Divinity II Updated Impressions

Sharpen your claws and prepare for another look at Larian Studios' dragon-centric fantasy adventure game.

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Your goal in Divinity II is nothing less than to become a dragon. Well, technically, that would be a dragon knight, a warrior who has the ability to shape-shift into dragon form in the upcoming Divinity II: Ego Draconis for the PC and Xbox 360. Along with those lofty goals, you have the consequences of your actions to consider as you make your way through an action role-playing game where every choice you make looks to have reverberations throughout the rest of the story. The game is due for release in January, and representatives from publisher CDV and developer Larian Studios recently dropped by GameSpot HQ to catch us up on what's new.

As you make your way through Divinity II's swords and sorcery storyline, you'll gain a host of powers for your hero--not the least of which is being able to take dragon form, fly through the air, and breathe fire. Another, slightly more subtle power available to you in human form is the ability to read minds, which, at least based on the demo we saw of the game, looks to be an effective tool in getting what you want in the game. Reading minds doesn't come for free--in fact, you'll spend experience points you gain in battle in order to read a non-player character's thoughts, and some people will be more expensive to read than others.

That said, reading minds can be an effective tool, and a time-saver to boot. Consider one quest we saw in the demo--where the hero of the game was charged by another character to interrogate a prisoner about the whereabouts of a local bandit camp. Your commanding officer wants to know where the camp is so he can overrun it--and there are a couple of different ways to get this done. The long way involves heading to the prisoner's cell and striking up a conversation, gaining his trust, and eventually getting the information you need. The quick way, of course, is to read his mind, learn the location of the bandit camp and the password for entry, and then report back to your commanding officer.

It's up to you how you get this information, and it's up to you what you do with the information once you have it. One player might immediately take the location and password to the lieutenant, and another might keep it to himself and explore the bandit camp alone. Either decision has ramifications in the story: If you tell the lieutenant, you'll join in the invasion of the camp and bring the bandits to justice. If you keep the information from your lieutenant, you can check out the camp for yourself, which will open up an entire new set of available quests.

The demo we saw of Divinity II skipped to different points across the game and featured both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. The console demo we saw featured snippets of a battle against a necromancer--defeating him seems to be the final step in attaining the ability to assume dragon form and thus transform your character into a full-fledged dragon knight. Once you've beaten him, you'll earn your dragon form and be taken through a tutorial of sorts that will get you acclimated to soaring through the skies and battling it out. In the tutorial, you'll need to take out several anti-dragon defense towers by dipping in between their firing lines and blasting them with your fiery breath. Controls look to be a breeze: You move with the left stick, attack with the right trigger, and perform useful dash moves with the left trigger.

One look at Divinity II's sprawling world map and it's easy to see that the game is a big one--with plenty of places to explore and quests to engage in. With that said, the developers seem to have taken that size into effect and made movement fairly easy. You can, of course, fly wherever you like once you've attained dragon form. There's also a series of teleporting hubs you can use to instantly move from one area to the next. There's also your battle tower, which is your character's home base and which you can transport to and from more or less instantaneously.

Divinity II's focus on world-building and a narrative that puts importance on the consequences of players' actions look to make it a natural fit for fantasy fans who don't currently get enough dragon in their gaming diet. It's due for release on January 5, 2010, on the Xbox 360 and PC.

Discussion

59 comments
Remora133
Remora133

the controls are actually very interesting and effective

yellowhawk90161
yellowhawk90161

i dont understand how do you quick map items and spells?

