[Review] Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin

I rarely, perhaps never, get annoyed with games to the point of ‘quitting’ them before I have beaten them. However, I have finally met a game to provoke such a reaction out of me. It’s a half annoyed, half frustrated feeling, but this game is not the boss of me, so I am not going to finish it.

Instead, I am going to share my frustrations with the game, (as well as my appreciation for it’s good parts,) for all the world to see, and to serve as a fair warning.

You can navigate through this review by clicking on the terrible paginated numbers down below.

Let’s do this.

What is it?

Divinity: Original Sin is a PC game, available on Steam. It has it’s own website, which you can check out if you wish.

A common view of combat
A common view of combat

Their words:

An isometric, single player and co-op multiplayer RPG with tactical turn based combat, featuring an innovative co-op dialog system, a highly interactive, systemic and reactive world, classless character development, and lots of choice and consequence situations. Shipped with the powerful editor the game was made with, allowing you to create your own single player and multiplayer adventures, and publish them online.

My words:

A spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate-type games: party-based adventuring and turn-based tactical combat, crammed with extra features and a few new ideas; some cool, some unnecessary.

How much time have I put into it?

At the time of writing this, I’ve put about 44 hours into the game. My characters are all around level 14, and from what I can tell, I am nearly done with the second ‘zone’ and working on the third ‘zone.’ I have currently reached a few dead ends on a few quest lines and I can’t for the life of me figure out what to do next. From what I can gather on the internets, the steps I need to take to progress are either bugged out, or are just simply too much of a pain in the ass for my tastes to actually want to progress past them.

This is simultaneously a big bummer and a big relief, because it means I can quit, but I probably will never try another playthrough, so I won’t really get to know what happens. The psychic burden of the unknown will weigh on my shoulders until my dying day, in which my entire life will flash before me, and I am reminded of all of the loose ends that have been left untied. I will expire, and the traces of Divinity: Original Sin will waft from my body.

What’s awesome about this one?

Classless Skill Advancement!

This feature was one of the main selling points, and a fairly new/innovative concept a game in this genre.
There are skill categories you can unlock through experience, like “Man-at-Arms” (Warrior stuff, like knockdowns, or crippling effects) or “Pyrokenetic” (Fire stuff, like fireballs, or haste spells).

Any character can unlock the ability to use powers within a category by spending points and leveling up one of the categories. There seem to be a total of 5 levels of each category, and each level allows you to have additional powers within that category. I.e. Level 1 Man-at-Arms allowed 3 Man-At-Arms powers. Level 2 allows 5, and level 3 allows 7, etc.  Having a higher level in a category also determines how many action points it costs to use particular powers – in some cases, the higher your skill level, the fewer action points it costs to use some powers.

In theory, these mechanics are awesome idea: teach your tank some magic damage reduction powers, or your rogue some invisibility or haste powers to help them do their job.

In practice, however, it doesn’t really work as well as I would like it to: since each skill category has an attribute it draws from, you are at a bit of a handicap if you take if you take two sets of skills on one character that draw from two different attributes. I.e. Man-at-Arms powers get a percent power or duration bonus from a high Strength stat, Pyrokenetic powers benefit from a strong Intelligence stat.

Many of the more ‘magical’ skill categories all draw from Intelligence, so mixing those up is much more viable. In other words, creating a mage that has skills from all the major element categories (fire/wind/air/earth) is much easier to pull off then trying to make a Cleric, with healing powers that center around Intelligence, and martial powers which center around Strength.

Hot-swap Multiplayer!

The game allows an interesting form of cooperative play, while still letting you play solo if you like. The game has two protagonists, which you create when you start a new game. If you choose to create a new multiplayer game at the start, at any time during gameplay, you can invite your friend from Steam to hop into one of the protagonists. They control the character in every way: moving them around, acting for them during combat, looting, exploring, etc.

There’s a few interesting mechanics that interact with this concept: sometimes you are forced into a dialogue where each of the main protagonists can offer their opinion about something. The characters (and players) agreeing or disagree can change the outcome of things in interesting ways.

