Developers: Larian Studios
Publishers: Larian Studios
Divinity: Original Sin 2 (D:OS 2), the turn-based RPG made a lot of noise when it was released. Everyone started to jump on the bandwagon and talk about it.
Almost every aspect of the game is on point, apart from a few bugs and the Armour system. I otherwise can’t fault it.
Introduction is more Engaging
The story has improved and feels much more consistent. More importantly, the introduction is more engaging. The first game had you start on a beach and entering a town, with not much going on. Whereas in Divinity: Original Sin 2, the introduction drops you straight into the mix, while feeling helpless at the same time. Immediately, questions flood your mind.
You want more.
Combat is More of the Same
Its combat can be slow, but intense. Every battle can feel like everything depends on it, and you may go on for a couple of hours trying to get through a particularly solid fight. If you’re not into this kind of combat, you probably won’t enjoy it. It’s a niche game that not everyone can enjoy. But those who truly appreciate it will have a hell of a time. The core game mechanics haven’t changed too much, and it didn’t need to.
Unfortunately the game isn’t perfect in everything it does. The Armour system, as I’ve mentioned in this post, limits strategy. If you want to CC (crowd control) a target, you have to get through their shield, unless you’re using Armour piercing skills, like Boulder Dash. In the first game, you can CC whoever you want, providing you win the roll. However in D:OS 2, you have to attack the ones you want to CC first, which doesn’t make sense.
A better alternative could be to increase the chance of landing a CC skill on a target, the lower Armour they have, which would be percent based. With this, you have the best of both worlds. What are your thoughts on the Armour system and CC?
While the Armour/CC deal isn’t fun, the rest of the combat is spot on. Not much has changed since the first game, except for some fine tuning here and there. The more noticeable changes to combat however, is with the addition of two new classes and some tweaks to existing skills.
In addition to this, there are some bugs you may encounter where your controller will automatically scroll in menus, which is countered by rapidly moving the left stick. Or even an issue where the screen suddenly turned black in split screen, but if the first player opened up the journal, the second player could see again! I’d give this game full points if not for the bugs.
Some Skills have…Changed
D:OS 2 brings two additional classes, each with a unique play style. And you know what? They’re a lot of fun. You have your Polymorph class which allows you to take on certain features of different beasts. You can grow bull horns to charge into your enemies, turn them into chickens or even grow spider legs to root them. With a tank or aggressive character, you can add Polymorph skills to make for an interesting build.
Summoner skills are the complete opposite to Polymorph. You let your imps and totems do the dirty work. The best aspect of Summoner skills is that the element of your imps and totems change depending on the surface you place them. This adds a lot more strategic value to the skill set.
If you’ve played D:OS 1 and 2, you’ll notice some skills have either changed or have been removed. Destroy Summon is a skill in Divinity: Original Sin (D:OS) but isn’t in D:OS 2. Enrage (previously Rage) doesn’t increase the damage you deal, but guarantees critical strikes and adds immunity effects. There’s also the point that cool downs (CDs) aren’t reduced, the higher level your attribute is, which has caused the game to become seemingly more difficult.
These changes aren’t bad as I’m glad they’ve been able to freshen up some of them to avoid making the game feel to ‘same-y’. Or perhaps it was just a complete balance sweep.
Source Points are a new thing to the series but aren’t quite usable all the time. They’re almost for ‘oh shit’ situations where you’re really in trouble, so it has to be used wisely. And it’s not just for combat, sometimes you may need to use Source skills to get passed a puzzle.
Crafting also hasn’t gone through a world of changes. There are two changes that are easily noticeable. First you’ll see you can add more items when crafting, giving you more possible outcomes , and the second is how you learn recipes. In D:OS 2, learning recipes puts it all under one icon, and it’ll tell you how many recipes you’ve learned, unlike in the first game where each recipe shows up on the screen. A small but great quality of life change.
Runes are also a new system to the game. If you’re familiar with gems slots or enchanting, well they’re just that. They’re way of tailoring your gear for that extra strategic game play. This is where you can have different gear sets for multiple situations. The game is pure strategy!
Obscure Quest Journals
Larian Studios could work on giving hints in the Journal. Don’t get me wrong, I love having to figure things out without help, but when almost every quest is like that, it can get a little much. Things can be very obscure and that extends to Crafting as well, making you want to look up what you need to do next, but at the same time you don’t want to because it’s cheating. Then again, that’s what this game is all about. Discovery. Figuring out things on your own and forging your own path (within the story limits).
Game Master Mode connects the Community
Game Master mode (GM) is incredibly fun and it brings back the ‘friendly’ multiplayer aspect, something I don’t see in FPS games, like Overwatch. It’s refreshing and allows players to bring their creativity to the table.
While it is a welcome addition to the game, it isn’t something you’d buy the game for. Not being able to create your own maps and characters is a bit of a disappointment, but you can still do whatever you can within the confines of the selected maps. After all, it’s the first time GM mode is in the Divinity: Original Sin series, so if a third game is to be made, we may see improvements. We may still see changes made in D:OS 2.
Despite all this, it’s a neat mode where you can have fun and play around with all sorts of things. Maybe even to learn different ways of playing the game as there will be up to 3 others with you. If you’re not into GM mode, I encourage you to give it a go.
Stunning Visuals and Sound
Divinity: Original Sin 2’s soundtrack is a pleasure to listen to. The opening theme is soft and mysterious, enough to give you goosebumps. Listen to the main theme here and Ifan’s Mead, Gold and Blood soundtrack, then ask yourself how you feel. You can seriously feel the emotion in the music. What adds to this are the different instruments that are used, some you don’t typically hear often.
I know someone who isn’t into video games, yet listened to one of the songs on his way to work on a CD I made. The composer, Borislav Slavov did a marvellous job.
On top of this, it goes without saying that the visuals are once again, on point. The environments are richer and you can tell a lot of passion went into it. From the usual NPCs to the terrifying Void creatures, there’s no shortage of talent from the artists at Larian Studios.
This is one of the few games I’ve stopped to look around and admire not just the scenery, but also ability effects, especially when you cause an elemental reaction.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a Masterpiece
You’re damn right! Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the finest RPGs I’ve played and recommend it for anyone who has an interest in turn-based RPGs. Even those who are curious but aren’t too sure yet, you’d be missing out on one of the greatest video games series (including Divinity: Original Sin). Despite the odd, frustrating bugs, this is an instant classic, and a must-buy.
What are your thoughts on Divinity: Original Sin 2? Let me know in the comments section below!
- Solid introduction, with a much better story
- New classes are a lot of fun and allow for interesting ways to play
- Stunning sound and visuals
- Keeps the complexity of the element system
- Buggy game
- Armour system isn’t so fun