Name: Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition
Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
Being a true hardcore RPG-fan since childhood with hours and hours of Dungeons & Dragons behind me, I thought that a game like Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition would be easy. Well, it is not. But it is absolutely incredible!
There are RPG’s and then there are “real” RPG’s. Yes, by all means, Fallout 4 and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is RPG’s and bloody good ones at that. But “oldschool” Role Players like myself, that fondly remember throwing dices in the candlelight, spending hours studying the stats system and choosing the perks and talents to handcraft the ultimate character for my own playstyle and taste… This game. Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition is for us. The true geeks.
First of all, yes. Divinity: Original Sin 2 was released on PC September last year. Yes, I know it’s not a “new game”, but I choose to treat it as such, because it is the first time we can experience this adventure on a console. Besides, the Definitive Edition update brings quite a lot of changes to the platter. It must also be mentioned that during GamesCom 2018, Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition won the title “Best Role-Playing Game”, a feat that has to be mentioned.
You are a sourcerer, a person able to tap into the source magic and the Void. Captured, you wake up on a vessel on your way to Fort Joy to be “cured” of your powers. This is only the beginning of a much larger adventure than you can even start to imagine. Well, if you played the PC version, you can probably imagine, but then you would not bother reading this review.
It is clear from the very start that the detailed story and all the lore in Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition is quite detailed, as more or less every object can be inspected and every NPC (even the animals, with the correct talents) can be talked to. I have no idea how many hours of voice acting that has been put into the game, but it is a LOT.
If you are anything like me, just getting through the tutorial will take you several hours, just because you don’t want to miss anything. I promise you; you will miss something, and that is part of the experience.
When it comes to storytelling, this game should be the game to beat. Include the fantastic voice-acting in this topic, and I would be ashamed to give anything but a perfect score.
The Graphics in Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition is nothing but perfection, for a game of its kind. If you are a bit old school, you probably remember how Baldur’s Gate 2 sometimes knocked your socks off with it’s beautiful graphics, even though it was “just” an RPG? Well, be prepared to experience the same feeling. Compared to the PC version released last year, this is still a major upgrade, not in a in-your-face kind of way, but the effects are just a tad better, the water looks a bit better, the dusk is a bit creepier and the caves a bit more moist. I would say that the whole atmosphere is just… improved.
Keep in mind that I am not saying it is realistic 3D textures, but looking at what kind of game it is, what is being shown and what the whole genre is about, this is just great and I would not change a thing. If you want to look at the details of the graphics? Start casting spells and light some oil. Throw some thunder in the water. Then you know what I am talking about.
Do you like variation? How can an RPG offer variation, you say? Well… Do you want to experience it all by your lonesome, or perhaps you wish to bring a friend in and stand shoulder by shoulder in the heat of battle? No problem!
Of course, you can play through the game alone and do everything in your own pace. The fighting is turn-based and you REALLY need to focus and plan your battles. I started this review by saying this game is hard, and it is. It can be brutal, ruthless and extremely frustrating. Not because the game did anything wrong, but because I chose the wrong tactic or I underestimated the enemy. Be careful, be defensive and use every tactical opportunity to your advantage.
If you are more socially inclined, then this game is playable in two players split-screen or up to four people online. Yeah, you read it right, a TRUE RPG with multiplayer function. It’s kind of unique, and I have to admit I did not have a chance to properly try it due to the fact that the game is not released when writing the review, so I had to play with random people I did not know, and not my trusted buddies that I can rely on (who am I kidding, they would get me killed in a heartbeat), but the fact is that this worked much better than expected. I actually felt guilty when I had to leave the game to grab a few hours of sleep.
One thing I have to mention though is that this game is hard, even on “normal” difficulty and auto-save is apparently for soft born players, and not very frequent in this game. Remember to save often, as your actions may have unpredictable consequences…
Of course there has to be something to complain about. It is painfully obvious that Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition is ported from a PC platform to console, by the lack of buttons to use. That being said, they have solved it quite well, but the controls are far from intuitive and sometimes feel very “heavy” to use, when browsing through the menus and items.
When everything else is as close to perfection as it is, this is the one point that never stopped to bother me during my hours playing this game, and I still have to pause to try and figure out how to navigate the menu system every now and then. I have no constructive ideas as to how it can be improved, but it’s just obvious that it was made for a lot more buttons and had to be “remade” to work on the controller.
With a game of this size, I can promise you that during your first playthrough, you have missed half of the content in the game, at least. Playing through it again with another class, with different tactics, will also give you a whole different view of the game. Choosing different companions will unlock VERY different events throughout the game. Even if the game alone will “only” bring you about 3-4 playthroughs, that’s quite a decent number considering a playthrough may easily set you back 100+ hours. Rather good value for your money, if you calculate the cost versus hours of entertainment.
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Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition
Replay Value 9
If you want to experience the feel of an old school RPG with a brilliant story from a true pioneer in the industry, look no further. Right now there is few titles that can compete with this title, and I am truly looking forward to seeing other games try.
- Brilliant Story
- CO-OP RPG
- Countless hours of bliss
- Not for feint-hearted
- Hard to master the controls