After the success of Divinity: Original Sin, it was only a matter of a time before we saw a sequel. Can Divinity: Original Sin 2 capture the magic that made the first successful? Or is the game destined to burn out? Check out our Divinity: Original Sin 2 Early Access Impressions to get an idea of what’s going on with the game.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Early Access Impressions
Much like the first Divinity: Original Sin, you start the game by creating your character and picking your class. You can currently choose between 4 races, Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Lizard People, with the Undead coming at a later date. Each race has a unique perk that can be used to aid in you combat, for instance the Lizards can breathe fire once every few turns. The Race pick is going to be the easiest choice you make during character creation because the amount of classes and customization you can do is a bit overwhelming. Currently you cannot change a classes skills but it will be added eventually. Even without that there are over 10 classes to pick from and you can customize their traits and talents before you even enter the game and know what they do. This is great for the experienced player but for a new comer there are Origin characters you can pick. These are characters who have a story within the game world. They will have special Dialogue choices and certain characters will interact with them differently. While a custom character creates their own story as they go along, the Origin characters have something they are working towards.
The character creation is also the perfect time to invite a friend to play alongside you. Joining a multiplayer game mid-way through causes the newcomer to take direct control over one of the already established characters – or several characters if the main player chooses to assign them. However, you are also able to invite a friend during the character creation process and they have complete control with just as many options as the host.
When you are finally done making the choice on who you want to play you are tossed into the game world. A prisoner in a ship wreck, with a weird collar on you that prevents you from using Source Magic (something you don’t find out about until later). While you aren’t told where to go, there is only one path, the path to Fort Joy. Along the way you run into you first fight, Void Creatures. They sunk your ship and are still thirsty for your blood. The Combat in this game is something you don’t see very often, turn based strategy style. Everything you do is based on AP, if you don’t have AP you can’t attack or even move. Positioning yourself properly will be the difference between life and death in this game. If you are in the wrong spot and a fire-ball comes your way, it might set an oil barrel on fire and do even more damage than you can handle. Elements mix and match in this game, fire and oil, water and lightning, water and ice, etc. There was a point while playing where we literally said “this game uses logic which is rare” and it is. The combat is finely tuned and we would even go out of our way from time to time just to get into a fight.
One area of the game that felt overwhelming and needlessly complex was complete the various tasks you collected from other prisoners. The game offers little to no assistance, very few markers on the map, no instructions on how to progress. Although this made completing quests very rewarding the journey was often far more frustrating and time consuming than it needed to be. I’m sure a few adjustments to the quest log would vastly improve the experience but as it stands, it needs some TLC.
When you finally make it to Fort Joy, that’s when the real game begins. You realize that you are trapped on this island run by Magisters. You are a prisoner to the Magisters just like everyone else in Fort Joy. The game now becomes about escaping the Island but the only way to do that is through the Keep in Fort Joy. Helping the Citizens of Fort Joy is how you will find out how you can enter the Keep. For those who prefer to go in guns blazing, that is an option but most likely won’t work until you are higher level. Doing quests for citizens will present new ways to sneak into the Keep or show you different angles on how to enter without going through the front door. I think in all there were 5 different ways we found to get into the Keep. We tried them all out, some were better than others, but all could be used to progress the game. How to get through the keep is up to you, but since we enjoyed the combat so much we fought our way through after testing all the different ways. That alone takes quite a bit of time, the Keep is heavily defended and there was even a couple mini bosses along the way. Fighting your way through does mean you get a ton of extra loot though, which is always nice in an RPG.
Getting through the Keep is only part of the first chapter in Early Access as you find out when you leave, you still need to find a way off the Island. As you progress in the wilderness you find that is isn’t only the Magisters that are trying to keep you here, but something more sinister. The Void creatures are in the wilderness and they are now hunting you as well, trying to prevent you from leaving. you have to fight your way out of the Wilderness and attempt to find help to leave the Island. When it is all said and done, it culminates in one of the most intense battles I’ve had in a very long time. One wrong step in the end fight meant massive damage and even sometimes death. It was really fun to finally over come but it was also draining. If this is just the first of many boss battles, I cannot wait for the Early Access to progress.
One last thing I want to touch on is the rewarding exploration. I love exploring in RPGs, more accurately I love exploring and being rewarded for doing it. This game is full of hidden secrets and hidden areas. Pretty early on you get a pair of gloves that you can use to Teleport characters to other areas. It is a little disappointing that a lot of the secrets require you to teleport but it is easy enough to use. We had to have found at least 20 and I’m sure we missed some of them. These secrets will net you loot and on occasion, unique weapons and armor.
The Early Access of Divinity Original Sin 2 is only the first chapter of the game and if you are a completionist it will easily last you 20 hours. I know the 45$ price point seems high for an Early Access game but this game reeks of quality and in the little amount of time since release they have patched and fixed many minor bugs. If you are an old school RPG fan then this should be a no brainer.