So it looks like everybody has been enjoying Baldur’s Gate 3 recently! Critics and gamers alike have collectively agreed together that the game is an RPG masterpiece. Offering diverse build variety, challenging combat scenarios, an intriguing cast of characters, beautiful world filthy rich of history, and interesting consequences for the player’s actions. It’s currently one of the highest rated PC games of all time and is so far considered one of the best games of 2023. Which is well deserved, because the studio behind Baldur’s Gate 3 have been working their heads off for the last nine years. Larian Studios, previously known for their work on the Divinity series. Turns out the series dated all the way back 2002 with the original, but it wasn’t as successful as many other CRPGs at the time. It didn’t sell well nor was received well, and each entry seemed to be a weird step towards a confused direction. I don't even understand the explanation that last little sentence gave. It wasn’t until after Divinity: Dragon Commander that Larian Studios took a step back and asked themselves what RPG players really wanted. It’s 2014 and CRPGs have been at an all time low. Not saying there weren’t any, but they weren’t doing so well as they used to. Larian decided to go to Kickstarter and fundraise an independent project that would capture the sense of those older titles. That game was Divinity: Original Sin and dear god it was more successful than they expected. Not only was Divinity: Original Sin considered their best game to date, but it was also considered one of the best RPGs of the year. It wasn’t perfect and it had a fair amount of rough edges, but that and the release of Pillars of Eternity led to the revival of CRPGs.
After the success of Original Sin, Larian Studios decided to start another Kickkstarter campaign for a sequel. They not only planned to fix a huge chunk of the problems the first game had, but also make a much grander experience. Filled with tons of content, different paths to take, and a much meatier story and world. That game was Divinity: Original Sin 2 and it took the world by storm when it came out. Well I lied, it wasn’t as big as other games at the time but it was one of the most well received RPGs in ages. Receiving near perfect review scores from critics and being considered one of the best games of 2017. In fact, it’s probably one of the best games of the last decade. I’ve seen a lot of people consider this one of their favorite games or high up on their top RPGs of all time lists. It’s a well made game you can pour hundreds of hours into, and nothing has quite succeeded until Baldur’s Gate 3 recently. I don’t have the money to play Baldur’s Gate, so I decided to hop back to Divinity: Original Sin 2 and see if it's as good as I remember it being. I played it for the first time in 2020 and while my first playthrough was rough I had a really good time with it. I gave it a 9.5/10. I’ve been thinking about that score ever since then, because to be honest it’s a game that deserves a perfect score with all that it does well. Been meaning to replay it since then and it wasn’t until recently that I had the excitement to do a second campaign.
So I did and for the last few days I’ve been playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 nonstop. Not only is the game better than I remember it being, but it’s also one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played. There are a fair amount of flaws, but nothing is holding it back from being a 10/10 masterpiece. Today I want to talk about why Divinity: Original Sin 2 is still a masterpiece. The many design choices that make it a compliment RPG and what developers can learn from it. Why was it such a big success in 2017 and going onward? There’s quite a lot to cover, but I decided to narrow it down and offer explanations for what I think are the most important points. So prepare for yet another thrilling adventure Godwoken as we sail the high seas towards a mystical land!
Part 1: Out of The Gates (Progression)
Original Sin 2 is not an easy game and the game lets you know this right from the get go. The land has been overtaken by Voidwoken, dark creatures from another dimension who wish to sack the land. They are mainly drawn by the presence of those who hold Source, a divine energy that allows you to use mystical powers. So the Magisters, a holy order who work under Lucian the Divine, decide to rally up anyone who possesses a ton of Source energy with no knowledge of how to wield it and imprison them within the concentration camp named Fort Joy. A run down fortress with little to eat, has become overpopulated, and everyone hates each other. You have a collar wrapped around your neck that prevents you from using your powers, and stripped of any weaponry and armor that allows you to succeed in a fight. Attempting to fight someone in Fort Joy is basically suicide because your are most likely to be killed instantly. So it’s your job to help out people in the area, slowly get better gear, and find a way out. You may want to recruit some of the people who were shipped to Fort Joy with you. Whether that be The Red Prince who formerly ruled over a kingdom, Lohse the traveling musician who now has a demon living in his head, and three others. Depending on what you did in character creation you may either play as one of these six characters or play as a character of your own. I like this choice. If you want an interesting protagonist with a backstory and discover more of the lore then you can play as them, but if you want to let your imagination fill in the blanks then you can forge your own.
