Divinity: Original Sin is truly DIVINE! No, but seriously, it is a refreshing sign in a slow genre like old school RPGs. If you are looking for an Elder Scrolls type of RPG, then you will be disappointed. But, if you were lucky enough to enjoy Baldur’s Gate 2 way back when (in 2000) then you should be pleasantly surprised, as this is a modern version of Baldur’s Gate. Baldur’s Gate and Divinity go hand in and hand with a lot of their mechanics and that isn’t a flaw or a disadvantage for Divinity. While the character creation isn’t too extensive it does its job well. The gameplay and overall mechanics of the game are what makes it truly great though.
The gameplay is about the same as Baldur’s Gate. For those unfamiliar to the series or old school RPGs in general we have our party and then the enemy party. The combat is turn based and has hidden dice that the player can’t see (let me note that you can see it in sidebar chat) which brings it into more of likeness to Dungeons & Dragons (Baldur’s Gate is part of the D&D universe) and your rolls determine your effectiveness. Generally speaking there are two rolls involved (1 roll for the player to see the hit and 1 roll from the monster to see if he can avoid it). I mean we have nothing revolutionary, but what we do have is refreshing. While I can’t say the class balance is very refreshing the game does a lot in modernizing old school RPG mechanics. The story isn’t as strong as Baldur’s Gate 2, but it isn’t exactly boring either.
We’re the source hunters! An order that battles sorcery and the magic that accompanies it. The game starts off and the two characters are set to investigate the murder of Councilor Jake. Through the investigation you discover that the world could be coming to an end. Exciting, right? Well, the town you are in also has only a ton of problems as well. No one knows who murdered Jake. Undead are wreaking havoc outside the gates and Orcs are attacking from the beaches. I mean the story isn’t exactly bad, but at 20-30 hours in I was still in the first town and couldn’t really explore the rest of the game-world. An interesting concept is that your two characters can disagree on your moral decisions. Bringing you to a Rock, Paper, Scissors match where the winner decides what happens. You can program how they will respond or leave the AI off and pick for yourself. This also happens when you try to charm, intimidate, and reason with an AI.
Original Sin provides a pretty huge and detailed variance between the characters that can be created for this story-driven experience that feels very mystic, dark, bloody, and has the aura of intrigue. The ability to match two characters made it a little easier to enjoy all of the classes this game has to offer, and it felt awesome having a male and female playable character at the same time – with no need to choose between them. Players can also jump into online co-op with each other.
In Divinity: Original Sin, players start out by customizing two characters as well as select a class for each such as Rogue (With a lot of skill and a little luck, this rogue sees the world as an open coffer), Battlemage (Amplifies brute strength with powerful magic), Cleric (Heals allies or smashes skulls, depending on the direction of the winds), Prefers to turn the tide of battle from afar, manipulating foes with powerful magic), Fighter (Brutal warrior and expert in close combat), Knight (Specialized in war tactics, knights are trained not only to fight, but to rally troops). There’s also Witch (An intimidating presence whose bone-chilling powers terrify friend and foe alike), Enchanter (Prefers to turn the tide of battle from afar, manipulating foes with powerful magic), Wizard (A scholar of magic specialized in starting and ending battles with a flick of the wrist, exacting swift victory from a safe distance), Shadowblade (A powerful assassin whose arsenal of both daggers and magic would terrify any enemy, if they ever saw it coming), Wayfarer (A survivalist and a practitioner of magic, the Wayfarer is hard to hit and even harder to evade) or Ranger (A marksman with a legendary knack for self-preservation). You can even customize beyond this.
The game does have its own unique allure in many ways. The music is fantastic, and although it can sometimes be repetitive, it almost always compliments the situation afoot. Dialogue is filled with rich lore, and the designs of the map are a homage towards fantasy games of the RPG genre. Perhaps the best part of this game is that in the rebirth of CRPGs we still hold on to the core values of what made them such a hit when they were originally a hot topic of gaming. This game doesn’t hold you hand and it really shouldn’t either. We’ve seen a good amount of CRPGs come out in the past year alone with Wasteland 2 and ShadowRun Returns being two that come to mind and like Divinity: Original Sin were also brought into existence thanks to Kickstarter. The thing that sets this title apart from those is the setting of course, but it is interesting to see this genre getting a lot of hype. Divinity: Original Sin is really the first CRPG I’ve heard a lot about in some time and I’m thrilled about that. As a Strategy player it excites me and as a D&D player it satisfies me. That being said, the game is not perfect but I think it can lead us to a new era filled with quality CRPGs. Most of my time in-game was spent accusing people of murder or stealing everything in sight, but isn’t that what a CRPG is truly all about?
Under the hood, frames per second can be capped to any custom number between 10 and 120 frames per second (with default setting set to 60) while a number of resolutions are offered for computer monitors, all options on Ultra play decent for even an entry level PC Gaming rig (read: the cost of a next-gen console or more), and post-processing can be turned on or off by individual feature such as Ambient Occlusion, Screen Space Reflections, Depth of Field, Motion Blur, God Rays, and Bloom. This is in addition to a number of setting features broken down in various sections such as multiple Shadow options, Quality settings for various models and texture systems within the game, and of course V-sync / Gamma Correction. But enough tech talk, let’s get into the RGN Final Verdict of Divinity: Original Sin and find out if this is something people should have on their plate or if it’s just a budget meal.
Divinity: Original Sin isn’t perfect. There are some core problems with the game that need to be ironed out plus the normal fun glitches and bugs that most games suffer from. Overall this is a very pleasing addition to the rebirth of CRPGs and with the way it is designed could keep players entertained for quite some time. Larian Studios has done old school gamers a huge favor with this release. Will you love this if you loved Skyrim? I can’t guarantee that. But if you are open minded, love RPGs, a challenge, and want to play the next big thing then I believe Divinity: Original Sin won’t be something you regret. With around 60+ hours of time in the base game, it’s above the average RPG scope. With content creation and just overall fun factor I can see this game lasting a player thousands of hours of enjoyment.
Overall Score: 9.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Platinum Game
Developer / Publisher: Larian Studios
Review Copy Info: Two digital copies of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for the purpose of this Review.