PAX Prime 2015: Divinity: Original Sin 2 Review

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a new, amazing turn-based combat RPG. Built upon the success of the first game in the series, Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a much broader story line than the original, with a ton of new features and content. There are countless hours of exploration available, and dialogue is extremely dynamic, and unique to each character, which makes for a highly engaging and immersive experience. For example, during my demo, the developer showed what happens when an elf enters a city by running past a guard vs. a dwarf. According to the lore, dwarves are unpopular in the city, and thus the dwarf is not allowed in (and received a separate set of dialogue than the elf). This presents multiple intriguing options for how to proceed, such as by sneaking into the city another way, trying diplomacy to convince the guard to let you pass, or even brute force (attacking the guard) which could set the entire city into a frenzy.

The game offers multiple classes to choose from, suiting just about any playstyle, whether you like playing as a tank melee or a mage sniper. Divinity: Original Sin 2 allows the player to kill any player or NPC, and dead characters return as ghosts. Certain classes can communicate with the ghosts, which can also be captured and used to boost certain powers and abilities in each character. The developers put a lot of care into making sure that this game was as open ended and has as much freedom as possible.

Original Sin 2’s combat supports up to four players, and when playing co-op, players share the same screen (ie, true couch co-op). When players get too far apart from each other, the screen splits dynamically to accommodate the view of both players. When players are close enough together, the screen combines back into one, seamlessly and automatically.

The combat involves saving and using “action points” which are used to carry out specific attacks. The game is designed to be fast and strategic, and the environment is entirely interactive. This means that if you see a puddle of water on the ground, you can shoot a lightning bolt into it to electrify any enemies standing in it, or if you see an oil slick, you can set it on fire to block an enemy’s path or burn them. Players are encouraged to be creative as they explore the lands. Certain spells can be crafted by mixing multiple spell books together, which allows the player to come up with unique strategies for taking out specific enemies. For example, the player can combine a mute and summoning spell to create a stealth spider. There are also many different environmental hazards within the game which players must navigate strategically using their abilities and spells. Many quests are based around teamwork and each character’s specific lore, similar to how tabletop role playing games are designed.

The game has beautiful graphics that look sharp, crisp and vibrant, and the overhead view makes it easy to see combat. Players will likely spend a lot of time exploring the world and looking for unique ways to progress, as well as helpful loot.

The developers at Divinity: Original Sin 2 have put an amazing amount of detail into this game, and I can’t wait to pick it up. Anyone looking for a great fantasy RPG they can enjoy with a friend should have this on their must-have list.

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