this is a game about barrels and something else. we forgot the something else.
Editor’s Note: This review will not follow the typical format. Why? It was written by someone (rk47) that doesn’t need to follow a format. Also, it’s longer than we want reviews to be. Oh, and in the spirit of this game, I got rid of all the section titles to make it harder to follow. Enjoy.
 
Isometric, turn-based party RPG made in Europe – imagine Temple of Elemental Evil combined with Ultima 7′s item interaction and a somewhat whimsical setting. The multi-classing does remind me of Guild Wars although you gotta spread those skill points thin. Oh, it also has co-op – which is pretty stable as far as I can tell.
 

Despite my best attempt to figure out the storyline – I lost track of it completely and managed to derail myself from the co-op game I was on. I stopped at level 10 after finishing the first area. The first area is packed with well thought-up content – a large city that is very fun to explore, a variety of whimsical townspeople with Scooby Doo-like secrets in their basement. My advice is don’t take it too seriously and read the journal if you are unsure. Directions are vague – they will rarely plant a quest compass for you – and some quests require object manipulation – sometimes hiding a button behind objects you have to drag and drop. This is where the Ultima 7 comparison comes from and to be honest, it’s a barrel of fun if you do it right. Did I mention there are explosive kegs?
 

Everything became undone in the second zone when it was clear to me that I wasn’t meant to travel to those high level zones – at level 10, taking on a level 14 is suicide. So, off we go to hit on level 10 groups, then level 12, then level 14. Now throughout this whole ‘area clearing’ experience something strange crept to my brain. The perception of reality so to speak. Am I having fun? Why am I looking at the EXP bar and not at the quest journal. What were we doing? What is the point of all this? It simply exploded the moment a quest riddled my partner and I had no idea what the conversation is about – not because I didn’t want to read mind you – but because of: THIS.
 

1. I have no idea what is asked.
2. My partner gave an answer and I was given the option to concur , or give other 2-3 answers.
3. If my answer differs, off to the Charming Mini-game you go! It’s shit. It’s indefensible shit. Those who co-op – Hit SPACE BAR – do not be trolled by your partner’s idiotic mindgames. DO NOT. I repeat. DO NOT swallow the developers’ hype over this ‘social interactive co-op RPG’ It’s eurotrash. Just because it’s novel doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s just eurotrash.
 

Hence I just parroted what answer my partner said. Once all was said and done, I found a nice mine field and committed character suicide and just told my partner I’m not rejoining the co-op session anymore. I’ve had enough of mindlessly killing hand-placed, non-respawning mobs to gain EXP, level up and spending it on points, get random loot, identify, and sell it off. Why does that sound familiar? Oh yeah, cause I played SW:TOR (The Old Republic) and I had more fun co-op with a friend over there in real time.
 

What sold me on D:OS is the combat depth. Combat is fun. You have up to 4 party members and a lot of them can deploy serious effect on battle not just from raw damage alone. Here’s the deal: environmental effects; drop a pool of oil – cast a flare spell – burning field! Cast rain, puddle of water gathers – lightning bolt – AoE shock = Stun. Freeze that puddle, and you get slippery effect on the mobs, knock em down, hammer time! But wait, I haven’t even got to the teleportation spell. Pick up that orc, drop him on another orc, 2 for 1. Or toss him next to a barrel of oil, detonate. Boom. Shot a zombie and notice the toxic gas from its corpse? Fireball the gas.
 

There are a ridiculous amount of options available and having the ‘utility’ mage party can be oodles of fun to experiment with. That’s where the game gets good. That’s the meat for me. Other areas of the game such as crafting and persuasion are too weak for me to bother with. If you have complaints, I agree with you – but the combat is good enough for me to look past it. The UI is rough and good luck getting feedback clear in the dev forum, there is a giant wall of fanwankery communism going on. Oh, do you like random? Random stores, random loot, random skill books for sale. The only thing not random? The mobs in the wild. They’re always fixed and never respawn.
 

So in other words: Eurotrash of the year.
 

Is it fun? Yes. Definitely so. I can see a lot of issues would frustrate gamers. Whether it’s the writing, unscaled combat encounters (if you are 3 levels below, forget it), vague quest directions, UI (seriously, you can’t you display multiple hotbars at once?), or the goddamn pressure plate traps (CLICK! BOOM). Overall, D:OS felt fresh enough to be fun but I will never muster the motivation required to finish it. But yes, it’s fun. That’s what matters.
 

Editor’s Note: This was rk47′s dying breath about Divinity:
This game reminds me of wasted potential.
Hearing the fanboys whine about people criticizing their game is just ridiculous.
Make [the review] long.
So it’ll go in deeper on their butthole.
It’s a personal vendetta against a bunch of hypocrites.
 

game: divinity: original sin

developer & publisher: larian studios

release date: june 20, 2014

other games like it: old shit

author: rk47