Anyways, you gather up some allies and eventually you’ll find a way out of Fort Joy. Attempt to fight some basic enemies and they still kick your ass. So Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a set level for every enemy in the game. During my Fallout: New Vegas essay, I talked about level scaling and what it is. A majority of developers like to use level scaling where the difficulty of enemies will scale depending on the player’s current level. What it means is that nothing is ever too hard or too easy, but this creates a problem. Players should feel like they are growing stronger with every bit of gear you unlock and every time they level up. If the game is not rewarding them for growing stronger then there is no satisfaction in moving forward. Diablo 4 ran into this problem this year by having every enemy in the world scale with player level. This then resulted in a large number of players quitting the game, because they felt like Diablo 4 didn’t respect their time and effort put towards it. Original Sin 2 fixes this problem by not using level scaling and rewarding players for working towards growing stronger. Fort Joy and the first major area after it may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s this lack of guidance that guides the player to figuring things out for themselves. If they can’t solve a problem currently then they can just wander off and come back later for when they are more prepared. It’s made much easier as enemies and NPCs always display what level they are at, and it gives you a good idea of when to return. Each new piece of equipment you earn from doing a difficult task feels well deserved, and slowly overtime you become the fantasy badass you have imagined yourself to be to begin with. It’s a satisfying sense of progression which works all the way up to the final boss. Each difficult encounter and terrifying monstrosity defeated feels well deserved as you spent that time preparing and figuring out what to do. If Original Sin 2 didn’t have set levels for enemies and instead used scaling then traversing the world and unlocking each bit of it wouldn’t feel as great. In fact, despite some of the traversal powers you can unlock if you just B-line to every area not only would you skip a considerable amount of the game’s content you would probably be underleveled for all the major boss fights in the game. The game puts satisfaction through overcoming challenges rather than satisfaction through instant gratification, and I appreciate when a game does this. Now that we got difficulty out of the way first it’s time to talk about combat which is….
Part 2: Mastering The Battlefield (Combat)
The game has turned based combat, and while it’s not everyone's cup of tea it certainly is mine. You enter a fight and every participant in the field takes turns exchanging blows and actions. If you manage to defeat every enemy you win, but if you and all your allies are slain then it’s game over. I personally love turn based combat as it rewards players for having good decision making. Planning out what actions to do first, executing said plan, and feeling like a genius when they do so. It’s great, but only if it’s done right. There are very few turn based games that I think have fantastic turn based combat. Persona 5 Royal is one of my favorite games, but I wouldn’t really consider the turn based combat to be wise and decisive. You aren’t rewarded for executing a well thought out plan and most dangerous attacks, usually performed by bosses, are signaled towards the player so they are ready to block. You then learn the weaknesses of enemies and the game becomes one about exploitation which isn’t good. The few games I would consider to have great turn based combat are Octopath Traveler, Into The Breach, and the underrated Brutal Orchestra as there are deadly consequences for it if you make the wrong decisions or fail to do something at the right time. Original Sin 2 has turn based combat where every precise move has to be a well calculated one. A game that plays a lot like chess, because as it turns out every participant in a battle is one who is constantly moving around and trying to execute an unexpected plan.
