A few years ago, a game like this wouldn’t even have been possible, but thanks to crowdfunding and to game studios that decided to stick to their RPG roots we now have many new-old school RPG’s, and “Divinity: Original Sin 2″ might be the best of them so far.
D:OS 2 feels like an improvement of its predecessor in almost every way. The lack of fantasy races (which was a downside of the first game) has now been addressed, and you can pick from many different races (you got everything from elves, dwarves or more exotic ones like lizardmen to undead). It’s not just in appearance where you have a lot of options, your character build matters, and it makes a big impact on how you play the game. There are skills, talents and spells that are certainly more useful than others, those parts actually reminds me of old RPGs like “Baldur’s Gate” or “Neverwinter Nights”.
Nevertheless, for people not familiar with RPGs (or for those who haven’t played the first D:OS) I strongly recommend that you play on explorer mode. As it means that you don’t only get to explore the world and story, but the mechanics as well. You’ll be able to try out different spells and skills, and the game will be easy enough that you’re not harshly punished if you get things wrong.
D:OS2’s combat is turn-based, and it can be really tactical. It will be important to put your tanky characters on the front while keeping your mages and archers safe. Letting your party members die in battle is really punishing. Unlike modern RPGs where your defeated party members automatically get back up with full HP at the end of every fight, here they will stay dead unless you can use a Scroll of Resurrection on them. So be sure to protect all your characters because those scrolls are hard to come by early in the game when you have little gold.
An issue that is that the game doesn’t use a grid for movement and sometimes is not as clear if you’re going to be able to get close enough to an enemy or not for a melee attack. Another issue I found is that you might be moving your ranged character to some spot, and it turns out you don’t have a line of sight from there, and then it’s too late to go back and you wasted a move, which can be pretty frustrating. These frustrating movement mechanics make any ability or spell that includes some sort of movement (like teleport) some of the best in the game, allowing you to control the flow of battle.
Furthermore, while adventuring out in the world it will be truly necessary that you pay attention to the dialogue because the game uses very few quest markers, and you won’t really see any NPC with a huge sign on their head indicating they’re a quest giver or trader, you’ll have to pay attention, read your journal and talk to everyone to see what you can find out. You also have access to a handy record of all previous dialogues if you happened to miss something when it was said.
The world of D:OS 2 truly is a lot of fun to explore and there are many situations where you’ll really have to think outside the box. I had to sneak through a place but too many guards were watching. I used my party members to distract them by talking to them and making them look away. So you’ll have a lot of situations like that where creative solutions in using game mechanics have great results.
Exploring the world and how it interacts with fun game mechanics like the talent Pet Pal (which kept me sincerely engaged). On the down side though, unfortunately the story was not really impressive, and I fear that it won’t be the most memorable thing about this game. For the most part, I felt the game lacked a real villain, a “Darth Vader” if you will. There is a character that sets things in motion at the start. However, then it’s gone for hours and hours. In other words, you are not sure if you’re really fighting the magisters or the void… Nevertheless, there was one thing that I knew for sure, and that was that I was exploring an amazing looking world and learning more skills and powers while having a lot of fun.
So despite the fact that the story didn’t do all that much for me, I still think that D:OS 2 will go down as one of the best RPGs ever made (certainly of the last few years and perhaps of all time). As the mechanics, character building, tactical combat and inventory management were a lot of fun in a way no game company dared to do in a long time, and the game also had pretty good graphics and music to accompany that.
+ Great tactical combat
+ Complex character creation and inventory management
+ Surprisingly good voice acting for a game studio this small
– While some characters were entertaining, the story overall seemed to be all over the place
Replay value: 4/5
You know, even though D:OS 2’s story didn’t impress me all that much. I still think that it’s safe to say that “Divinity: Original Sin 2” will go down as one of the best RPG’s in the history of Gaming. So “if” you enjoyed the first D:OS game (or RPG’s in general), then you should give D:OS 2 a go with no doubt.
Title: Divinity: Original Sin 2
Developer: Larian Studios
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2017-09-14
Spent time: +40 hours
Average grade internationally: 92.77% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: +16
Price: 49,99 Euros
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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