I’ve played quite a lot of Divinity: Original Sin yet it is only now that I have had a chance to come along and write up my Verdict. I had the pleasure of playing the game back in the Early Access stages in March and was really impressed with how it was shaping up. Nearly five months further on, the game has been released and is a majestic, and must-buy entry in the turn-based RPG genre. Or a must buy for any RPG fan really.
There are two main characters who determine your progression through the story and you have a few choices in how to control them. If you have a friend handy, you can play co-operatively online while when playing on your lonesome (like I have been), you can either have full control over their conversation dialogues (as I do), or set them up with an AI personality which will dictate how they talk about the story and odd quests. You aren’t stuck with one sole approach, after a few hours you unlock a character customiser in a different dimension where you can alter your appearance and set up AI control. It is a very open system, and I for one have had endless fun ganging my two leading companions up in discussions with allies who join your party only to suddenly turn against each other for no discernible reason.
Fear not, their friendship is still very much solid.
I have taken my team of intrepid explorers through journeys to solve a murder in the town of Cyseal where I nearly found myself ripping my hair out in frustration. I had long deduced who the murderer was, but I wasn’t able to bring forward any proof. It turned out that I was forced to steal to find the evidence, at least that was the only solution that I found. I don’t have a problem with stealing, but in a game which has so many fun side-quests and twists in the tales, I found myself feeling disappointed that I was pushed into a corner. The ultimate resolution to this main quest line was amusing enough to leave me satisfied though, and when put hand-in-hand with the myriad number of side quests that I embarked on and incidental stories, I can forgive this.
I’ve had quests to solve the mystery surrounding talking statues that had persuaded one man to give up all of his money and another to throw himself off a cliff with the promise of being able to fly. I found the devious statues and brought them to their ruin. On my way towards the statues though….I found a character who was only too eager to extol the virtues of Divinity: Dragon Commander, an RTS entry in the Divinity saga.
In my hunt for the murder, I had to play an Orc in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors in order to reason with him that he should leave me and my party alone to continue our journey. A bizarre event you might think, but it poses a fun challenge when your influencing skills in a conversation tree need to be tested. Of course, if you are a wimp you can let the computer decide who wins the argument. A simple solution to an amusing trick that might not sit well with all those who like to try their hands at chance.
Thanks to the must-have Pet Pal perk, I’ve been able to talk to two bulls waiting to tow away a cart in the harbour of Cyseal. I’ve tried my hand at playing cupid with two cats and attempted to talk with countless numbers of rats. I’ve taken part in so many amusing little tales that I could go on for days.
Instead I will say that the world within Original Sin is a lovely place to explore with some tremendous weather effects. You go from beaches outside Cyseal, to the town itself through to a large church and graveyard, small forest and rocky cliff paths. That is just in the first main area without going into the pirate cove or any of the other areas of the game that I haven’t reached yet. The environments all have something to play with combat which is very involved and varied. If it is raining and fire enemies will be weakened while electrical spells will deal more damage. Come up against skeleton’s and your best bet is to crush them with clubs and hammers rather than try to slash them with a sword. Zombies are immune to poison while some enemies can summon armies of undead which you can combat by calling on the help of a giant spider.
There really is so much to do within Original Sin, you would be a fool not to check it out. My only reservation is that combat can be a struggle at times, coming up against large hordes or enemies a level higher than your party can prove to be very challenging. As such, in the early stages it can be difficult to identify the best way to progress the game in the early stages. At the end of the day, this is a brilliant game that deserves to be played.
Verdict – Red Mist (for RPG fans) / Head Shot (for everyone else)
Platforms Available/Played – PC
Review based on Steam media account copy. Please check this post for more on our scoring policy.