Divinity: Original Sin
This game is a B2P C-Op RPG
Divinity: Original Sin offers unparalleled co-operative RPG adventuring in a turn-based combat environment. Build a relationship with your friend as you vie to work together (or against each other) in a world on the brink of the abyss.
Publisher: Larian Studios
Type: 2 Player Co-op RPG
EXP Rate: Medium
PvP: Friendly Fire.
Pros: + Fun sandbox world. + Can play cooperatively or secretly work to hinder your ally. +Turn-Based combat is fast paced and tactical. + Interactive Environments. + Hours of Gameplay and replayability. + Extensive Scenario Editor. +Tons of freedom. +Great character progression.
Cons: -No Trial Option.
Larian Studios harkens back to an older age of gaming when free flowing RPG elements and story were king. Build your own character and your own tale as you level countless combat and non-combat abilities and influence the world around you through dialogue and action. Or join up with a friend in co-operative mode and see if your friendship can tie you together into a cohesive unit, or make your realize how different your ideals for utopia really are.
Strategic and Interactive Turn-Based Combat: Experience rapid fire turn-based combat in which spells, the environment, and your ally can have unexpected impacts on outcomes. Set bridges on fire, explode oil wells, block movement with frozen walls, and more as you experiment to find true synergy.
Real Consequences: Don’t expect to get your hand held through this one. The choice is yours to attack villagers, steal, and commit other acts. Just be ready to face the consequences of your actions, as well as your dialogue decisions.
Evolving Relationship: Your actions and dialogue determine your character relationships in multiplayer co-op. Will you unite to the challenge or become allies of mere circumstance? Extensive replayability as stories evolve in unexpected ways.
Comprehensive Crafting System: Turn random objects you pick up on the ground into useful tools through an experimental crafting system.
Player Created Content: Build your own story and adventure and invite friends to take part as you add new twists and turns to a custom tale.
Divinity: Original Sin Launch Review
Divinity: Original Sin – Turn-based RPG Goodness
By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Usually, we don’t have the time or resources to cover most co-op titles on the market. But when one of particularly high caliber hits the scene, we’re compelled to make exceptions. Back in January of this year, I did an Early Access Preview of the game and now I am back to do a full review. Divinity: Original Sin was funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign, receiving $500,000 beyond their $400,000 goal. Larian Studios, the developer and publisher for the game, has proven itself in the past with other games within the Divinity franchise – with my personal favorite being Divinity II: Ego Draconis. Already being praised for its comprehensive RPG features, strategic turn-based combat evolving relationships with NPCs/your co-op partner, comprehensive scenario editor, and an in-depth crafting system, Divinity: Original Sin promises to be a fantastic experience.
Divinity: Original Sin has a nice amount of customization in all areas. Even though the game is set-in-stone with its two main characters, you are given a decent amount of freedom to change the way they look. The only downside is that you’re going to be choosing from lists – so don’t expect any sliders or whatnot. But there is still enough to make yourself look unique.
Also in character creation, you can either go with the defaults or fine-tune your starting stats and abilities. During your first play-through or two, you probably won’t want to mess with those but I can definitely see myself messing with them more on replays to shake up the experience. The overall character creation in Divinity: Original Sin actually reminds me a lot of one my all-time favorite RPGs – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. They both go into similar depth.
Once you’re done with character creation, the massive amount of customization continues throughout the game. Whenever you level you are given points to put into your stats and abilities to make them stronger. You can also learn skills from skill books to fine-tune your character to be whatever you like. So, you might find your end-game character being completely different than the class (of which there are eleven to choose from at creation) you chose when making your character.
Divinity: Original Sin looks fantastic. Everything in the game looks amazing at ultra settings. The best part of that is, the game isn’t very resource intensive, so most people will be able to run the absolute highest settings without an issue. However, that’s when you’re looking at the whole. When you zoom in close to something, it doesn’t look very high quality – but, because of the landscape focused isometric view, you won’t spend much time zoomed in so much that you’ll notice an issue. I loved the graphics and art-style chosen in this game.
