I was hesitant about trying out another old-school RPG after what happened with Pillars Of Eternity. While I reported a great initial experience, I actually abandoned it after 50 hours mainly because the “realtime-with-pause” combat system with a party of 6 became unmanageable. And although my opinion of every other aspect of the game remains dead-on, I just couldn’t get through battles after a point.
Which led to me spending several hours on Reddit and Steam looking for alternatives. Divinity: Original Sin came highly recommended as an RPG inspired by Baldur’s Gate and other classic cRPGs. So I decided to give it a shot.
TL;DR I finished Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition last night after just over 120 hours. I’d give this a solid 4 stars out of 5 and I’m sharing this amazing experience here for anyone else interested in picking up this gem.
First off — combat. D:OS features (what I know now is) tactical turn-based combat. Every character gets a fixed set of Action Points. Roll die. Character with highest initiative begins. Use APs to get said character to move into position or attack. Next character takes a turn: be it from your party or the enemy’s. It’s so simple and it just works! I really cannot understand why every RPG doesn’t work this way.
I cannot pick up a RPG that doesn’t feature a great story and D:OS doesn’t disappoint. While the writing isn’t as good as PoE both in terms of quality and depth, it still is fantastic. Both the main storyline and sidequests feature plots that made me want to engage with the world and interesting characters I wanted to interact with.
The gameplay mechanics are awesome, although inventory management is a little tedious. Also, the way the journal updates itself isn’t always clear as to what the next steps are. There were about 6 to 8 points in the game where I had to seek help from the forums to advance.
Graphics and audio are great, and not very demanding on hardware. A little better than PoE, I think. Phantom Forest and the First Garden were my favourite areas of the entire game. The soundtrack too nicely sets the mood for exploration or combat, depending on what you’re currently engaged in.
Another addictive aspect of D:OS is the loot. I honestly find the prospect of finding an item or weapon better than you currently have equipped too tantalising to resist! It pushed me to explore every inch of the map and open every chest I could find. My favourite weapon of the entire game was easily the Sword Of Holy Flame, which I equipped on my tank early on. Although it is just Level 13, no other mêlée weapon came close even at level 18 or 19. And that special attribute list is pure fire!
All in all, kudos to Larian Studios — they’ve done an amazing job with this! D:OS really captures the essence of classic RPGs and really makes me reminisce about titles like Septerra Core that made me a fan of the genre in the first place. And from what I’ve read, D:OS 2 is even better. It’s already in my Steam Library, and I can hardly wait!
I think I’ll take a break from the fantasy genre though, and take on something different first. I’m currently eyeing either Wasteland 2 or Shadowrun: Hong Kong, most likely the latter. Got ‘em both on a huge discount during Steam’s summer sale and they’re both similar to D:OS in terms of gameplay and combat.