The player can freely navigate their characters around the battlefield and standing in one place is not always a good decision. Sometimes an enemy may apply fire or a poisonous substance to the ground, and standing out in the middle of the open will leave you open. You want to reposition your characters, but doing so will use a bit of energy. All your actions will use up points in the stamina bar, and once they run out your turn is up unless you decide to conserve some. If you at least conserve two points you can start the next turn with six stamina points allowing you to perform more actions. It feels like a nice reward. Like you found a safe spot to put the character or that you didn’t waste it all in one go. So you put them in a spot and continue to attack, attack, and attack. However, depending on the setup of the battlefield and the build of your characters you may be able to take those windows of opportunity your enemies would’ve taken. We’ll talk more shortly on build variety and why it’s great. One thing I love about Original Sin 2’s combat are the elements of the world and how they react. Light up a gas cloud using fire and it’ll explode while leaving a burning blaze behind. Electrify a pool of water and anything standing in it will be shocked. This can also be done to blood as blood is another form of liquid in this game. There’s an alternate version of fire called necrofire which is basically fire but deadlier. It’s hard to move around in, your attack range is limited, and deals more damage. I never figured out how to get rid of necrofire, but from what I’ve been told you have to bless it. Blessing an item requires Source, and speaking of which Source is a rare yet powerful resource in this game. It’s used for some of the most powerful abilities in the game, but unless you know the location of a Source Fountain it can be really hard to come by. It can be hours until you find a single pool of Source lying in the open, but finding one feels like a miracle as you decide which party member deserves it most.
Going back to the reactivity of the world, you can use the elements to your advantage. There are two types of defense in Original Sin 2 those being physical defense and magic defense. Physical defense will go down whenever you hit them with a weapon, but elemental defense goes down when you use magic attacks. Whether that be fire, ice, lightning, poison, etc. Some enemies will have higher magic defense than physical defense, and vice versa. The only way to kill them is by knocking their health bar down to zero, and the only way to damage their actual health bar is by eliminating one of the two defense bars. Meaning you have to prioritize what type of attacks to use against, which brings us back to those windows of opportunity. Knowing what objects in the environment to use and when to use them. There’s even elemental barrels found throughout the world and you can carry them in your inventory to use in other battles. Like you can just whip out a fire barrel, plop in front of an enemy, and a group of them up. Final tidbit to add is that if you perch an arranged character at a high vantage point their attack damage will be increased by a certain percent. So if you have a ranged character, and trust me you’ll want one, you can make a lot of difficult fights much easier if you put them in the right spot. This game will make you a better tactical master than XCOM which really says a lot. The amount of things you can do at any given moment is infinite and that's what makes the combat so enjoyable on every run.
Part 3: Learning To Specialize (Build Variety)
You guys know what a build is right? For a while I didn’t know what builds are, but what they are is the type of playstyle your character is centered around. To formulate that build you must not only give them the right equipment, but also the right stats so that the efficiency of their tools are increased. For example, a strength character is built around running up close to enemies and dealing heavy amounts of damage in risk of getting hit a ton themselves. These types of builds work best when you give them high damage weapons which scale in the strength stat of course and armor that can offer them a ton of damage reduction. Meaning they won’t be killed as fast. A lot of standard RPGs have built variety. Look at last year’s Elden Ring and the amount of builds and play styles you could forge. You could be a battlemage, an agile dual wielding samurai, and much more. What Divinity: Original Sin 2 does best though is making build creation easy. Very few RPGs do this, but Original Sin 2 has a consistent theme of what scales with what. Bows and spears always scale with Finesse, two handed weapons like axes and clubs scale with Strength, and staffs and wands scale with Intelligence. Heavier armor sets require higher Strength, better wizard robes require higher Intelligence, etc. You don’t want your stats to be all over the place, because you may end up making a playthrough harder. Why invest in everything when your character is going to be using a specific weapon type throughout the entire game? No, what you want is to prioritize. Min-maxing is what a lot of people call it, and while not everyone likes this and there’s an argument to be made about “meta” in games at least Original Sin 2 offers you a choice. Here’s the thing though: you have your basic stats but you also have three whole other categories. You have the basic stats which are called Attributes, but also have Combat Abilities, Civil Attributes, and various perks you can unlock.
