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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Divinity: Original Sin

Probably one of the better games I've played in recent years. 

Alright, so Divinity Original Sin is a prequel to Divine Divinity which came out in 2002. It's part of the Divinity Series; which includes 5 games in total including Divinity: Dragon Commander, and was created by Larian Studios which is located in Belgium. It was kickstarted way back in April 25 2013, and was supposed to be delivered in Nov 2013 but was only just released in July 2014. Fortunately, the game is pretty good so I'll give them a pass on this. Fun fact; you can see my name in the credits as one of the backers. 

So what is DOS about? Well, as a summary, I would say it's the spiritual successor to Baldurs Gate in a lot of ways, as well as being a mix of fallout1. It's an RPG where you create your starting party of 2 characters; which always consists of one male and one female, but where you can choose any traits for them. Unlike Baldurs Gate, there isn't really a fixed and hard class type. Instead it's more like soft class archetypes, where you're not limited to what skills you can pick or what stats/weapons you can use. You can start out as a fighter but decide you don't like it and decide to pump all your stats into becoming a ranger instead and it would work. 

The world is pretty open-ended. You do have a main quest but you can just walk about and explore as you like. There are plenty of sub-quests to keep people occupied and there are plenty of ambiguous decisions to be made as well, most of which you won't really know the outcome to when you're first playing through the game. Which is good because it keeps you guessing. 

The combat plays a lot like fallout in a way. You have Action Points (AP) which you use to move and do combat actions. Your special skills are laid out before you in the GUI. The combat can be brutal in some ways and it doesn't take much to kill your character so really, you need to be careful during combat. On the good side, your character can mix and match elements for a more devastating effect. Kind of like Magicka. So if you mix an oil slick; which you can create with a spell and which can also be found naturally on the map, with a fireball, it does more damage and has a greater chance of causing enemies to burn, which is a DOT (damage-over-time) effect. Or if you're wet from rain, you take less damage from fire as well as having a decreased chance of burning. So it's important to keep the elements in mind during combat since the enemies are likely to use it against you as well. 

Overall, I'd say there are a few bugs in the game and it doesn't play as smoothly as it could. One of those bugs has to do with spell-casting out of combat as once you cast a spell, you have to wait for the person to finish his casting animation before you can actually queue anything else, even if you're trying to do something else with another character. However, with that aside, I'll say this is a genuinely good game and playing it, I had much the same feeling I had when I played the first Witcher; which I loved as well. If the future Divinity games are anything like this, then well, I'll be buying them when they come out as well.