Get the details on this upcoming fantasy role-playing game from Larian Studios.
What's more divine than divinity? Larian Studios' Divine Divinity, of course. This isometric role-playing game from German developer Larian Studios has been in development for a number of years, and it will finally be released in 2002--in fact, it's already available in Germany. Divine Divinity will attempt to combine the traditional role-playing elements of Baldur's Gate with fast-paced hack-and-slash gameplay, so players who wish to follow the story and perform quests can do so, while players who want to spend most of their time killing skeletons can do so as well.
Divine Divinity will take place in a land of high fantasy, so you can expect to meet soldiers wearing chain mail and brandishing swords, mighty wizards, and kindly healers in your travels. You can also expect to be pursued by a mysterious group of powerful sorcerers known as the Black Ring, who want nothing more than to find you and kill you. That's because, as the game's opening movie reveals, your character has been infused with one-third of a holy spirit imprisoned by these evil wizards, and in order to see their plans for world domination through, they'll need to hunt down each of these three fragments and destroy them (and any living vessels that happen to be harboring them).
Fortunately, Divine Divinity will give you ample opportunity to rise to the challenge. The game will let you play as male or female versions of three basic characters: warrior, wizard, and survivalist. Warriors tend to focus on fighting enemies with weapons, and they can learn secondary abilities such as repairing damaged weapons, incapacitating enemies with stunning blows, or even infusing their weapons with magical powers. Wizards, as you might guess, tend to use magic spells to attack their enemies and defend themselves, and they may learn additional abilities like specializing in a specific type of magic or learning alchemy, which involves collecting herbs and brewing potions. Survivalists are the thieves of Divine Divinity. They use their superior agility to sneak past enemies, ambush opponents with backstabbing attacks, and get into secure areas by picking locks. Yet according Larian Studios, Divine Divinity will actually be a "classless, skill-based game," because although you'll choose a basic starting character type, you'll be able to learn and develop any skill in the game. If you wish, you can be a warrior who's good at picking locks, or a wizard who's especially handy with a sword.
Hacking and slashing can play a significant role in Divine Divinity if you wish it. The game will have a huge set of skills to learn, and the more experience you have, the more skills you can learn and improve. The game's fighting system takes place in real time--hand-to-hand combat can be started automatically by clicking on an enemy once, though you may need to throw multiple spells at that angry skeleton archer before it drops. Divine Divinity's fights are generally fast-paced, and as long as you keep your eye on your character's life meter, you'll have a good idea of whether your character is strong enough to survive, though the game will let you pause it at any time to get your bearings or figure out what to do next. If you need to, you can quickly down a healing potion to replenish your health, a magic potion to replenish your spell points, or a stamina potion to replenish your character's endurance so he or she can flee.