Divinity : Original Sin is not just a classical Computer RPG, that impressed a lot of people because it was old school but the game itself is unique in its own way and shows how to make an old school game for both fans and new comers. So, what makes this game so amazing.? Read below.
The game lets you create your own characters on startup. You pick up classes, names, and gender of two of your main characters (or simply go with default ones). Your journey begins with a simple quest to investigate the murder of councilor Jake. Being a Source Hunter, you are assigned to this job to combat evil forces and find out the truth about this murder. Which starts as a simple murder investigation turns into something much bigger and plot becomes more complex after each passing moment. Throughout your journey, you come across various characters with deep personalities and something to share. Seeing how the game tells its storyline in real time without any cutscene or close up cameras, it is extremely impressive how the game immerse you in its world and plot. Later in the game, you care about different people including your companions. The game lets you create two main characters but that’s not it. Two more companions can join you in this journey. You can either convince other two by finding them in the game’s world to come with you or hire them.
The ones you find have more deeper personalities than the ones hired. In my case, it was the mixture of two. The woman I found at the inn (Madora) had her own background story to share. She shares it and asks you to help her solve her problems later in the game, that reminds me of Loyalty Missions from Mass Effect 2. However, here these missions don’t effect the overall storyline but trigger extra quests that helps you find loot and increases your Experience. Not only that, but the way you deal you companions also effects your personality. The Storyline in the game is not altered, the way you would expect from other RPGs but instead it is about how you complete the quest and the number of ways of approaching your objective is just mind blowing. What I want to say is, instead of changing states of the world, your decisions effect how you complete your task.
Divinity : Original Sin is over 100 hours long. There are few games that make you want to spend the entire day at home and play the game daily, until it is finished. Such games make you want to complete every quest and see everything that the game has to offer. Divinity : Original Sin is one of these games and it feels even more impressive when you realize that the game is over 100 hours long and it still doesn’t get boring or repetitive. We are living in the era where games are dumbed down for the masses and lose their depth. Such games are attractive to casual audience but become boring pretty soon for core gamers. It is nice to see a game that is targeted for RPG fans. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no entry for new comers because just like The Witcher 2 and Dragon Age : Origins, this game is old school but at the same time has a great appeal for new comers as well.
The game demands you to be patient though. There is no hand holding here. You won’t get any markers on map, telling you where to go, or hints telling you what to do. You’ll have to figure everything on your own and that’s one of the many reasons why this game is so amazing. It is not amazing because it sounds “hardcore” to not have hand holding, but it is amazing because that’s how the game was designed. For Example : You’ll have discover a secret place and find important documents that will tell you where to locate something you’ve been looking for. This will update your journal, telling you what you’ve discovered, so even if you haven’t read the thing yourself, your journal will tell you that in small sentences. However, sometimes it really helps to read something that looks interesting because it may contain a hint to defeat a difficult boss easily, open secret doors, solve different puzzles and so on. Another great win for this game is that, quests can be approach in many ways. At no point in the game, a quest is locked because you didn’t start a conversation with someone important. Hell, a lot of times during my playthrough, I completed the quest before even meeting a guy who was supposed to give me that task. After completing it I found the guy who asked me to do that task for him and I told him that I have already done that. Then soon after that, the quest was activated and then marked as finished in my journal. What I want to say is, quests and events in the game aren’t linked together, which gives you a lot of freedom to do whatever you want in this world. The game rewards you for each and every action. The world is huge with a lot of stuff to explore.
Exploration is rewarding as well and you gain experience, every time when you discover a secret place or a waypoint which is used for fast travel. Not only that but loot can also be hidden inside the ground and with right type of character upgrades (more below in Gameplay Section), you can locate it and dig it to find something special. What alsoy impressed me was variety in enemy types. Divinity has two phases : The first one can be a bit frustrating for new comers and for gamers who aren’t patient enough. Due to lack of hand holding and a complex system, you’ll have no idea what to do for several hours. The Second Phase starts after several hours, once you start to realize how stuff works in the game. After that it is hard to stop playing this game. Inventory is different for every party member which makes it a bit difficult to manage in the beginning but later you get used to it. You can also play the game with your friends. There is a two player co-op in the game and it supports LAN as well. You can play the entire campaign with your friend. That’s not it, the game also supports mods and has a level editor that allows you to create your own adventure. This is the best way to make a PC Game.
