I can go ahead and give you spoilers for this review and tell you right now that almost everything you are going to hear is that this game is absolutely fantastic. Divinity Original Sin is a game made by Larian Studios and was funded thanks to kickstarter. It is one of the first isometric (Camera angle) RPGs to come out this year (Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Enternity due out later) and it is a fantastic start to a return to the classic rpg. Divinity absolutely lives up to the history before it from the likes of Balder’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout and Icewind Dale.
As mentioned before, Divinity Original Sin is an Isometric RPG that combines the action RPG elements of free roaming and turn based combat like that of D&D, Dungeon and Dragons. All stats have an impact on how you fight during combat. Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, etc. all are your character’s major stats that can influence how powerful and accurate your attacks are or how tough or evasive your defense can be. There are 11 starting classes including battlemage, cleric, fighter, rogue and wizard but that isn’t to say you can’t put points into whichever stat you want without penalty. The starting classes are just a suggested set of skills, attributes and armor for each one and you can change it to accommodate how you want to play. Do you want an Archer that can also cast fire spells? Sure you can have that. Do you want a Rogue that can sneak behind an enemy and then freeze them with frost touch or perhaps hit them hard with a battleaxe? Absolutely. The class combinations are endless and that is the first of many specializations to how you want to play the game.
As stated, combat is turn based which rules initiative into a roll that allows for who starts when; some enemies will start first regardless of initiative because of story but we won’t get into that. This means that you could, with a high enough initiative eliminate half the enemies before they even begin their turn. However the battles can be ruthless as the enemies, in most cases, are the same or higher level than you and can be just as deadly. Thus meaning you need to use strategy and just about all your spells/abilities at your disposal. For example, you are fighting some knights/warriors and an archer is up on the hill attacking you from above. Well a good way to get him down is to have your mage teleport him to your melee characters or perhaps throw your teleport cube (something special to divinity that I won’t get to deep into) and teleport your party up there. There are many ways to deal with different enemies but this game requires you to use strategy a lot during your battles.
Divinity absolutely does not hand hold whatsoever. Besides the starting tutorial dungeon that is completely optional, there is no instructions on how to play or what to do. In order to figure out quests you need to read your journal logs and dialogue among npc’s and try to discern what to do next. Sometimes it is pretty obvious sometimes it is entirely difficult. On top of that you are not restricted to where you need to go. You can do quests way out of your level or you can save quests for later and come back and obliterate enemies once you are a higher level. There is no restriction on what you can do which makes it a ton of fun to figure out where you need to go and what you need to do. I could praise some of the features of this game for pages but unfortunately I’ll let you watch some of our gameplay footage that we have of us playing to see more.
The game doesn’t just stop at gameplay and call it a night. No the story is also fantastic and takes a lot of the elements of plot devices to progress the story for you to find out who your characters are and why the events of the world are happening. It starts with your two characters who are Source Hunters that are on a quest to find out why a chancellor was murdered and by who. Source Hunters are warriors that find people using Source, an ancient dark magic, and to eliminate them. As the game progresses you slowly discovered the origins of Source and that it wasn’t always a Dark power. A guardian of the forest Astarte was convinced by her friend to distract the Guardians guarding the God Box and open it. Once she opened it she realized what she had done and let out the Void Dragon which desired to send the entire world to oblivion. Immediately she trapped the Void Dragon in another dimension and source became corrupt. Your characters are tasked with the job to find out who they once where and how to stop those who use Source for corruptible means.
The whole world of Rivellon is a rich world with lots of content and character. Most NPCs have some sort of story or quest and there are books with lore everywhere in the world. Most side quests are a little silly but a lot of them are fresh and great quests to go on. Some in fact are very well hidden and you must have certain abilities to be able to come across these quests. For example, in the King Krab Inn in Cyseal, there is a cat. You must have the “pet pal” ability in order to talk to him however he confesses his love for another cat in the city but the other cat won’t love him back because she fears he won’t be able to have kittens with him or some such. Well eventually you find a jewel collar to give to him and the female cat because infatuated with him. After you complete the quest even your characters mention how shallow the female cat was just because the male cat got a nice collar.
Divinity is a very beautiful game with great visuals and a very aesthetically pleasing world. Each area is unique from the plains and beaches of Cyseal, to the forests and mines of Lucalla to the swamps and dungeons of Phantom Forest. Each area is unique and has plenty of items all over. Now it isn’t the prettiest game out on the market however it is the best looking RPG to date. The music and sound is pretty well done as well. The music, though sometimes repetitive, is pretty catchy and I found no complaints with the voice actors themselves when they had their few lines throughout the game. My only complaint was during a small part in the market of Cyseal the NPCs would repeat their same lines over and over again every minute and could get pretty annoying. However that is a very small complaint on an amazing game.
I don’t typically talk about re-playability, just usually give a score on it, however I would feel remiss in not mentioning it. Divinity has what I feel is an almost infinite re-playability. Along with the campaign that already has multiple paths during play and multiple classes and skills you can choose from; the devs over at Larian also included a powerful RPG editor that allows anyone to make their own campaign and submit it to the steam workshop for others to play. This allows for anyone that has an idea for a story to submit it to world to be able to play. On top of that there are also full mod tools that allow people to make mods such as a higher difficulty mod, 4 player co-op mod and the ability to add other items, skills and worlds to this already great game.
Overall this game is fantastic and is definitely one to remember for years. From the gameplay that returns to the classics, to great visuals, story and re-playability it is a game that is a must have if you are a gamer that loves story driven games with great gameplay.