I had high hopes for a Tyranny expansion. “Not enough depth” is the key criticism I leveled at Obsidian’s evil-hearted RPG last year, and it’s continued to bother me. Tyranny’s writing and world-building are, at times, some of Obsidian’s best work. But with the lack of any companion quests, the paltry number of locations, the way the game railroads you into an ending, and the completely unsatisfactory cliffhanger that constituted said ending, an expansion is sorely needed.

But not this expansion.

Another brick in the wall

First, a note: Bastard’s Wound might not be so bad if you haven’t yet played Tyranny and buy the two as a complete package. It’s hard to be sure because that’s not my situation.

Tyranny - Bastard's Wound IDG / Hayden Dingman

Those who’ve already played and finished Tyranny should feel a sinking feeling in their stomachs after that note though. No, Bastard’s Wound doesn’t flesh out the end of the game (where it was most needed) nor does it really accommodate returning players. In fact, Bastard’s Wound is really only useful to people who have a save from Act II lying around—not the end of the game.

Bastard’s Wound adds a new area to the game as well as a smattering of companion quests. The new area, the titular Bastard’s Wound, is a village located inside the Oldwalls. It’s a pretty interesting setup, as the Oldwalls play a big part in Tyranny’s lore but didn’t feature very heavily in the base game. You’ll have to decide what to do with the village and its occupants, and then are able to explore what’s essentially a medium-sized dungeon area with lots of combat. All told you’re looking at around maybe 4 or 5 hours of quests.

Tyranny - Bastard's Wound IDG / Hayden Dingman

Then there are the companion quests. Verse, Barik, and Lantry all have new companion quests, which is great—those were weirdly absent from Tyranny proper.

The catch: You can only play Verse and Barik’s in Act II.

In fact the whole expansion seems to be intended for Act II consumption, with some very important world-state changes from Act III (a.k.a. major deaths) not even acknowledged by the characters I met in Bastard’s Wound. Very bizarre.

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