March 22, 2019 at 1:40 PM #1289
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition
Rating: 3.5 – Good
Dungeons and Dragons: The Video Game
Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is a classic isometric RPG with turn-based combat that is built directly with hardcore fans of the genre in mind. It’s hardcore style will no doubt please purists, but others may be turned off by it.
First off, the most impressive thing about Divinity: Original Sin is how much player choice is there. It honestly feels like playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons, with players able to do basically whatever they want, within reason. Important quest characters can be murdered, doors that are supposed to be unlocked with special keys can be knocked down, the main quest can be ignored, etc. Even those that are turned off by other aspects of the game should be able to appreciate just how much player choice is there and how the player can truly shape the game world and the story in a way that most other games fail to provide.
Player choice is apparent right from the start, with players given the chance to create their own character with a decent character creation tool. It’s not the most advanced character creation tool that ever was, but it’s enough for players to make their character truly their own. From there, players are thrown into the thick of things, tasked with learning the turn-based battle mechanics that often challenge them with thinking outside the box in order to be successful.
The turn-based battles will be a treat to many, though others will find them tedious. Getting sucked into a turn-based battle can be annoying at times, especially when they come out of nowhere or are activated accidentally, as these battles are often difficult and can very often result in death.
Dying in Divinity: Original Sin can be extremely frustrating, as the game doesn’t auto-save very often and so players can easily lose huge chunks of progress. There is nothing more deflating in an RPG than realizing one has to go click through endless boxes of text and story beats all over again.
Speaking of text, the game probably has a bit too much of it, and the story itself is mostly uninteresting. There are side quests with interesting tales and amusing characters, but the main quest, like in many RPGs, feels generic and may fail to connect with players.
Luckily, players can split their quest duties between themselves, as the game offers local and online co-op. In local co-op, players are free to explore the world separately, which is rather neat and lets players go through the quests twice as fast or work together on specific quest lines. Players can choose to have the game be same-screen or split-screen co-op, which is also a nice touch. The only annoying thing is that if players have it set to be split-screen all of the time, the game sometimes reverses this and goes back to same-screen after a cut-scene or other event. This can be frustrating, as the jump between split- and same-screen views is a disorienting.
Co-op is implemented in a mostly brilliant manner, and it’s easily one of the best things about Divinity. But it’s not without its flaws, like the aforementioned split-screen problem as well as the way it implements achievements. Unfortunately, the second player can’t earn achievements in Divinity when playing in local co-op, which is a shame, and sort of devalues the second player’s role. This is not a deal breaker by any means, but those that care about achievements may be less inclined to devote their time to Divinity, especially since the game does demand that players devote a ton of their time to really get into the experience.
The time investment required by Divinity may be daunting for some players, and it’s another example of how the game’s hardcore nature may be a turn off to those that aren’t hardcore RPG fans. Those that are fans of the genre though will find a meaty game that will last them dozens of hours, and plenty more for completionists.
Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is a hardcore RPG and a throwback to classics of the genre. The level of player freedom is impressive and the co-op mode makes it worth a look for those that are fans of these kinds of games. However, there are aspects of it that feel outdated, mostly its save system, and that may be a turnoff to those that are used to the conveniences of modern gaming experiences.
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