Don’t judge us, we know we’re a tad late with the review but that just gave us more time to immerse ourselves in the RPG masterpiece that is Divinity Original Sin 2.
The first Divinity was already a good RPG game and had plenty to offer, and we weren’t sure if developer Larian Studios could top that. The Kickstarter campaign was pretty ambitious and we weren’t sure if they’d be able to meet with all their stretch goals. But boy did they. Original Sin 2 is better than the first in every way. It’s safe to say that Divinity Original Sin 2 is one of the best if not the best RPG of year.
Now, in this case, we’re talking specifically old-school RPGs here. You know, the top-down, isometric, turn-based kind. Not that Skyrim or any other RPG game along that line is bad. It’s just that old-school RPGs are a dying breed, you won’t find any AAA companies working on them and so we rely on indies for our old-school isometric RPG fix. And there’s quite a few good ones out there. The really good and well-known ones are pretty old, which tends to turn people away. We get it, graphics can be a turn-off for some.
But if you’re looking to experience the intricacies and flexibility of an old-school RPG game scaled up to more current times, Divinity Original Sin 2 is the game should play. Just give the game a go, you won’t regret it.
Putting the R back in RPG
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a game where your decisions and actions are so impactful. To give you a jist of what we mean, you could actually kill an NPC who might’ve been important to the MAIN quest line, be it accidentally or intentionally. This applies to pretty much everything you do in the game. There’s always another way to get things done and ways to get to places you might not have thought possible. All you need to do is try and you might just be surprised. Use the same mentality with crafting and anything else you do in the game and you’ll be rewarded for your experimentation.
Divinity Original Sin 2 – Story
Don’t worry if you haven’t played the first, Divinity Original Sin 2 is set centuries after the first one and while there are a few nods here and there referencing to the first game, Original Sin 2 is a proper game on its own.
Now for the story, in the world of Divinity, Sourcerers are shunned and feared as they attract the Voidwoken, ghastly beings from another realm who consume Sourcerers to fuel their powers. Standard stuff. Your character is one of those Sourcerers. Also, your character eventually discovers that he or she is something known as Godwoken. Also, somehow, everyone in your party is also Godwoken. There’s justification for it in the game, so we’ll just let you find that out on your own. So basically it’s your destiny to defeat the Voidwoken. That’s the main quest line.
Us true RPG players know that the real fun is in the side quests. And there’s no shortage of those in Divinity Original Sin 2. There’s so many side-quests we’re sure we missed quite a few of them in first playthrough. Heck, when we started a game with the “Pet Pal” attribute, we were pleasantly surprised to find animals giving us sidequests. Pet Pal basically lets you talk to animals. It’s pretty handy to have. Animals will help you out in unexpected ways.
You really need to thoroughly explore in order to find some of these side quests, and exploring is quite rewarding. Just as it should be with any RPG.
Divinity Original Sin 2 – Gameplay
There’s nothing new or innovative in terms of gameplay, but rather, a refined version of what we’ve already had for years. Like we mentioned earlier, their goal was to provide an old-school experience. And that’s what you’re getting.
The view is a standard isometric view, but you can switch to a direct top-down view during combat with the press of a button. Movement is done via the mouse, so are most of the actions. The camera can automatically track your character if you want it to, or you can use the keyboard to manually move the camera around. We found ourselves alternating between the two often, and it’s fairly easy to switch between the two.
Selecting and using skills is also fairly straightforward. Getting a grasp of the controls is not very complicated. What is complicated might be the other mechanics like crafting or spell combinations and such. But once you have a general idea of how they work, you’ll be crafting stuff in no time.
There are also stealth and thieving mechanics, allowing to swipe stuff from NPCs and sneak past enemies or lay ambushes. Holding down the Shift key gives you a bunch of indicators which show you the line of sight of NPCs. Pro tip: holding down the Alt key highlights stuff on the ground you can pick up. Wish we knew that when we started.
Another really strong aspect of Divinity Original Sin 2 is its characters. While you have the option to create custom characters at the start, there are six origin characters to choose from who have rich backstories and amazing voice-acting.
You have Beast, the renegade dwarf who rebelled against the Queen, who also happens to be his cousin. Fane, a mysterious undead dude who calls himself an Eternal. Lohse, a woman who is housing a demon inside her. Sebille, an elf who’s out for vengeance against her slavers and lastly The Red Prince, a member of the *spoilers*once dragon*spoilers end here* lizard species, who was exiled and is looking to reclaim his throne. We suggest you play your first playthrough, or at least one of your playthroughs as one of the origin characters. It’s a noticeable difference from custom characters. Origin characters have character specific responses to dialogue which you don’t have as a custom character. But fear not, even if you are a custom character, you can have these origin characters in your party and experience their story through them, although you will miss out on the more intricate details of their stories.
That’s right, in addition to local multiplayer, Divinity Original Sin 2 also has online multiplayer thanks to Steam. You and your friend can play alongside each other and both be the main character. Though we’re not quite sure how that works. Playing with a random though, could be detrimental to your campaign experience. You know, if they accidentally kill an important quest NPC or something like that.
There’s also a Game Master mode, where in a DnD type setting you have a game master with custom scenarios that a group of players can play out.
The multiplayer aspect definitely increases the fun component of the game if you’re playing with buddies.
Divinity Original Sin 2 also has full mod support, so there’s that as well.
Sound and graphics
Divinity Original Sin 2 comes with an amazing soundtrack, very fitting for whatever situation you’re in. Additionally, the VFX sounds, be it for blood spatter or whatever fancy spell you’re flinging, and the sounds that the weird creatures and characters you come across make, it all fits right in place.
Additionally, the entire game is voice acted. There’s apparently over 80,000 lines of dialogue in the game! This makes the experience all the more enjoyable, especially for those experiencing the genre for the first time.
Now for the visuals, we really have no complaints. It’s not an extremely graphic intensive by today’s standards but still delivers a very visually appealing experience. The environments look great and the details in the surroundings, be it inside a ship, or a cabin, or out in the open (anywhere really), is amazing.
The spells and abilities are also really well done. Just the right amount of flashy (how much is too much though?). We loved the characters, the environments, the voice acting. This is some quality stuff here.
Divinity Original Sin 2 – Verdict
You’ll have a hard time finding another RPG like this one around. Divinity does a lot of things right and we’ve got to hand it to Larian Studios, they’ve really created an RPG masterpiece here. The plethora of options that actually matter, the rich characters, the story itself, this game has a lot going for it. We’re definitely still going to be playing it for a while to come.
|Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Platform: Microsoft Windows
Price: Rs. 989 (Steam)
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.