There and Back Again – Divinity: Original Sin.
A classic adventure of the olden days, here’s a game to save the role-player’s grace! With its seamless gameplay Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced Edition) can place your butt firmly lodged in the chair for hours on end. It is like a lengthy Dungeons & Dragons campaign in an extremely lively but gravely wounded world.
A shroud of madness and suffering covered the land since the Source went out of control. Magic was tainted and the minds of many practitioners swiftly filled with thoughts of destruction and chaos. Insatiable thirst for power and illusions of grandeur twisted their souls and peace was shattered. Only the Source Hunters are reckless and capable enough of standing against the spreading corruption…
This is the global scheme of things in this co-operative RPG but the full scale of the raging madness is revealed bit by bit. When one zooms in the levels of detail and interaction are staggering, making Divinity: Original Sin one of the most immersive titles released this year and certainly one of the best indie games.
I am only a few hours in the campaign but that’s more than enough to already be mighty impressed how naturally fluid the world of the game is. All interactions make are interwoven in the gameplay seamlessly, making you forget that IRL you are not an Inquisitor on a holy mission or a Ranger with deadly hand. Hell, you would forget real life exists!
There are numerous choices to make, which mold your character and the destiny of your party. Every single encounter could influence the adventurers, shaping their personalities and predisposing them toward certain choices. Much like real life events of importance, the chosen actions make them more rational or more inclined toward violence; more romantic or more lawful. In turn, future interactions could be influenced by decisions made in the past, thus creating a unique journey every time the game is played.
It definitely feels like Divinity: Original Sin can be played numerous times, with various parties, solo or in co-op with another player. There are so many highly customizable classes to choose from, skills to master, traits to acquire, and, most importantly, combos to unlock. The game is very detailed but a handful of things are merely suggested, left to the player to figure out. Like using electrical damage against a foe who is wet: not only he takes damage from the attack but he is also electrocuted, stunned for the next turn.
Despite the fact the battles are entirely turn-based, they remind me a lot of the combat system in Dragon Age: Origins (where the pause button is used so frequently that effectively the encounters are turn-based), only with much greater variety of combos and attacks. Each character can learn many skills. Together they can produce absolutely magnificent combos. Later on a couple of companions would join the party, to make the battles even more tactical. Each of these two heroes could be controlled by either of the players and are nearly as customizable as the original Source Hunters. This is when the combat tactics become a part of a complex strategy where the synergy of skills has to reach unprecedented levels.
Everything in the game flows naturally and also feels natural because there are no tooltips or other artificial indicators what one could do with all the stuff out there. Disarming a trap or extinguishing the fire of a burning ship is a task one has to figure out alone. The level of immersion and fluidity is mesmerizing. I noticed a few small bugs but nothing really significant. I am certain they will be polished out soon to make the adventure even more unforgettable.
I will report my impressions from Divinity: Original Sin (Enhanced Edition) in more detail in a couple of weeks. This is a game which received huge backing (nearly 20, 000 people donated to its Kickstarter campaign, accumulating a little short of a million in support) and it has been well-deserved. Larian Studios definitely deliver a wonderful experience, which can and has to be savored in full.
This might take a while but it is a journey I am eager to continue.
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