quests to learn about how Night City, life paths, and more will affect how the story unfolds.

Adding Dash To Doom Eternal "Broke the Game For Quite a While," Developers Say

Why Doom Eternal's developers are calling it their Evil Dead 2.

More Previews

For Honor Preview: A Whole New Sword Game

Jaz plays Ubisoft's upcoming sword fighting game, and talks to creative director Jason Vandenberghe about how it was developed.

Dragon Quest VIII 3DS Preview: New Characters, New Dungeons, New Challenges, Black Sabrecats

Though Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the Nintendo 3DS isn't a ground-up overhaul the way Dragon Quest VII 3DS is, there's still tons of new stuff to get excited about.

Will Final Fantasy XV's Big Twist Ruin The Game?

Early details about about FFXV's endgame have emerged, to much consternation.

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Final Day: Stray Thoughts and Observations

There's still plenty to see and do in Duscae, but it's time to close the book on this massive RPG (until November 29).