Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Steam
Release Date: June 30th
Divnity: Original Sin is the latest in the Divinity series and was made by Larian Studios. The game is a turn based RPG that feels like a fusion between Dragon Age: Origins and old school Diablo. There is a large map to explore filled with NPC’s, traps, enemies, and treasure.
You create two protagonists at the start of the game by choosing between several classes for either character. You can also tweak their stats and starting abilities, creating characters that fit more in line with your style of play. As a fan of being able to mold my own characters, I was happy to see so many options available even at the start of the game.
Many of the elements of Divinity: Original Sin feel like a tabletop RPG. Character creation and customization takes place in a virtual character sheet, for example. The player can also barter with every NPC they encounter. Speaking with npcs often has branching dialog, especially during quests, meaning they player can choose how they develop the personalities of their characters. Players can also ask most NPC’s questions regarding the quests the player is on, sometimes gaining useful hints regarding on how to complete tasks.
The combat of the game is very solid. There is an element system in place, but rather than the game being focused on exploiting weaknesses the different elements can interact with the environment. Casting a fire spell on water will create a steam cloud that grants concealment preventing archers from shooting your party, while casting an electric attack on water will stun anyone touching the water for several turns. Fire can burn slime and oil or cause explosions. Enemies will use these tactics as well, so being aware of the battlefield can turn the tide of battle.
Divinity: Original Sin rewards players for exploring by giving experience points for discovering new places. Sharp eyed players can also find hidden passages and treasure by moving boxes or other items. I think that they designers did a good job at adding some hidden gems for the players to find, even though the rewards aren’t always great.
The player can take their questing online to join other players as well. Multiplayer adds some replayability by allowing you to create your own campaigns and quests using tools that come packaged with the game. The game encourages a mod community as well, helping to build its community in such places as Steam.
Not everything is great, though. While the graphics aren’t bad, the models used for characters within the game are all very similar. I was disappointed by how difficult it can be to find specific NPC’s for quests and often frustrated by trying to figure out where I could find merchants that sell specific spells or skills. Certain items are only obtainable through specific spells or skills which can make the player frustrated that they didn’t begin with this class or another.
The FPS on the game can get a little stuttery as well. However, while unpleasant, the occasional lag doesn’t really affect the flow of the game. Since it is turn-based combat you don’t have to worry about being jumped, but I have run over the occasional mine due to lag or a poor camera angle.
Over all, I actually had a lot of fun playing Divinity: Original Sin. I think that this RPG has a lot to offer gamers who are fans of oldschool western RPG’s like Baldur’s Gate or Diablo and those who are fans of the mod community, especially Steam users. I give this title a solid 8 out of 10.
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