Divinity is a true cRPG with a lot of depth. You can customize your character in variety of different ways. Your party can contain people from different classes, who are expert in different kind of skills. The combat in the game is one of the strongest features of it. It is turn based with a lot of tactics and options. Like your normal RPGs there are different elements involved in the gameplay (Fire Damage, Ice Damage, Poison Damage etc) but that’s not it. This game takes that to a whole new level. You can experiment by combining different elements to enhance their effect to come up with creative ways to defeat your enemies. For Example : You can shot a fire arrow close to a barrel full of oil to cause massive explosion, or you can shoot a water barrel and then shot a fire arrow on that water to make steam clouds that can blind your enemies. You can ask your mage to cast a rain spell to make the surface wet, then use lightening bolt on a wet surface to stun your enemies and cause area damage and so on.
Crafting in the game is very deep. You also find scrolls in the game that can be used once. Not only that but you also find skill books. By using these books, you unlock new skills and unlike scrolls, these skills can be used anytime, provided your skill level is high enough to learn a particular spell. The story doesn’t end there. Throughout the game you find blank sheets of paper that can be used to create your own spells through crafting and you can also create your own skill books by using blank books. The game lets you create your own weapons and armors as well. Not just that but if you are short on paper sheets to make scrolls, you can make your own by harvesting right ingredients (like pieces of wood).
Like any other RPG, weapons and armors can have their own special abilities. Some increase your strength, others increase dexterity, intelligence, resistances, chance to stun your enemies, increase your health and so on. Different attributes have different benefits on certain classes ; More Strength increases damage cause by melee weapons, dexterity increases chance to hit (great for ranged weapons), intelligence increases effect of magic, constitution increases number of action points and health, speed decreases actions points cost during combat and perception helps you locate secret levers, switches, hidden loot and traps. Special abilities, actions and spells can be assigned to a quick bar and instead of 8-10 slots, the game offers you 30 slots to assign your abilities for quick selection and believe me, even those 30 slots won’t be enough for you to fit all of those abilities that you are going to unlock in the game. There is so much to do in the game that it is hard to mention each and everything here. In short : This game is deep.
Visually, Divinity reminds of The Witcher 2. Technically it may not be as advanced as some other high end titles are but art direction in the game and a strong vision behind the game makes it extremely good looking. Effects are really good, and from a big and beautiful sandbox levels to the sound of menu selection, everything is beautiful. Even smallest feature of the game got a full attention to make it as immersive as possible. For Example : Your character will grab his/her arms when chilled because of cold, animals will run away when you approach them etc. Not just that but there are different animations for different abilities that you use during combat.
Conversation during dialogue selection in the game is text based but at no point, the game bombards you with a wall of text. Each and everything is brief and easily readable. Outside of these conversations, characters (including main characters) are voice acted. Dialogues and voice acting is great. Music and sound quality is top notch. Vanilla version of the takes a little time to save your game and some PCs also suffered from a rare crash in Lucilla Forest’s village (and in some cases after loading). However these issues have been fixed already. Not only that but those updates also bring ton of enhancements, fixes and new features in the game (not discussed in the review). In short : Divinity : Original Sins looks beautiful and overall presentation is solid.
Divinity : Original Sin is an amazing game built like an old school cRPG. This game is great place for both new comers and core fans to have an amazing experience. If you were looking for a game to convert you then this might be it.
Variety of Enemies
Deep Crafting System
Open World Exploration
Level Editor and Mod Support
Co-op and LAN support
Rare Crash in some (not all) PCs in vanilla version