Combat Abilities are what will help you form the specific builds you want for a character. You have stuff like One-Handed, Two-Handed, Dual Wielding, and Ranged for the type of weaponry your character will be using. Then you have stuff like Warfare which increases physical attacks. Pyrotechnics which allows you to wield fire damage, or Necromancy to summon undead helpers. These are what will mainly be helping you, because not only do you improve damage in specific fields but they also allow you to learn new skills. You can pick up a variety of Skill Books and the skills within them can only be learned when you have met the stat requirements. It’s like the game is testing you by saying, “You can only learn this when you have enough knowledge about this. If not, too bad because you can’t be good at everything.” You want those skills and powerful attacks, because the game is a lot harder if you don’t get them. This is what further pushes you to specialize in specific builds for each character, but let’s say you accidentally invest in the wrong stats. Well luckily there’s a mirror in your boat, The Lady Vengeance, that allows you to respect everything you have invested in. You don’t need to spend any material or money, just respect when things have gone horribly wrong. I love this, because the developers are allowed to get creative without too much or too little punishment. It's great and encourages you to have the RPG mindset a lot of Dungeons and Dragons players would have. Having a party that synergizes with each other well is the key to winning every single fight and pushing forward.
The Civil Attributes aren’t too important as they affect your ability to pass speech checks, steal items, sneak around, etc. What I do want to talk about though are the perks. They work similar to that of Fallout where they offer something unique to that character. There’s a perk that increases a character’s vitality the more they invest into Warfare, so it’s great if you have a character who focuses on dealing as much physical damage as possible. There’s a perk that allows you to avoid death if struck with a deadly blow, a perk to recover health whenever you hit an enemy, and one perk I really love in Pet Pal. It allows you to properly talk to any animal in the game and doing so may even help you with quests at times. There’s a very unique animal companion you can get in Stonegarden Crypt named Fetherfall, but the only way to persuade him is if you have this very perk. If not then you can’t, so it’s kind of cool for players who decided to unlock this perk for one of their characters. The only way to unlock specific perks is if you meet specific stat requirements in Combat Abilities, but it further rewards players for specializing in specific builds. Like maybe you want the life leech perk for your necromancer, because intelligence builds are often frail due to their lack of physical protection. I know in my Bloodborne essay I argued how leveling should be simple, but for a game complex as this you want it.
Part 4: Another Path Forward (Solutions)
There are two kinds of choice in video games. There is moral choice, and then there’s the illusion of choice. The Design Delve series from The Escapist Magazine has a three parted special which perfectly explains this. Instead of offering a compelling decision instead the game gives you a variety of ways to solve what should be a straightforward problem. Your actions won’t affect the outcome of a narrative scenario, but it still feels like it has an impact. You, the player, are trying to decide how to work your way around a problem, and it’s made more compelling when the most simple answer isn’t always the go to. For example, a locked door in Prey (2017) may need a keycard to open or pressing a specific button. Let’s say you can’t find the keycard and that little button is out of reach. You could hack the door, force it open using if you invested enough into Leverage, find an air vent that allows you to navigate around the door, access the room where the button is by smashing the window or finding through a small hole by morphing your physical form, or shoot the button using a toy crossbow. You can tell I love Prey (2017), but these many moments are what create emergent gameplay. Moments where the player gets to feel rewarded for finding an alternate solution.
Original Sin 2 does exactly this where a single problem can be solved in different ways. There were moments in the game where an area I wanted to go to was out of reach due to a door being locked or perched atop a cliff. I don’t have a key and there aren’t any ladders to climb up to that cliff. What if I teleported someone on that cliff. With enough points into Aerotheurge you can teleport any physical object around and that includes individuals. Teleport your teammates to the place you want to explore and let the three of them run ahead. You’ll be one person short, but what if you teleported the person who teleported you there too? One of the many items you can pick up throughout the game are scrolls, and they allow you to perform whatever special spell that is assigned to them without having the skill or the stat requirements. Problem is that they are one use items, but in the case of the Teleportation skill you can either use these special pairs of gloves you unlock early in the game or have another character who has also learned the skill. In fact, the quest that makes you find the Teleportation Gloves is a nice tutorial teaching you how to access areas using special powers. You don’t need Teleportation. You can use Tactical Retreat if you have enough skills in the Huntsman stat and jump on over. Phoenix Dive on over if enough points are in Pyrotechnics. There’s even a special item known as Teleport Pyramids. These little pyramids that are easy to carry around, can be equipped to each party member, and thrown on any surface. You can get to a lot of locations just by throwing these around, or have someone run up ahead with one in their pockets. Skip a fight and move on.