My friend and I played for a few hours at the beginning but ultimately the execution wasn’t as awesome as I had hoped it to be. The pacing of combats and exploration and questing was too staggered, and if the other player interacts with an NPC, you can miss out on important plot details.

Ultimately it’s a cool concept, I would just prefer to have it work ‘just’ in combat most of the time. Even then, I think with these sort of games, people want to play them a specific way, and make specific decisions.

Comes With An Editor!

I haven’t poked around with the editor, and haven’t seen what people can do with it, but it has lots of potential. People have made a few mods already but I have not tried any of them out. The framework for an awesome game is there, and from what I understand, they have made the entire main campaign available to edit and tweak in the editor, similar to how Shadowrun Returns did their thang. I am always curious as to what the community will do with these tools! Someone’s attempting to create Diablo using the game editor.

Combat Is Awesome!

Combat consists of some very solid turn-based mechanics, and combined with the classless skill system, it’s very fun. One really awesome mechanic which feels very new and fresh and simple is how action points transfer to the next round: If you have an ability that you can’t afford to use this round, if you finish your turn, your unused AP carry over to the next round, within a cap. Since you use AP also for movement, often times, when combat starts, you’ll do something cheap, or nothing at all with your first turn, and let your enemies come to you. Next turn, the AP will have carried over, and you can blow it all in a bunch of extra attacks, and/or move a lot.

The initiative system feels a bit wonky, and I found myself wanting abilities that let you switch around what order you go in, or at least affect initiative somehow. Going first didn’t always seem idea.

The Music Is Amazing!

Most likely a result of the Kickstarter stretch goal, the music was composed by a pro and performed by an actual orchestra. On that note, the sound experience in general was just awesome, with lots of great original sfx. If there’s one thing I’m going to miss about the game, it’s the music.

Customization!

Hand-in-hand with the classless skill system, you can create your two protagonists from scratch! There’s a decent selection of customization options, including the ability to play as female(s). Props.

Move everything!

Everything in the environment that’s not nailed down is interact-with-able – your characters can move crates and barrels, and there’s even spells that let you move things around – violently or not. Some examples:

There’s a funny ‘teleport’ spell which you can use to move characters and things around, but it damages them. A lot. I.e. you target something, then choose a destination. They get picked up and then splat in the ground and take lots of damage. Do this with barrels full of dangerous things for awesome results. There’s a ‘featherfall’ version of the spell which does the same thing, except it doesn’t do any damage to what you move.

Both spells can be used tactically – you can lift up enemies and splat them in front of your melee damage dealer, or you can rescue your errant rogue who is surrounded by baddies. You can also use the feather fall skill to move objects around, solve puzzles, or get objects that are out of reach.

Things I didn’t like that are the game’s fault

Difficulty

One of the agreed upon points of the game is that it’s ‘really hard.’ Fans of the game seem to be quick to bring up how cool it is that there’s no ‘hand holding,’ and they enjoy having a challenging game for once. The game is really hard, but I think the challenge is not so much the actual game mechanics as it is the lack any sort of intuitive flow to the game. It’s the exact opposite of railroading.

Very little effort is made to steer you into the proper directions: guards standing by gates will warn you that you don’t seem ‘experienced enough’ to venture out this specific gate, but very little to no effort is made to show the player the proper area they SHOULD be heading to. Maybe I am spoiled, but pick one: Make a nonlinear game which you can do in any order you want, or make a linear game with at least some semblance of a direction.

I roamed around for hours in lots of different places in the first zone before I sort figured out that I needed to be killing undead things. Eventually I caught up in level with things, but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Make it more clear that I have to do the undead killing-type stuff first. And make it clear in a way other then, ‘well, these guys are just one level ahead of me instead of 5 levels ahead of me, let’s try killing them!’

As you wander around and talk to people, a very simple ‘quest log’ seems to collect information but it does nothing to point you in any directions. It will tell you what happened, but usually doesn’t imply what the next steps are.

