Divinity: Original Sin (a J!-ENT Video Game Review)
July 13, 2014 by Dennis Amith
You have to be willing to spend a lot of time on this game because of how addictive it can get and in order to progress, you are going to have to do quite a bit of work. But because Larian Studios gives gamers the choice of how to play the game, “Divinity: Original Sin” is no doubt one of the most awesome games I have played in 2014. It truly is an epic game!
“Divinity: Original Sin” is under the copyright of Larian Studios. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO GAME TITLE: Divinity: Original Sin
TYPE OF GAME: RPG
PLATFORM GAME REVIEWED: STEAM PC/MAC GAME
DEVELOPER: Larian Studios
RELEASE DATE: July 2014
Welcome back to Rivellon, player, welcome back to this vast world of role-playing. Experience a classic RPG adventure that includes an isometric perspective, strategic turn-based combat and innovative co-op dialog. Return to the days when the realm was young and evil first reared its head. In the wake of a terrible sin, two heroes share one destiny.
For PC Gamers, Larian Studios is best known for their “Divinity” video game series.
From the release of “Divine Divinity” (2002), “Beyond Divinity” (2004), “Divinity II: Ego Draconis” (2009), “Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance” (2010) and “Divinity: Dragon Commander” (2013).
While the studio has created video games that have been well-received, for their latest “Divinity” multiplayer fantasy RPG titled “Divinity: Original Sin”, Larian Studios went to Kickstarter in hopes that the prequel would gain enough fans to help expand the content of the game. And sure enough, Kickstarter raised over $1 million.
And so, the prequel to “Divine Divinity” was released on July 3rd and “Divinity: Original Sin” sold 160,000 copies and would eventually become Larian Studios’ fastest selling video game.
“Divinity: Original Sin” is a single player or multiplayer game.
From the very beginning, it allows you to create and customize your characters and distribute points (from attributes such as strength, intelligence, speed, constitution and perception to special abilities which you can have your character focus on).
You can choose from Wizard, Battlemage, Cleric, Enchanter, Fighter, Knight, Ranger, Rogue, Shadowblade, Wayfarer or Witch and then have your character focus on various abilities such as crafting potions, identifying unknown items, become a healer, use a one-hand sword, two-hand sword, use a bow and arrow, etc.
You can play a solo character or start off with two characters you choose and have two more other characters join you on the first map: Madora (a warrior) and Jahan (an enchanter that specializes in air elements) and as you advance, replace characters with others.
“Divinity: Original Sin” is a tactical turn-based RPG. Using your mouse, you can control the leader of the group by clicking to a destination or control each character and have them doing different things.
For example, if you want to steal an item from someone’s home, you can have your main character converse with the character or divert them upstairs, while using your other character to rob a home and steal paintings, spell books or other items which you can barter or trade with other locals in the city.
When it comes to combat, you control your character but you are limited to activity points. A movement can take up activity points, using a spell or healing a character can take activity points. So, you need to be careful and plan your movement and attack or be on the defense and heal other characters in your party.
With that being said, “Divinity: Original Sin” is a fun RPG because it changes with each gameplay. And the replay value is high because different types of characters can handle various missions much differently.
For example, I started off with a cleric and a warrior. I mistook this game as your standard RPG game where you fight and you gradually grow with experience points earned. The problem with “Divinity: Original Sin” is that a lot of the enemies are much powerful than you are and if you choose the wrong type of character, you are going to lose.
So, starting off with a cleric and warrior, these are sword fighters but when going against skeletons or enemies that shoot poison at you or choose you with explosive arrows, you are simply going to lose.
Created another game with a Wizard and a Battlemage and sure enough, I was using pyrotechnic spells that would instantly light up enemies on fire and made the game much easier.
But I figured that since I started off with a cleric and a warrior, gained another warrior in the process with Madora and the air enchanter Jahan, I would need to figure out myself through trial and error to get far.
Losing many times and learning that the game awards points through battles which I was not winning, I knew I needed a change, so I focused on making money to purchase better weapons and armor.
It’s important in “Divinity: Original Sin” to talk to EVERY character. A character can either give you great information or help continue a storyline for that map. So, for Celcea, you are investigating a murder and to accomplish your investigation, you are going to have to do a lot of talking.