Hilda1007
Hilda1007

I've played this game all the way through and loved it. Has everything an RPG fan could want, killing, looting exploring a beautiful landscape. Also an AMAZING end that had me laughing and desperate for the next game! On top of all that it's hilariously funny. I played on a PC. At first I had some problems (hung during load) but once I installed the patch I had no problems at all. (Q6600. nVidia GeForce GTX 275) Think it got overshadowed by the Dragon Age hype. Agree with tyrosxps - Dragon Age gets a bit boring, but being an RPG fan I will buy every expansion of that game anyway. Not enough fantasy rpgs for PCs around. I was shocked by some of the poor reviews for Divinity 2 - not justified at all. The game is brilliant! Come on, reviewers! We can think for ourselves you know and if you trash a good game we will remember you guys!

tyrosxps
tyrosxps

Ohh, and I forgot to mention turning into dragon - an awesome experience. This game is a must for any action RPG fan. I have it on PC and it looks and runs great (Q9550, GTX 260)

tyrosxps
tyrosxps

Awesome game, I've been playing Dragon Age, but got bored, too much management with you party and all that, I like this one better. You just have your character to worry about and you can also summon a creature to aid you in battle.

wahyudil
wahyudil

I've played the first one, and have good experience with this game ... of course I will play the 2nd one ... this is a must played game ...

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

I have been playing Dragon Age for the past 5 days and honestly am not as giddy as a lot of people seem to be... Oblivion seems to have forever spoiled RPG's for me because I haven't played one that I feel is even remotely close to the finesse of Oblivion. I will pick this up today, it looks pretty good, but I won't expect much so not to be disappointed. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Buzzed50
Buzzed50

I got the full version yesterday. The graphics are good and for me its a lot of fun to play. I am surprised this has not got better publicity. There seems to be a lot of people pick picking the crap out of it with out even playing it. Load times are no problem. There is a couple times it took about 10-15 seconds to load. I would give this game a 8 out of 10. Loads of fun so far.I am playing it on the xbox 360. Also the frame rate is very good everything matches up. I did install this to my machine. Not sure if that makes a difference frame rate wise. Enjoy.

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

I've played this one and somehow somethings are not right. Especially the graphic. I played it on xbox 360 and somehow I think the graphic is not quite good. The frame rate is a problem here. It makes the graphic not smooth. Another thing is loading time. I hate going around the city because of this. I have to wait for around 30 second to get inside a house, spend only 10 second inside, and need to wait another 30 second to get back out. I think it's quite good though. The story and all. Haven't finished it yet but I will in a near future.

GoreObsessed
GoreObsessed

Im really looking forward to this game. I hope the american release ends up being good.

Tyanmir
Tyanmir

True that feliscele... They almost NEVER get control schemes right on consoles... Let's see how it turns out in Jan. Think I'll go for the pc version

feliscele
feliscele

I hope the 360 version is good, but I don't have high hopes. Games like this are always better on PC.

Jorlen
Jorlen

Hoping this won't be delayed "a la sacred 2", looks like a really fun game and the 360 can definitely use more decent action/RPGs

Dinkyfish
Dinkyfish

I really like the sound of this game but I'm not too sure now I've seen the video, it looks quite ugly and rough around the edges. Hopefully it'll get polished up a bit before release. Think I'll rent before I buy though...

LoranHalvard
LoranHalvard

@Fynnon The game been released here in the BeNeLux just now (I believe this is the first English version of the game to arrive in stores) for PC and 360, so the game is actually already out in several languages. That being said, I do agree that dtp's insane publishing technique will certainly hurt Larian.

Fynnon
Fynnon

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

David_W
David_W

@HILDA1007 Isn't that a rather blinkered view? Would you really never play another game again if they were only available on consoles just on point of principal? It has to be principal, unless you can highlight a more concrete reasoning. Also, you might do well to consider that the reason a lot of people play games like FALLOUT III etc on XBOX360 and PS3 because they are on a lower budget and cannot afford a PC that can run those spec-heavy games. Sometimes it comes down to affordability, not choice. I enjoyed DIVINE DIVINITY, although I never finished it due to my dissapointment at just how broken the game was. The STEEL SCORPION spell was overwhelmingly overpowered, and punctured any sense of challange. The best thing about it was the music, which I ripped onto CD and still sometimes play. Will rent this, and buy it if it's good.

leonvw
leonvw

Finished the game in German. Good, but could give us more... don't get me wrong though, i'm very demanding with games... you'll find it's a very good game... has a start, a middle an end and things don't come so easily unless you use a trainer. Three major flaws, though, were 1) it takes a RIDICULOUSLY LONG time to get to become a dragon and 2) you can't personalise your dragon's looks IN ANY WAY. Finally 3) you can fly, yes, but only through where the game allows. You can't go wherever you want so flying's almost just a time-saver. That turned me down to almost deleting the game from my HD. Other than that, it's a great game. I enjoyed it ^^

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Why is it all RPG videos show just the combat mostly?! What about showing character interaction, the game interface, some dialogue?!!!