There was one instance in particular in which I got stuck because I didn’t realize I needed to destroy an obstruction in a mine tunnel: the ceiling had caved in and some debris was blocking my groups way. The problem was: there was no precedent up until this point for such an act. Generally, lots of things in the environment are destructible, there was no obvious visual queue that I could destroy said obstruction. It had a mouse-over state but I didn’t see it easily. I.e. I hadn’t ’learned’ that was a thing yet, so I didn’t even really know it was possible. No clues, either, from anyone. Something like ‘help me clean up this debris’ or whatever.

Fast Travel/Waypoints are confusing

The waypoint icons, as described, are the blue-light grey-arches on the map.
On the world map, you see icons for all the waypoints you have discovered, but when you mouse over them, the tooltip just says ‘waypoint’ – you have no idea which waypoint it is.

There’s a world map that shows you an overview of where you have explored. There’s also a waypoint concept: once you discover a new waypoint, you are then allowed to ‘fast travel’ between them using a secondary waypoint menu. These two factors combined lead to a really un-intuitive experience:

On the waypoint menu screen, there’s a list of text names for all the waypoints you have discovered, but there's no visual aid/iconography/link to the world map. Especially as you progress through the game and start finding more and more waypoints, your waypoint menu text list gets longer and longer and starts getting confusing.
On the waypoint menu screen, there’s a list of text names for all the waypoints you have discovered, but there’s no visual aid/iconography/link to the world map. Especially as you progress through the game and start finding more and more waypoints, your waypoint menu text list gets longer and longer and starts getting confusing.

My solution: Get rid of the ‘waypoint list’ screen entirely. Label the waypoints on the world map, and allow the user to fast-travel by click/right-clicking/etc on the waypoints on the world map. I feel like this problem has been solved in other games and am not sure why this was made to work like this. It feels like a big step back. The whole point of fast travel is to allow your player to not have to think. Fast travel in Fallout 3/New Vegas as an example is a good example, which allows fast travel to ANYWHERE.

Lackluster Skills

I built one of my protagonists as a rogue, relying on Scoundrel skill set, and some backstab mechanics. Conceptually, It’s fun, but at some point, despite being able to put some awesome damage on one bad guy, he would be out of stealth and then basically ‘behind enemy lines.’ Since his defensive stats were lackluster, he tended to become a target and I found myself having to resurrect him more often than not. Glass cannon struggle status for real.

My sentiment seems shared, as I found that there’s a general consensus online that tends to agree with my opinion, and that ‘wizards are OP.’ In short, it sucks that these skills aren’t as cool or useful as other skills are. It got to a point where I questioned restarting with a ranged/ranger type class, but I didn’t want to start over.

UI Issues

It’s very easy to misclick during combat, and mistakes are not undoable. You can argue that that’s what quick-saves are for but it was fairly easy to make mistakes. At the very least, movement should be undoable, with certain restrictions.

In order to attack enemies, you need to select a skill and then target them. However, sometimes enemies will randomly animate with an idle animation, which causes them to move around in a drastic way, and you will end up clicking on not-them. Your character will either make an attempt to walk to the location you clicked, despite you not wanting them to do that, or in the case of magic users, you may ‘target the ground’ and miss the enemy. Some of this could perhaps be solved with some sort of confirmation window for seemingly-odd actions/movements/attacks.

The trajectories for some projectile powers powers follow set arcs in 3-dimensional space, and some stuff you pew pew pew will hit obstructions, doing no damage, despite the targeting pathing looking good.

When characters and enemies get bunched up, it’s often very difficult to target who you want to. You have to spin the isometric view or zoom in to get the mouse to select the target you want to select. I had one circumstance that I just could not target the enemy I wanted to, no matter how hard I tried.

For the back-stab mechanic to work you need to be ‘behind’ the target, but you have to guess where that ‘behind’ actually is. Often times it was really difficult and frustrating to figure out exactly where ‘behind’ the target was. You’d walk/sneak to where you think it was, and then end up having to spend more action points to adjust to get directly behind the target, and end up missing out on even more attacks as a result of spending all your AP moving around.