Also, with each character, they may have a certain item or ingredient you need for trading. Or an item they have for sale. So, you need to make the effort and talk to other people.
With that being said, by talking to other people inside their homes or establishments, I made unpopular decision to try to open chests. Typically, in most RPG’s, opening a chest in another home or location doesn’t affect a person but for “Diversity: Original Sin”, people don’t take kindly to you touching their stuff or trying to steal their belonging. Do it enough and you will either need to fight the home/business owner, fight against the guards, pay a fine or go to jail.
Feeling that I either had no money or kept breaking weapons that would allow my strongest character to break down doors to homes or locked chests, I came up with a strategic and unpopular plan. Instead of risking jail or getting killed, I did something dishonorable by having three zombies follow me into the heavily guarded city of Celcea, have them follow me first to the military barracks and watch as the zombies annihilated each soldier, while I stole their items after they died or from their living quarters while they were busy.
And then doing the next dishonorable thing by having the zombies follow me to the merchants area and have the merchants fight the zombies and get slaughtered, while I went to town by stealing as many items that I can.
It’s an unpopular decision to have innocents killed, just so I can use their money to buy better things or take their belongings left behind after they were dead, but for this game, it’s about decisions for your characters. Eventually, with better weapons and better clothing, I was able venture Northwest to take on the weaker enemies and get the points that I needed for one of my characters to become a blacksmith (so I can keep repairing broken weapons), another character to have a long range markmanship for healing and another character to use pyrotechnic for fire spells.
And that is what makes the gameplay for “Divinity: Original Sin” so fun and exciting because anything can happen and you craft your characters the way you want, unlike other RPG’s where the path and what your character can eventually become is pre-destined by leveling up. In “Divinity: Original Sin”, you need to think and plan your characters carefully and use your points wisely.
Controls are fairly easy. It’s literally a click of a mouse button to direct your characters on where to go, which spell or what potion to use. While the keyboard is helpful if you want to use F5 to do a quick save or F8 to redo a scene.
GRAPHICS & AUDIO:
The graphics for the “Divinity: Original Sin” is fantastic and I love seeing how the “Divinity” games evolve over time. Graphics are colorful and sharp, buildings and locations are wonderfully painted and animation and effects are nicely done.
The audio is one of my favorite parts of the game as the music for “Divinity: Original Sin” is absolutely captivating. I found myself pausing or just listening to the music of the game because the soundtrack was so enjoyable! Definitely one of the better game soundtracks that I have heard in 2014!
“Divinity: Original Sin” is a game that has plenty of replay value because of the different characters you can play and customize. And you can create a character to your own specific plan and do things differently. With several types of characters and the combinations available for a player, this game can last a gamer hours of gameplay!
“Divinity: Original Sin” is an RPG that I am having a lot of fun playing. So, much that I have concurrent games saved with different characters because you realize after playing the game for hours, that you can get things all wrong if you think it’s just another banal RPG game.
Many may find the game hard, many will find its intricacies to be part of the game’s asset because the game has many possibilities of how it can be played.
Despite the challenge involved in planning for combat, planning for acquiring money or how to better utilize your character, it takes considerable thought and it’s probably one of the more interactive RPG’s that can easily eat so much of your time because you are busy thinking and strategizing of how you want to accomplish this or that.
Because one thing is for sure, “Divinity: Original Sin” is a game that you will find yourself dying multiple times because you haven’t put in enough work to better your character or haven’t chosen the right customization for your character.
But that is part of what I enjoyed about “Divinity: Original Sin”, finding ways to overcome your enemies, may it be luck or perfect strategizing, the feeling of accomplishing something important in the game, may it be with good intentions or bad… the choice of how you want to play is up to you and rarely games offer that type of gameplay.
“Divinity: Original Sin” does just that and more! You have to be willing to spend a lot of time on this game because of how addictive it can get and in order to progress, you are going to have to do quite a bit of work. But because Larian Studios gives gamers the choice of how to play the game, “Divinity: Original Sin” is no doubt one of the most awesome games I have played in 2014. It truly is an epic game!
“Divinity: Original Sin” from Larian Studios is now available on Steam for the PC and Mac and is highly recommended!
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