The controls are mostly smooth, once you get used to them. When I first started playing, I did notice a few problems that took a bit to get used to. These issues are magnified a hundred fold if you’re primarily playing a caster, like I was. The issue in question is that if you select an ability or spell, and then decide to switch to a different one, you can’t just click on the other ability to switch to it – you must first right click or hit ESC. If you try to click on another ability before doing that, you’ll find your character turning around and throwing your fire-ball at the ground. I admit that I lost a decent number of my first few battles because of screwing up like this over-and-over before I finally got into the habit of right clicking before I clicked on anything else.
Other than that, the only other issue I ran into was that sometimes moving my mouse to the sides of the screen wouldn’t always move the camera like it should. This isn’t anything game-breaking, but it’s annoying to have to switch back to WASD camera-movement when this issue begins popping up. Hopefully an update is released soon to fix this. Besides those two problems, nothing else bothered me. I enjoyed the tons of customization options given when it comes to the controls of the game, as it was nice to fine-tune my controls to fit myself.
The gameplay in Divinity: Original Sin is quite similar to the gameplay in some of my all-time favorite RPGs. The games that repeatedly popped into my head while playing were Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. What Divinity shares with those games is its story-driven nature, awesome character customization (in terms of stats, abilities, traits, etc…), and how much you get sucked into them. I’ve spent months of my life playing Neverwinter and Knights of the Old Republic due to how great the games were and how much replayability they had, and I can definitely see myself doing the same thing with Divinity: Original Sin.
Don’t mind me, just setting myself on fire.
Combat is a pretty important part of the game, all-around. Not just in combat itself, either. The combat is pretty awesome, though. And that’s coming from someone that usually doesn’t enjoy turn-based combat systems (though I admit I’ve been finding them more enjoyable lately). The combat uses a typical Action Point system, where each movement, ability, or attack takes from your overall pool of Action Points.
One thing that really stands out in this game is the ways you can chance the environment. By casting a fire spell on the ground, you can create a small burning pit that will burn (most) enemies that walk on it. Or you could first cast a spell to create a small spurt of oil to burst from the ground, then have someone in your party shoot a flaming arrow at it to catch it on fire (or just a simple flare spell). You can electrify water, or create steam clouds to help obscure the vision of your enemies. There’s lots of things like this, and some quests will require you to use your head to solve puzzles in this matter. This also adds a few extra layers to combat – you can cast chill on yourself to make yourself more resistant to fire-based attacks or get your enemies wet with rain as a primer for an electric-based attack.
The class system is pretty diverse with eleven classes to choose from. But they’re generally all part of the traditional class archetypes – melee damage dealer, tank, magic damage dealer, healer, rogue/assassin, etc… After you choose your class, you are given pretty free reign over developing your character, though. For example, even though I chose to make my main character as Wizard, I could easily turn him into a spellsword of some sort, or completely for-go magic all together and switch my focus to something more physical.
As I’ve said already, Divinity: Original Sin is completely story-driven. And I don’t mean that you’re going to be spending the whole game following a single story-line, either. I mean there’s so many unique and interesting quests in the game that you’ll always have something to do. Early on, you’ll find your journal full of multiple quests that you can do – some requiring combat, some needing you to wear your detective hat. It’s actually hard for me to refer to them as quests, too. From years and years of playing MMORPGs, quests are synonymous with “kill X of Y and collect Z from their corpse.” The quests in Divinity: Original Sin are more like participatory stories that take you on a meaningful journey.
Humor is something you’ll come across frequently within Divinity. The game manages to have fun with itself, while still managing to be quite serious. An example of this is the Fabulous Five pyramid scheme you’ll be introduced to early on. It’s hilarious at times, due to our outsider’s context, but it’s still a (mostly) completely serious part of the game’s lore. Another example that you’ll run into early on (I’m trying to just mention stuff you find early on so I spoil as little as possible) is the tragic murder of an important council member of the first town you visit. At first it seems like it’s just about aa adulterous wife who killed her husband and is openly flirting with any man she perceives as strong and noble – days after her husband has been killed. However, as you get deeper in, you find that it’s something much deeper and meaningful than that.