Inventory Management

Another big point of frustration.

You can have pages upon pages of things – weapons, armor, crafting supplies, consumables. There are tabs which allow you to see categories of information, which is helpful, sorta. You end up with a lot of junk, and there’s no search function.
Books exist, and are all over the place. There are a few kinds of books. The important ones are books that teach lore, quest items, and crafting recipe books. The problem is, the books are really hard to tell apart, they are all in the same tab category in the inventory screen, and when you read a book, they don’t get consumed, so you end up having a scattering of books in your inventory, unsure of which ones are unread or even useful. Once you’ve ‘consumed’ a book, there’s an additional recipe page which appears and shows you a summary of the recipe you’ve read in the book. There is absolutely no reason to have the book in your inventory anymore, so why keep it?

There were many instances where one of my characters would pick up a quest item, usually a piece of paper or a book, that I would have to read to further the quest/plot, but then I would lose it in the sea of other books/papers/etc in my inventory. It would take way too long to dig through things to find the quest item and ‘consume’ it. Really frustrating. I think you should perhaps auto-consume it when you first pick it up.

When you mouse over equipment in your inventory, you see it’s stats, compared with the stats of the corresponding slotted item. I.e. if you mouse over a pair of boots you’re not wearing, it’ll show you it’s stats, and then the stats of the boots you have on, in comparison. However, when dealing with vendors, especially equipment vendors, you will only see the stats of the item being worn by the character who initiated trade with the vendor. This is a problem if the trader is a warrior-type, but the vendor has an awesome cloth piece for your wizard-type. While you could technically switch trade-initiating characters, there’s also a barter skill concept in the game – you may want an item for a character who won’t get as big of a discount if they trade directly. Just a generally unwieldy concept.

Lastly, there’s a ‘magic item identification’ concept in the game, similar to how Diablo had in their games literally a decade ago. I’m of the opinion that it’s a really dumb concept to get something cool but ‘unknown’ and then have to interact with it to see what the cool thing actually is. Not to mention one of your characters has to have a skill trained up to actually do this identification. Then you have to funnel the item to whatever character that can use it, and see if it’s better than what they have. I feel like a lot of this is wasted time. I get the whole scratchcard excitement concept, but I think even the latest Diablo games have just projected that scratchcard slotmachine randomness into ‘random loot dropping all over the friggin place.’

Healing

The concept of healing and regenerating health in the game got on my nerves. You can eat food, or you can cast healing spells. Apparently you can also sleep to regenerate health, but I learned that after I quit.

I recognize that restricting health and regeneration and all that makes the game more challenging, but I also just see past the tedium – after every fight, I’m going to have my healer cast a bunch of healing spells and wait for the cooldowns, and get everyone back to max health.

Why do I have to do this manually? Why can’t I press a ‘rest’ button and have everyone heal back to full? What is the point other then trying to annoy me with repetitive, tedious tasks? Why do you hate me so much, Divinity: Original Sin? And why is your name so long? And why is the acronym of your name the same acronym as Disk Operating System?

Paper, Rock, Scissors? Really?

My single biggest complaint with this game.

There’s ‘argument’ mechanic in the game: When you need to resolve some sort of disagreement or ‘challenge’ someone, you begin the argument mechanic. Sometimes a discussion path will bring you to an argument, other times you will be forced into one as a result of wandering into range of an opponent.

  • First, you are presented with three dialog choices to counter the opponent’s argument. The choices are themed after three different argument styles: Charm, Intimidation, or Reason.
  • Once you select your argument style, you are presented with a minigame of Paper, Rock, Scissors: You choose one of the three symbols to throw, and the opponent responds in turn.
  • Which ever player wins the throw gains a number of points equal to their rating in whatever style you’re arguing in, (Charm, Intimidation, Reason.)
  • The first character (yourself or the opponent) to 10 points wins the argument.

