Back to the good ol’ days!
Role playing games have evolved into many forms over the years. The classic turn-based role playing game with a party working together to smite the evil lurking in the lands has, with the advent of technology, become real-time or a hybrid of the two formats. Some are now shooters, like the Fallout series, while others have incorporated roleplaying elements into their games, like Far Cry and Mass Effect. There hasn’t really been a decently good turn based RPG since Knights of the Old Republic or Neverwinter Nights 2 in my mind.
But, along comes Divinity: Original Sin, which is a hark back to the old days of complex, difficult, turn based RPGs that require a blend of thinking and brute force. It’s not the first in the series, as there have been several other Divinity games out there, but none that have gotten the mix so right. Original Sin begins with your two characters, the main heroes, landing on a beach at the beginning of a murder investigation in Cylean.
In Divinity, the major source of magic is called Source (yes, well, you come up with a better sentence…) and your heroes are Source Hunters, tasked with trying to root out the evil Source users and ensure order in the world. On your first stop, you investigate the murder of Councillor Jake of Cylean, but then you quickly get embroiled in something far more sinister. On the way, you even meet the Weaver of Time and a talkative imp.
Now, granted, I haven’t actually played through most of the storyline, so this is based purely on the gameplay I’ve experienced thus far. But what a great game it is! There are, a lot of little details in the game, which says that a lot of love and care went into it. The game’s great sense of humour injects some fun into it, braking up the serious business of hacking undead and monsters. Another plus is the very interactive environment and the way that your spells and actions affect it, coupled with bright, well made graphics.
Even your characters have interactions with each other, though most of the game is not voice acted, through a series of philosophical arguments in their adventures. Having said that, with the lower budget nature of the game, this doesn’t come as a surprise, and it’s good to see that the budget was used to great effect elsewhere. It does mean, on the other hand, that there’s a lot of reading involved, and if you’re not invested into the lore, you’ll probably not really understand what’s going on.
Another wonderful feature is the classless character system. When you start a new game, there are some presets, but even those can be customised. The challenge is to create a well balanced party that can work well together through swarms of enemies. Let me be clear, the game is challenging. Even on normal difficulty, with equivalent levelled creatures, you will likely suffer heavy damage. The game rewards patience and tactical use of the Action Points per turn, not attacking in reckless abandon.
Divinity: Original Sin is a fantastic game, full of options, customization, options and interesting reading. It is also a very fun, thoughtfully designed adventure and a highly recommended purchase for anyone who loves RPGs. Hopefully, I can actually beat this game!
The best turn based RPG with modern graphics in the market today.
Should I play this?
Miss Baldur’s Gate? Sick of Skyrim yet? This is for you. It’s different, quirky and off centre, but lovely.