There’s plenty of scenarios in Original Sin 2 that offer multiple solutions. One of many locations you may go to in the second area is Blood Moon Island and there are two ways to get there. The first is navigating a ruined bridge with invisible floating platforms, but there’s traps along these platforms and it requires you to have Teleportation. The alternative is taking a ferry, which is the easiest solution but will require an undead teammate to do so. It’s a nice reward for anyone with Fane in their party or started out as an undead character. Dorottya, a succubus, will ask of you to rebuild a powerful scythe known as the Swornbreaker. The parts are found on the Nameless Isle, but let’s say you somehow missed it. Hidden in Linder Kemm’s vault is another Swornbreaker, but it's much weaker than the one you can craft. You can still complete the quest, but for those who want to keep the stronger version you might want to pursue both. Going back to Fort Joy, there are a multitude of ways to escape. Further encapsulating it as an amazing starting area. You can use those Teleportation Gloves mentioned earlier and find a dungeon leading out filled with flaming slugs. Find a kid beneath the fortress willing to row you to safety. Fight in the arena, win, get your collar removed, and thrown in the dungeon faster. That or you can take the hard but short way out of fighting all the Magisters and through the main fortress. It reminds me of the design philosophy of the immersive-sim genre. I can’t remember the phrase, but it was said by someone who worked on Deus Ex. There should be multiple ways to get around the door.
Part 5: Test Your Morality (Decisions)
Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a lot of situations where you have to decide by yourself what will be morally right. Whether that be deciding what fate lies for villains you face across your journey, how to deal with major factions, or how to offer as much help as you can to your allies. It fits in that boat Fallout: New Vegas is in there not being a correct answer. One of the quests you may end up doing in the second area is helping a smuggler dwarf named Lohar. He wants you to find out what happened to his men and crew, but along the way you’ll encounter some Magisters who want him arrested. You can help Lohar, learn more about the dwarf empire, and gain some really good loot. However, Lohar isn’t particularly a really good person and he is partially responsible for there being a den of prostitutes and drugs underneath the Driftwood Tavern. Do you really want to help this or do you want to put him down before he creates more problems for the town? During the second act, you have to locate at least three of six Source Masters willing to help you learn how to properly channel Source. One of which is Ryker, a necromancer who lives out in the Stonegarden Crypt who channels power using the souls of the deceased. Everyone has a bit of Source in them and souls of deceased individuals have at least one whole Source point of it. You suck them from Source using a skill called Source Vampirism, but at the cost of eliminating them from existence. Ryker does this, and you have the choice to stop him from sacrificing a group of souls. However, doing so will lead to a fight and his death which will eliminate one of the three individuals you need to learn from. Do you let him perform the ritual to continue your quest, or kill him and seek another Source Master?
The player is also tested on their ability to trust their teammates and their willingness to dispose of them. The Red Prince has a list of assassins who want his head, and the first one you meet is running around Fort Joy. You have the choice to turn on The Red Prince, but getting to know him lets you know he was stripped of his empire. A kingdom he was willing to lead, but a long list of unfortunate events led him to be banished and sent to Fort Joy. You can tell he’s a good man who has been spoiled his entire life and gaining his trust will earn you his respect despite being quite a poor person. Sebille, an elf assassin wishing to claim revenge on those who enslaved her, is chosen later in the game to be the sacrificial vessel for the Elf Kingdom. They live under a great tree which guards them all, but the tree is slowly dying and they need a new vessel. Sebille is that, but another elf named Sahaelia tells you not to. Saying not only do you lose a good ally, but actually doom the Elf Kingdom. They need to move on from their traditions rather than let a big old tree decide everything for them. Do you doom an entire kingdom to keep a person who's been wishing for freedom alive, or do you help them prosper.