Winning a argument means your characters get your way. Generally, the result of winning an argument ultimately makes your life easier: Usually you stay peaceful with the opponent, instead of starting a fight, or, the opponent helps you out with some useful information, or special access to somewhere you weren’t allowed in otherwise.

Losing an argument is both a pain in the ass, and ‘final’ – you either get into a fight with the opponent, or they won’t allow whatever it is you were arguing about to happen. I.e. the dialog options become decided and you can’t ‘try again.’ Forever.

While the concept is very simple, it suffers from some really frustrating problems:

The number of points you have in the styles of arguments (Charm/Intimidation/Reason) seem arbitrary. Sometimes you have a 4 in Charm, sometimes you have a 3, sometimes your opponent has a 6 in Charm to your 2 in charm, meaning you have to win 4 times and they only need to win twice. You also don’t know your ratings for the style you’ve chosen until you get to the actual face-off screen.

In my opinion, this whole mechanic is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. This concept is useless and ultimately serves no real, substantial purpose. I feel like other games have solved this problem already. Fallout comes to mind, by showing or restricting menu options based on the various stats your character has, allowing or restricting your options based on your stats. For some reason I would be more accepting of the fact that I was not allowed to do something because my stats weren’t high enough, vs. being allowed to do something but having to literally press arbitrary buttons over and over again for ten or more minutes.

All of these challenges are just going to be quick-saved before you get into them, and then quick-loaded every time you lose. Ultimately my issue with this mechanic is how arbitrary it feels: needing to get the ‘good’ result usually 3-4 times in a row, depending on whatever values the game seems to have arbitrarily assigned to your Charm, Intimidation or Reason values. I’ve had to struggle through arguments six or seven times to finally win, based on the stats I was presented with.

It’s kind of hilarious how angry and frustrated I got when this stuff popped up. I’d see the dialogue appear, curse up a storm, and then quick-save, only to keep re-arguing over and over again until I won.

It’s also worth noting that in one of the towns in the third zone, you hear some orcs arguing with some humans and the leader of the group demands they play paper/rock/scissors to resolve the argument. The other orc comments on how ridiculous it is to play a stupid game to resolve arguments. I took this joke personally and I hate that orc and their stupid orc joke. They actually do play paper/rock/scissors to resolve their fight.

Maybe I just have some repressed paper/rock/scissors-related trauma.

Things I didn’t like that aren’t the game’s fault

Skill Interaction

There’s some interesting mechanics in the game where different elements will interact with each other in strategic ways. Some examples:

  • Use a ‘rain’ spell to create a puddle of water on a few of your enemies, then cast an electric bolt spell on the puddle. Everything standing in the water will take damage with a chance of stun.
  • Some earth element spells leave poison/ooze/green clouds around in the air and on the ground. Using a targeted fire spell on them will make them explode, causing damage to anything standing near or inside the poison/ooze/etc.

The reason why I am putting this in the ‘didn’t like’ section is because the actual execution of this stuff ended up being causing more problems for me than being an advantage. For example, The electrified puddle concept ended up causing me to stun my own guys more often than helping me out, or my characters slipped on frozen ice patches and ended up getting knocked down for multiple turns.

None of this is the game’s fault, of course: it’s a clever mechanic and someone more patient and better and vidyuh games would enjoy it. For me, it was just annoying.

“Interact with and look around and inside everything!!!”

Like many games of Divinity’s genre, there are lots and lots of things like objects and containers to interact with in the game environment.

Each one of these types of environmental interactions make sense as independent systems, on their own. However, the combined execution of all of them together create an awkward sense of clutter – these containers are laying around all over the place, and I’m constantly holding down ‘alt’ to see if I’m missing anything, I don’t want to interact with stuff, but I have to, or I feel an overwhelming sense of FOMO.

It’s worth saying that I’m putting this into the ‘not the game’s fault’ section because there are some people that love this stuff. Most of this just made me grit my teeth.

Interacting with objects is clunky

In order to interact with things, the character you are controlling needs to walk near the object. To open crate, or throw a crate, the character needs to walk over to it, and pathing is somethings shifty. Clicking on something opens it, clicking and dragging moves it. What seems like a cool mechanic at first ends up being very slow and unresponsive.