Slash_out
Slash_out

Already finished this game in german. Really good game. Worth it. It's not a blockbuster, but it's really a good game if you like RPG's, and have nothing to do. Not to mention, some of the choices in this game are hard !!! Ispent 30 minutes for some of them, thinking while runing around the room to make up my mind :p.

MagicTestacle
MagicTestacle

This looks like a bad action game, and an okay role-playing game hybrid. I really don't understand why any of you people are so happy about... We'll see if it's worth buying...

Hilda1007
Hilda1007

I will definitely be getting it. Loved Divine Divinity and halfway decent fantasy RPGs are thin on the ground. Letting all game developers know this: we will not all be buying consoles so please don't abandon your faithful PC gamers. If PC gaming dies a death, I will be catching up on my reading, but I will NEVER buy a console to play games! Even Fable 2 hasn't made me buy an xbox!!!

Sabzak
Sabzak

Sorry if I sound like an idiot but does this game have single player mode ?

jjmonster2006
jjmonster2006

it looks good; But I have a problem with games that don't involve any flinching from being hit, and vice versa. It's a small thing but it makes me feel way more involved in the game.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Looks pretty cool..Upgradding a dragon..Hopefully like the poster said down below..Before it comes over seas all the bugs will be fixed..Looks like some good fight battles also..

SHR_2007
SHR_2007

I wonder what will be better?Divinity II or Dragon Age: Origins?

Schwarte
Schwarte

Got it (Germany), played it, shelved it. It's a decent game, but it's buggy and at some points the execution isn't that good. The story is flat out awful and bland. The world makes up for some of that, as most NPC dialogues are rather well written and the world looks pretty nice.

Elhan
Elhan

I hope you can specialise in a path like Wizard (I was hoping to be able to play an elf too.) Anyways, looks good. I wonder if it will turn out to be.

pollob13
pollob13

already played its german version in english text .. and its awesome .. :D

Berserk8989
Berserk8989

Divine Divinity was awesome, gonna buy that also probably =)

Marder-I
Marder-I

LOL, I did'nt know it was also going on the X, good to know and I'll pick this up I think!! Cheers Tom

cybi9988
cybi9988

First divinity game was the best Crpg I ever played. Can't wait for this one.

Raikoh_911
Raikoh_911

Looking good, and with Divine Divinity in the back catalogue they sure know what they're doing. Have to agree with Inebrianus though, please don't make it too easy to wipe the floor with everyone by just going into Dragon mode.

Inebrianus
Inebrianus

Looks great but I hope the shapeshifting ability wouldn't make the main character overpowered. I've played a Japanese game with the same concept, but I was rather disappointed by its shallow combat system...

Rickiej
Rickiej

Just what siarhei said, the game is released at the same time as Mass Effect 2 and therefor will fall a bit in the background. Nonetheless the game looks great.

siarhei
siarhei

Sounds interesting.. Too bad ME2 is coming out in january...

dakan45
dakan45

Interesting...but what its supossed to be? An action rpg or a hardcore DnD rpg?

Skelad
Skelad

Right - gotta complete Dragon Age (or get really stuck and fed up) in 3 months to play this!

herzalot
herzalot

This is one of those few RPG's that I WILLLLL play it. no matter it gets a 6 or a 10.

DeimosGT
DeimosGT

Man, this game is gonna kick a**. I have the European version, but the frame rates just ticked me off... I hope they fix that in the NA version...

bennae66
bennae66

looking forward to it. been following for a while, before i learnt the title i told people it 'was that dragon game but not dragon age' very cool. dont stuff it up!

fatooosh
fatooosh

remember me drakan i love this game

mrpiccolod
mrpiccolod

sucks this game has been pushed back so many times. January is well overdue