One of my favorite characters in this game is Lohse, a cheery musician who became possessed by a demon. During the first act Rhalic, one of the seven gods, tells you not to trust those by your side. You are Godwoken, someone destined to be the next divine, but your companions are also Godwoken. He tells you to eliminate them as soon as possible, but he specifically mentions dear Lohse. The demon inside her head can take control at any moment, and during that time she is bloodthirsty. She is quite literally a ticking time bomb and stressful for the rest of the party, but your journey to help is meaningful. Telling her to break free, that she’s her own person, and the torment the other person tries to inflict shouldn’t hold her down. I found it symbolizes abusive relationships and the effort it takes to move away. The tough choices and mental struggles you have to face, but once you’re free you no longer have to live in fear. You can tell she’s my go to companion to get into a relationship with. Help your allies and slowly they’ll trust you more. There is a moment around act three where you enter The Academy. There you must perform a ritual to become the next Divine (sadly it fails), but before entering your companions decide who should be chosen. Depending on your relationships with them and how heroic you were up until that point that will either choose you or choose themselves. You can persuade them to choose you, but earning their trust immediately due to your efforts feels brilliant. It’s like a reward for making the right decisions on your own, and it’s a brilliant feeling I had when achieved.
Part 6: To Become Divine (Story)
Your entire quest in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is spent working towards becoming the next Divine. The responsibilities you’ll face as a god and what you’ll probably have to do to better the land. It’s been overrun by Voidwoken, has crazy factions like the Magisters and Black Rings running about, and Source probably shouldn’t be a power to fall within the wrong hands. There are a total of three different endings to choose from and they’re all quite unique. They are all good endings, but none of them are perfect. I would say it’s like the endings of Dark Souls 3 or Elden Ring, where what you are doing is understandable but not for the betterment of everyone. The first ending is ascending to divinity where you become the next Divine. Everyone worships you as a god and you protect the people. Offering them powers and guiding them towards rebuilding the land. It’s a joyful ending, but you are told the Voidwoken are still present. You didn’t eliminate Source and Voidwoken are attracted to Source. It’s made worse that you pissed off the God King, the leader of the Voidwoken who wishes to tear down all that came before. He punishes those who failed to stop you and sends more Voidwoken than ever. Civilians are more prone to attacks, and it’s your responsibility to save them. Can you truly do it? In fact, what happens if you repeat the same mistakes Lucian made before and become another corrupt god? What then? Will you still have allies willing to stand by your side, or will people lose faith in another false idol?
The second ending involves spreading Source throughout the world. Everyone gets a bit more of the mystical powers wielded by Voidwoken. You don’t become a god and get worshiped by all those in Rivellon, but you give everyone an even playing field. There’s still Voidwoken, but now everyone has the power to push them back and make Rivellon a much more peaceful place. Then there is the final choice which is getting rid of Source. No more Source magic and no more of the hideous Voidwoken. No one gets to use divine power, but everyone is still made equal at a cost. Including you who still didn’t become a god. Let’s be honest, why would anyone want to face the burden of being a god? Do you know how much responsibility that is? The game then goes over all the people and factions you encountered, where they are now depending on your actions, and what may lie next for all the land. I think all three endings are satisfying in their own right, because they offer meaningful outcomes in exchange for a downside. Look at Elden Ring. You become the ruler of a majestic land, but there’s nothing left to rule and all the people have gone insane. Do you really want to rule? Why not burn it all down or create a world without having the Elden Ring? For a forty to fifty hour long game I would say these endings make beating all of Divinity: Original Sin 2 so worthwhile. A final reward for a long perilous journey.