Lots of lootable objects; very little loot

The way you interact with these objects is awkward: mousing over a ‘new’ container changes your cursor to a golden chest icon with a star above it. Clicking causes your character to walk over to it slowly, and then a window pops open in the style of the object you’re opening up: a wooden framed window denotes a crate, while a window bordered with bloody bones signifies you’re looting a corpse. Once you’ve looted a container, the mouse-over cursor changes to a grayed out ’empty’ icon – I think even the description of the mouse-over changes to something like ‘Barrel [Empty]’

The problem with this is: 90% of the time, these objects are empty. When combined with the slow and awkward way you interact with them, I found myself not wanting to even bother with the searching mechanic.

While I’m well aware that their very presence appeals to a certain kind of gamer, I am exactly not that gamer. I’m not a ‘completionist’ nor an ‘Achiever’ or an ‘Explorer’ Bartle-type, so all that these containers do in this game for me is just frustrate me.

But, just by these lootable objects being present, you find yourself ‘needing’ to peek in those damn barrels and crates, even though most of the stuff you get from them is actual crap.

Moving objects is a requirement for solving some puzzles

As described above, you can move things around, and sometimes need to do so to solve puzzles. Placing things on floor panel switches, moving things out of the way to progress, destroying things. All of these things are part of the game, so even if this stuff annoys you, you have to deal with it to progress.

A character’s ability to move things is limited by their stats

The stronger the character is that’s doing the moving, the farther they can ‘throw’ the object, as well, so if you need to move something far, and all your characters are weak, then expect to toss them several times.

These mechanics mechanic work in combat

You can use specific objects in the environment for your advantage. For example, some barrels are filled with things like ooze or oil, which can be dropped near enemies and then lit on fire. You can also move objects onto things like traps or land mines to trigger them to explode.

One sequence in the game has you in a turn-based sequence where you are running away from slow moving but indestructible enemies, but your path is blocked with a lot of wooden objects in the way like chairs and barrels. A well-placed fireball blows everything up and burns everything away and allows you to escape. Admittedly, this was cool, but if you didn’t have an Area of Effect power, you’d have to move all the junk manually, or smash it with your weapons. (Yes, you can beat open doors, chests, destroy stuff by smashing it, but it hurts your weapon.)

Alt Key – Visibility Toggle

Similar to Diablo, you ‘have’ to hold down the Alt key to see things laying around on the ground, especially crafting materials. The result is that you hold down Alt ALL THE TIME as you wander around, so you don’t miss anything, when most of the time you either just find a few mushrooms on the ground, OR you find AN ENTIRE LIBRARY WITH EVERY BOOK EVER filling the screen.

The lack of any real tangible ‘community’ for the game

Normally, when you get stuck or need help with games nowadays, you can turn to the mighty Google for guidance and answers to your questions. Not so much with this game.

For whatever reason, the collective internet consciousness revolving around this game is very scattered. There’s no central wiki or database of information about the different aspects of this game. Whatever information you will find is scattered around many different forums, ranging from the official Divinity forums, to the various discussions in the Steam group. To make matters worse, the game was in a playable Alpha state for a very long time, so much of the information I found was from that period of time. A lot of aspects of the game, including some of the terminology, have changed since then, so every time you look something up, you have to double-check the date of the post or information.

I got stuck in one particular sequence of the game, and ended up having to use a walkthrough posted by someone who posted in German. Thankfully, google translate managed to decipher about 70% of the walkthrough, and I figured out what I needed to do.

Also: when describing things, NOBODY USES COORDINATES FOR ANYTHING. Despite the minimap having X and Y coordinates posted in plain sight, nobody uses that information. People would rather give directions using vague landmarks.

There’s a ‘global chat’ concept in the game, that you could use to chat with everyone playing the game, which seems like it was intended to perhaps help with this. However, at the time of playing, they had the global chat disabled, because people were being rude. A little bit of an embarrassing issue to have in 2014.