Typical pyramid scheme.
Divinity: Original Sin is the RPG I’ve been waited for, to be honest. It’s made in the same vein as a lot of the “old school” RPGs, including one of my all-time favorite games, Neverwinter Nights. If you love party-based RPGs like the original Fallout games, Neverwinter, Baldur’s Gate, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, etc… You will love this game. It has that sense of sending you on an epic adventure, complete with amazing character development, and enough meat and potatoes in the features department to keep things entertaining from start to finish. I would definitely suggest you pick this up whenever you can, as you won’t be disappointed.
Features: 5/5 – A lot of great features, leaving you not wanting for much.
Customization: 4/5 – Almost perfect, I just would have liked more customization in the looks of my character.
Graphics: 4/5 – Looks great from afar, but up-close it’s a bit less than great.
Controls: 3/5 – Some things need to be polished.
Story: 5/5 – Great fantasy world with deep and interesting lore, and yet keeps things light and funny at times.
Overall: 5/5 Overall, the game is great and I wasn’t disappointed at all. This is a perfect example of how a Kickstarter project can turn out amazing.
By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Divinity: Original Sin is an isometric “back to the past” style RPG. The game is brought to us by Larian Studios and shows a lot of promise. With a rich RPG world, interesting mechanics, and awe-inspiring turn-based combat, Divinity: Original Sin hopes to re-define the RPG genre. Some of the features include Co-Op conversations with NPCs, a diverse and detailed tool-kit to create your own adventures, and a great amount of interaction with the world around you. I’ll come out and say it right away, just fifteen minutes into the steam Early Access alpha version of the game and I’m already impressed and hooked.
As the game is in steam Early Access and is still in early development, the world is obviously not complete. I am sure massive amounts of updates and polishing are in order in the world design, the lore, the storylines, and graphics. However, I can say that I am already quite pleased with what I’ve seen. The graphics look quite nice for an isometric game, and there’s a lot going on. I was immediately able to tell I would enjoy the story-telling in this game, which is great considering I’ve been struggling to enjoy the stories in games lately.
The art-style of the game is a mix of realistic models with bright colors and dark undertones. This means when you’re in a sun-light forest it feels vibrant and full of life, but when you’re in a torch-lit dungeon or building, it can feel a bit claustrophobic and grimy. Basically, it’s perfect for giving an experience that will allow you to immerse yourself in the game. Not a lot of games can pull that off, and I was honestly surprised to find that Divinity had so early in development. I’ve also got to mention that the music can help a lot with this, though it does need a bit of polish before you can get the full intended effect.
Creating Your Characters
Keep in mind the game is still early in development at this point, so what I say here may not be accurate forever. The character creation process doesn’t seem to be fully implemented yet, but you can get a nice glimpse at what will be available. It seems you start by choosing a class, then you customize its stats, traits, and other factors. In this game, you control two characters (unless in Co-Op), so you get to do it twice. There isn’t much customization in the looks of your character, but that’s understandable considering that the game is very story-driven and already has two main characters (which you play).
Speaking of Co-oP, there’s a neat little feature that doesn’t become immediately apparent until you try Co-Op. I’m not sure if the feature will make release, but my friend and I had a blast with it. After you make your first character, the person you are Co-Oping with can take control of it and move around the lodge you create the characters in. They can loot the shelves, weapon racks, etc… within the lodge, and it seems like the loot is randomized each time. We managed to get a lute one time and we found that hilarious, so it’s great that you can start having fun almost immediately – even before you’re in the actual game.
In the Game
Once you’re finally in the game, there’s already a decent tutorial to introduce you to most of the concepts, so it’s easy enough to pick-up on what you can do. One of the things you learn early on is how easy it is to manipulate the items within the world. From regular branches, to wooden crates, you can move them around and place them freely, which can make for a lot of fun while experimenting. My friend and I spent a good fifteen or twenty minutes just stacking things, trying to see how far we could get the stack to lean. That’s why I love sandbox elements to games. If developers provide a few tools, the players will find ways to entertain themselves and have a blast with their game.