Part 7: My Other Appraisals and Few Complaints
I do have a couple more compliments to make on the game. Most of which I couldn’t get whole sections for, but still wanted to bring up. Quite a few people consider Larian Studios a group of indie devs. They occasionally partner up with Triple A companies to manufacture physical discs of their game or get it out there, but some consider them indie due to them using their own cash and how they don’t have the team size a lot of studios out there have. For such a small team it’s surprising how polished Divinity: Original Sin 2 is. With the size of each playbox, the amount of detail to each object and environment, content, and graphical fidelity. It proves that small devs can achieve the scope of projects such as this, and recent years have shown. With independent devs cranking out high quality titles that could rival Triple A devs like Hades, Disco Elysium, Neon White, Metal: Hellsinger, Inscription, Not For Broadcast, The Forgotten City, etc. The game just looks stunning to look at. For a game titled Original Sin 2 it has beautiful landscapes full of color and great direction. You know it’s good when every single location in this game stands out to you. The rundown encampment of Fort Joy, the joyful town of Driftwood, the demonic look of Blood Moon Island, the sunset town near the Black Pits, spiraling Elf Kingdom, the halls of The Academy, and the last bustling city known as The Arx. The main six Godwoken have memorable designs and their personality make them some of the best characters I've seen in a fantasy game besides Octopath Traveler. Speaking of which, for a team on a Kickstarter budget it’s surprising how talented the voice work is. The sternness of Ifan Ben-Mezd, the pompous act of Fame, dear joyful Lohse, sinister sound of Sebille, and much more. Original Sin 2 probably should be indie , but I consider it AAA with how polished it is.
Now I do have quite a few complaints with the game and I see them holding back a ton of people from playing or even finishing it. The game is difficult, that’s obvious from what I said earlier. It will not hold you by the hand, find ways to kill you easily, and quests don’t always point you in the right direction. The second act can feel really overwhelming for some as you have a large list of quests you can do, but none of them are manageable yet do to your level or not being shown what to do next. Even on the lowest difficulty I still found myself being challenged, but I would say it’s for a good reason. If you constantly show the player the solution you won’t test them on what tools they have at their disposal. That and sometimes you have to listen closely to the NPCs you talk to or read your journal more carefully, because often they give you a better idea of what to do rather than have an objective marker show you. It’s better to pay attention to what is on screen rather than the radar at the corner. The UI is crisp, but it can also be confusing to navigate for some. There’s six different tabs you can go to filled with different things, and trying to find what you need will take some time getting used to. The bottom meter for where all your abilities and items can easily be mapped has a lot and I can see players who aren’t used to CRPGs feeling dread. The game has a loot rarity system similar to that of Borderlands where loot dropped from foes can contain random traits. However, I like it here because the skills associated with specific armor types will be useful to the build you are trying to make. I noticed robes had stat increases in elemental powers, or knight armor increases Warfare.
Reviving companions can be a pain in the ass especially in early games where resurrection scrolls are expensive. On the lowest difficulty you have the ability to resurrect only when you are out of combat, so why didn’t you have this for the other difficulties. Seems well balanced enough and you wouldn’t need to horde a bunch or resurrection scrolls just in case someone may fall. My final complaint deals with performance and more specifically on consoles. The game has a lot of polish and graphical fidelity, but it’s not the smoothest running game out there. Quite a bit of framerate drops, pop-in, the physics of capes not always working, AI slowing down because it needs to figure out what to do among a field of eight people, long load times due to the amount of content the game has to process, and much more. However, I can overlook these problems and I expect it to be better on PC where a lot of players will most likely play it. These numerous problems can be ignored though, because what Original Sin 2 does is done amazingly. Just amazingly….
Thank You, Larian Studios
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a masterpiece. It’s one of the best RPGs I’ve played and has quickly entered the range of being one of my top twenty favorite games of all time. I think the praise that Larian Studios garnished with Original Sin 2 was well deserved and it’s no wonder why they were chosen to work on Baldur’s Gate 3. They know how to make compelling RPGs and flood it with as much wonderful content as possible. I hope to play Baldur’s Gate 3 sometime before the year ends, and my hype for it has now been increased thanks to my second playthrough of this game. I strongly recommend it and those who are hardcore RPG players will have a tremendous time exploring Rivellon and all it has to offer. Just buy it. Physical copies for consoles can cost around twenty to thirty dollars depending on where you look, and even if you have to pay more you are still supporting a fantastic team of developers. I love this game and I hope you will love it too. Thank you Larian Studios for bringing us this epic game.
This critique was written by the single man at Review on. Stay tuned for more content and feel free to check more reviews out over at my site!