Crafting and Blacksmithing

Each character has a Crafting and Blacksmithing skill, and they do different things, somewhat un-intuitively?

The crafting skill handles creating things. Your skill ranges from 1 to 5, and you craft simply by dragging and dropping the components on to each other. You don’t need to learn recipes, you can craft anything within your skill level. Books will give you clues on how to craft things, but you don’t *need* to learn things to craft them.

You get materials mostly from looting random things. From what I’ve heard, the stuff you can craft can eventually surpass the random loot drops you get.

Somewhat intuitively, the Blacksmithing skill seems to only be used to repair things, and is entirely separate from the Crafting skill. Perhaps Blacksmithing also let’s you sharpen your weapons also? Lower the speed penalty you have from wearing heavy armor by modifying it? Not sure.

Repairing is annoying: you can only repair stuff in your own inventory, so if a different character needs to repair something, they have to pass it around. Kind of a pain.

The system feels a bit tacked-on, and I never really got the hang of it. At no fault to the game, I hate crafting. Sorry, crafting.

Puzzles

If it’s not the entire point of the game, I hate puzzles – pulling levers, moving pots on triggers, etc. I am not interested in this sort of thing. I tend to not be clever enough to figure them out myself, and they just make me feel like a rat.

I say this while fully admitting that Portal is one of my favorite games ever made.

At what point did I drift away from the game and why?

At around 42 hours I found myself getting a bit behind as far as experience vs. mobs goes, and was running out of content I could do. I almost quit 2-3 times for various reasons, but each time I gave it ‘one more chance.’ At 42 hours played, I found a god mode tweak, which basically makes you take no damage, ever. I ran around a bit more in the 3rd zone, got into a few fights, and since my characters levels were too low compared to the monsters I was fighting, the fights were taking forever.

Was it worth the price I paid for it?

I feel like I got my $39.99 worth. If you like these sorts of games, it’s a steal. If I was still interested, I could see putting another 40 hours into this easily. Possibly even a re-play, knowing what I know now: going with a more vanilla tank and a ranger-type, spending my points different, min-maxing the hell out of my characters instead of making them more generalist.

But I am not interested at all. I feel like I got my moneys worth, I gave it my best, and now I must retire.

It had a Kickstarter!

From what I have gathered there was a Kickstarter to infuse some extra cash into production. Larian studios had extra hopes and dreams to infuse into the game and asked their fans for a little help. They nearly doubled their asking costs and almost broke 1 million dollars. Their successes added some substantial features into the game.

Other stuff from the same studio:

An interesting note that Larian Studio’s games all seem to take place in the same world. I haven’t played any of the other games but I ran across an NPC in this game that I think made a reference to Dragon Commander? Cute. They all seem like they are in different gameplay genres, too.

Links to other Larian Studio games on Steam:
Divine Divinity
Beyond Divinity
Divinity II: Developer’s Cut
Divinity Anthology
Divinity: Dragon Commander

Conclusion

Despite what may feel like an incredibly negative review, I enjoyed a good amount of the time I spent with this game. Most of my frustration was sudden and severe: so many attempts at reinventing the wheel, so many issues with things that I feel have already been solved really well.

It would be like making a FPS game with the default keys to move are IJKL instead of WASD, and you can’t remap the keys. You can still play the game and have a good time, but it takes you time to re-learn and figure out the new take on it.

My frustration was from wanting to enjoy the game, but being cockblocked by stupid, dumb things. So much time spent quickloading because my click didn’t register where I wanted it to, and I wasted action points, or quickloading because I lost at paper, rock, scissors.

Overall my perception of the game was that it was a little sloppy and thrown together, and basing things entirely off of the number of other games they made, it feels awkward. There were no bugs, but the issues I presented came off as lack of polish.

I wanted to love it so hard, I really did. It’s totally worth a try, and there’s many redeeming elements to the game, if you can get past the issues I pointed out, or if they aren’t issues for you!

Final score: 75/100;

If you’ve played, agree, or disagree, let me know what you think! Join the discussion!