Divinity Original Sin Review
This game was a complete surprise for me…
I was reading my favorite french video game magazine, when i saw this title with a good note of 7 on 10 ! Actually i played to Divinity 2 the dragon knight saga earlier in 2014, So when i saw they had used the crowdfundin” way for another divinity game, i thought it could be another gem from Larian studios !
Well if you miss your old school Ultima game, let’s say Ultima IV as it was the best of the series, i think D.O.S (no not the old 6.22 system but this game ^_^) could be the diamond you were waiting for ! Really… if you are in your mid 30’s (like i am) or even 40’s, you’re going to leave wife and children for some weeks 😉 Because this game is super addictive !
D.O.S is turn based” but instead of using squares on the field of battle, the meter unit of measure is used like if we were playing to some wargame. That’s a good thing as even during battles, it seems you’re playing to some Real Time strategy game and not to Chess.
The Old School Reborn
Very long game, and i gave it a higher note than in the french magazine. It was refreshing to play to some old school game… Though i’d like to mention that i am also used to some new gen features like… voice acting ! There are some voices but only during little cinematics or at the very beginning of discussions.
The rest of the discussions are entirely about reading… And when you know that D.O.S is filled with stories, investigations, riddles and so on… There is A LOT of reading to do ! To give you an example, i actually spent 10 hours of gameplay in the first city, just by visiting every npcs, and listening to their stories.
About these npc’s by the way, as an old player i am used to the fact that important npcs have a unique name, and common folks have generic names. But when you first play to D.O.S you quickly discover, that even the most unimportant guy, like the drunk guy in the back alley, who have generally strictly nothing to offer to the main plot, also have a whole range of questions he can answer about !
So that’s rather disturbing at first sight, because i began to fear i might have to click on EVERY single npc i would come across, in order not to miss anything of the story / plot. Fortunately after some hours doing that lol… i saw that even if these guys could answer about lot of things, their dialogs were not as important as the unique npcs. So better only speak to the npcs who have unique names.
In fact it was not entirely time spent reading no i am exaggerating, But it’s true that i had not killed one enemy in 10 hours though ! You see there are so many things to do in the city, helping people, resolving quests, doing your own investigation on a local murder, infiltrating people’s homes and stealing stuff 😉 Well… Equipment and learning new spells are costing a lot of money, and you’re a little broke on start.
Even if it can look quite strange… Well you know ! I am in a RPG and i haven’t killed 1 mob in a day of game ! Wtf ! Surely you might remember that True Rpgs around a table, with real friends back in the 90’s, were not filled with battles every 5 minutes, but more like every 1 or 2 hours ! So it was refreshing to find back an epic adventure, where using your brain to resolve quests was as rewarding as killing monsters.
Some dialogs also use the stone, paper, scissors to resolve an argument… and the higher your 2 social skills are, the better you will be at this little game. And these are also giving you a good amount of XP in case you resolve the matter. Though i would express a disappointment on it, as in this game if the 2 sides are choosing the same option like stone, then it should be a draw and both people would have to restart the round. But no… in D.O.S there’s automatically a winner at every rounds, and sometimes it can become very frustrating, as in case of a Draw… the enemy wins the round :-/
Though this review is old, and maybe they fixed that in the enhanced edition.
Leveling is slow, so fighting a monster 2 levels higher than you means a certain death ! Exploration is also encouraged, as finding secrets / hidden places and waypoints, will also get you some Experience ! Yes waypoints because instead of spending hours traveling from one point to another, there’s a way to teleport back instantly, from virtually any place, to any other places you have visited before. Trust me… when you’ll see the size of maps and some errand boys quests, you’ll be very grateful !
After some time your inventory becomes quite a mess, most importantly because you can carry A LOT OF THINGS… don’t even bother yourself with the Mule Talent, granting your character the ability to carry more weight… because i’ve never been crippled by weight. Same thing for Blacksmith skill to repair your weapons and armours… Frankly i had to repair only my weapons one time every… 5 hours ? (my pieces of armour never worned off) And i could do it with just a little repair hammer, while being in the middle of nowhere. No need to invest points in that it’s useless…
As for the creation of your team… whatever the class you choose, it has strictly no impact on the evolution of your characters ! The old class system… where the fighter tank, the priest heal and the ranger deals damage is out… Here the class only defines your very starting skills and attributes, but virtually every class can learn any skills after that. I had a druid who ended the game with the ability to summon undeads… lol ! And my pure warrior was handling her 2 handed axe as well, as she was raining fire meteors while summoning fire elementals ! Everyone can become anything.
As in Divinity 2, and maybe all the previous divinity games ? can’t tell as i never played them, there is no monster respawn… That means when you clear an area, it’s cleared ! By cancelling the grinding option to become overpowered, the game ensures you have to choose your paths carefully, as some will be filled with creatures well above your level… You can explore the world freely of course, but a certain level will be needed for some zones. And like that it prevents the player to spoil the storyline.
There are lot of books to learn about the lore and knowledge, and some quests can’t be resolved until you read them, and follow the given advices between the lines. That reinforces the old school side, where you didn’t just had to bash everything to grind xp like in mmorpgs, and forces you to think.
The part on crafting is really useless ! Apart from two quests ingame, you can definitely do without. There is a LOT of strong stuff you can find, or buy from the local vendors than to lose time creating your own… There are even blank scrolls to create your spells, but i never used them either.
D.O.S is taking advantage of the elements. There are barrels of water, oil or gaz, scattered all around the world These can be used in battle with the appropriate elements. Bash a barrel of water and cast a thunder spell and everybody walking on it will be electrified ! Set fire to a barrel of oil to create a flaming surface, or bash a barrel of gaz and send a fireball into the affected zone for a massive explosion !
Very effective in battle, as you can even kill monsters stronger than your team using these elements. The A.I (artificial intelligence) is not dumb, and so they will also avoid to walk or pass by a dangerous surface / zone. This can be turned to your advantage, as you can jail enemies with dangerous elements, and shoot them from a distance. As walking on fire can be worse than receiving arrows in the butt !
Though it has modern and colorful graphics, D.O.S won’t be the most beautiful game of the year, nor either will it be a direct opponent to Skyrim, Risen 3 or the last marvelous Witcher 3. But for a player seeking an old school rpg, where the story counts, where you can let yourself be enthralled by the magic, and play it like you would read a good book… Then this game is worth every dollars you will spend.
The old fans of the Ultima series will find their old passions resurrected.
The difficulty i played on : Hard… and it will be hard until your reach lvl 20 🙂
How long is this game : around 80 hours for me
Would i recommend it to a friend ? : If they are the old school type yes !
Did i pay for it ? : No… thanks Vuze ! (sorry -_-)
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