Another concept you learn early on is how much the world interacts with each other. From dropping barrels of oil onto a group of enemies and then having your friend set it on fire and let them burn, to casting a rain spell to put out a raging inferno. There’s a lot of things that interact and it reminds me a lot about Magicka, just with a focus on how your spells, items, and world objects can interact with each other, rather than mixing elemental types to create epic spells (at least as far as I know). But speaking of spells, there are a ton of neat ones so far. I have fond memories of setting off a tornado in the middle of town and quickly finding myself almost dead from my own creation before the angered citizens took it upon themselves to do the job.
And that brings up my next topic: The game is full of freedom. In my first two hours in the game, I probably spend fifteen minutes of that actually following the quests. The rest were just me wandering around, participating in random events, sneaking around to find loot, and testing out what exactly I could do in the game. I love that I can just spend time exploring around, and yet find myself in seemingly random situations in which I feel like a hero (or a villain if I want). I haven’t felt this kind of freedom since Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2.
Next up, I want to discuss the combat. Initially I was a bit put off by the mention of turn-based combat. My mind immediately went to Final Fantasy-style turn-based combat and I didn’t think I would enjoy it. Boy was I proven wrong when I actually got into some fighting. It was intense, strategic, and pretty epic looking. Specifically the spell effects were awe-inducing, as there’s nothing like watching the area light up as two fireballs rise up and then hurdle towards your enemies.
Rather than Final Fantasy, the combat is closer to Xcom or the original two Fallout games. At the beginning of each turn, you’re given some Action Points (AP), which you can spend attacking, using abilities, or moving. Balancing out your use of AP so you can get the maximum use out of each point is something that can require a bit of thinking, something that people may not be used to with the recent popularity in hack-n-slash type RPGs. I was happy with how quick the combat grew on me, and I’m actually considering playing the above mention Xcom (I own it, just haven’t played it yet) game just so I can have more fun with this type of combat. Can’t say I was disappointed at all, and I can’t wait to see how the game evolves with new classes and abilities added.
This is a part of the game that really stood out. I initially gave the game a quick go for about fifteen minutes by myself before I invited a friend to join me and we got on TeamSpeak together to play. From start to finish, our two-hour play session was a blast and full of laughter. Sure, a bit of that laughter was at exploiting bugs for funny outcomes (such as being able to kill ourselves for exp), but most of it was because of all the fun we had playing the game. I usually don’t play Co-Op games as it’s often done horribly and isn’t enjoyable at all. Usually, unless you’re the “main” player, you’re just there for the ride.
However, in Divinity, the game was made with Co-Op in mind. You can tell right from the start that the devs intended this game to be played with a friend. From the often-times hilarious conversations you can have with your fellow player that can have a beneficial end in one way or another, to working together in combat, it just works perfectly. In most games, you’re forced to stay together on the screen, even if you’re playing on two different machines with two different monitors. In Divinity, while we’re in town I can go about doing my business (which usually involves teleporting poor citizens and vendors to their death) while my friend does his. Rather than just a tag-along experience, you’re truly playing together with your friend and that’s just not an experience that can be beat.
Current State: Excellent
As you can see, I was more than a little impressed with Divinity: Original Sin. It looked good on paper, and the real thing was fantastic. Rarely am I able to read up on a game, be hyped about it, and then actually have my hype rewarded with a fun, playable game. Even though it’s in early Alpha, there’s still a great deal of enjoyment to be had. If you’re interested in Divinity: Original Sin, look for it on Steam where it’s available on the Early Access program for $40. I had a fantastic experience and would recommend it to anyone that has friends to play with. However, I cannot stress enough that the game is still in early Alpha, so please don’t buy it expecting a full and complete game.
Launch Announcement Trailer
Coming Soon. . .