Having very little to no experience with the Divinity series or Larian Studios, in general, I was skeptical about all the praise I had seen towards Divinity: Original Sin 2 leading up towards the console release. On a few different occasions I’d have seen different people proclaiming Divinity: Original Sin 2 to be the greatest RPG of all time, so I myself had to see what the hyped up hype was all about with this one. Initially released last year for PC I hadn’t really looked into Divinity: OS2 much up until the console release late last month. Having played bits of Divinity II Dragon Knight Saga on the Xbox 360 as well as a few hours worth of the first Divinity: Original Sin, neither game really pulled me in enough to where I could find myself committing to finding the energy to play either. Where both of those titles failed, Divinity: Original Sin 2 grabbed me right from the get go and pulled me in. The world, quests and combat being the highlights for me.
At this point in time I’m around 45 hours into the game in Act 2 and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Starting from the beginning after a small character creator with the option to choose from several different characters or customize your own personally. You begin as a prisoner aboard a ship called the Merryweather, after an optional tutorial, immediately thrown at a murder that apparently happened. Upon some exploration and being introduced to a few of the other characters, and future comrades, you find out that the murderer was a witch named Windego who then causes an explosion which knocks you out cold. Upon waking you discover that everyone is pretty much knocked out and there is a KRAKEN ATTACK! From this point you’re objective was to obviously escape the Merryweather after which pretty much is where I’d say the first Act really begins, with which you begin at Reaper’s Eye, a big island with a fort located close by named Fort Joy. On arriving you’re met with someone who is killed after some dialogue and you see the games first “bad” guy in Alexander. Afterwards you pretty much have your goal. ESCAPE FORT JOY. This is where I started to realize how massive Divinity: Original Sin 2 really was, you pretty much find yourself having multiple ways to escaping. Unsure of how I was to actually go about this I tried treating this like a typical open world game, bad choice, and try to complete everything. Initially I went about clearing Magister’s to use a boat to escape then backtracking because I wasn’t sure if I was going to miss something then went on to escape through some sewer grate, after which upon re-entering Fort Joy I was attacked by every Magister on sight. After finishing everything I felt like I had left to do in, and getting a blacksmith to break my source collar after winning my way in the Fort Joy battle arena, I continued onward; finally. Meeting a group called the Seekers who pretty much are who we have as the bonafide anti-Magister group in the game I was tasked with taking down Alexander, obviously succeeding in the end thus officially getting off of Reaver’s Eye.
Without going too much further into spoiling every single point of the game, I’ll explain some things. Most importantly I want to hit the topic of Divinity’s combat. Not being familiar with Baldur’s Gate until the PS2 releases, which were more action RPG oriented, the closest I have to a similar experience is with the earlier Fallout games and Wasteland 2. To me the combat is a lot deeper than both games, with it being a lot more tactical. For example, you may be able to cast a rain spell which will cause the area to become wet with puddles and then use a thunder based spell to electrocute the water causing any enemies inside or any enemies who decided to walk through to get shocked and/or stunned. Alternatively say if an area has been set on fire you can also use rain to put out so said fire. It’s very interesting and to me makes combat a lot more fun and creative to go about.. The only downside to things is that it can be very hectic with the amount of spells that can be slung about to the point where I sometimes had trouble seeing myself or even targeting enemies. However I will say that I absolutely love and enjoy the combat, even with the few difficulty spikes here or there. Looking at you bridge trolls.
Outside of the combat the other positive I have to give to this is without a doubt, the exploration and questing. I absolutely loved running around exploring and discovering a quest or a hidden area tucked away in some off beaten path, usually resulting in some pretty solid rewards. In Act 2 alone I had several noteworthy and interesting encounters ranging from, deer’s being possessed, evil scarecrows, women who were turned into cow’s by an evil witch and a basement full of exploding rats. To me this alone is enough to keep any body engrossed for a long while, and the fact that I would safely say that this is where most of my time has been spent and I’ve still not grown tired of it should be a testament to just how strong this aspect of the games design really is.
Now, I’ve given this game nothing but praise so far, but not everything is perfect. Remember I am playing the console version so this brings me to my one true complaint and biggest annoyance.
The inventory – THIS is my only complaint with the game. I don’t even need to say a lot yet the little I say can go so far. It can be a huge mess to find specific things after accumulating the amount of trash to sell like I did. Sometimes loaded with 50 or more different books in my inventory at any given time, yes I’m a hoarder. Even after the occasional clean up after visiting shop keeps I find myself just repeating the cycle and end up with a pile of clutter. There are however, multiple sub categories to sort everything it’s just it can still be a bit messy and you are bound to overload again eventually. The fact that this is my only negative in the game should, like I said, say a lot.
Overall I absolutely adore Divinity: Original Sin 2 and feel like I could without a doubt recommend it to any fans of RPG’s, its been hard to put down and the more I play it the more I come to love and appreciate what it brings to the RPG genre as a whole. I am so glad I’ve finally been able to experience this game and cannot wait to see what else is in store after I put some more time into it.