GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Review

  • Recommended +1

  • Tactical turn based RPG

  • Choose from six different characters or create your own for story mode

  • QOL inventory management, optional multiplayer, Razer Chroma support
At some point in the last year or more, I became aware of Divinity: Original Sin 2. It was released in 2017, but I’m not sure I was really aware of it then. I think I found out about it while searching desperately for something to play. This game seemed to be pretty popular and I finally decided to get it. I know at least one of my friends was playing it. I’ve only played the Definitive Edition, so that is what I will be referencing here. I’ve also not yet finished the game, it’s a long one, but I feel it’s time to write about it. I may update this as I progress deeper in the game.

Divinity: Original Sin came out in 2015. I played the Enhanced Edition and from what I can tell, this greatly made the game significantly better than the version that was originally released, though I haven’t seen it with my own eyes and experience. I don’t think I was aware of that game. I found out that it’s not necessary to play the first game before the second due to the amount of time that takes place between them. However, I’ve found (with my own game play) that playing the first game helps one to appreciate the second more. D:OS is not a bad game at all. D:OS2 doesn’t really change the game too much as a whole, but adds some welcome improvements. Even though I haven’t finished the game, I’ve already run into one character that was in the original and the topic and area at large is still present as well. So, I’m sure that if you enjoyed the first game, you’ll definitely enjoy the second.

Basically, this is a turn based role playing game, a lot like Dungeons and Dragons, Final Fantasy, and many other similar games. More specifically, it reminds me of Final Fantasy Tactics where characters have limited action points for movement and combat. You also have a nice camera view you can rotate or get a bird’s eye view with the tactical view. You have up to four party members, each with their own talents. To start out in story mode you need to create one character. You can make your own or select one of the six characters that have already been created. You can customize them in a few ways, but each one has heir own back story, voice, general look, and unique abilities. There are also four different races; humans, dwarves, elves, undead, and lizards. You can choose what class they are such as warrior, enchanter, battle mage, and more. Each character has their own unique characteristics that won’t change even if you change their class. As for unique abilities, Fane is an undead and he needs to keep himself covered so that the general populous doesn’t notice this fact about him and freak out. Healing potions hurt him and poison heals him. He can also use his fingers for lock picking, if his thievery skill is leveled. The Red Prince is a red lizard. He can dig holes without using a shovel. These are just a couple examples.

This part differs from the previous game, because in the other one, you would create two characters instead of one. Although, in both games, you can meet up with other characters. You can even play together with your friends in this one. After character creation, in story mode, you’ll be in the game world, waking up on a ship. The first area is called the “tutorial deck” although the game doesn’t really tell you everything. It doesn’t really bother you or hold your hand too much, though it does address you with tool tips when you do something for the first time. Before you exit this deck on the ship, the game will ask if you’re sure you want to leave it, so you have plenty of time to explore and there is actually much to do here. One good tip his to hold the Alt key down as you’re exploring as it will show you items that you can grab, maybe even ones you can’t see due to your camera angle. Eventually, you’ll meet up with other characters and fight along side them as allies. You’ll control your character, but they are controlled by the game’s AI in this initial battle. Once you make it on land, you’ll have to search for them, if you want them in your party. If you already have a party of four then a character will let you know you’re already full and you’d need to open a space for them if you want them to join you.

You will control your character, but your other party members will follow you around. You’re initially linked, but you can unlink party members by moving their character portraits on the left side of the screen, breaking the chain. You can reconnect them, too. This may be something you find useful on your adventure at some point. You control all four party members, though, when it comes to battle. Battle is turn based and every character has ability points (AP) to spend each turn on movement or another action or spell. You don’t have to spend all the AP on one turn, but instead press the space bar and it will store the remaining AP for use on your next turn. Combat relies on many typical RPG statistics, like initiative, strength, constitution, etc. You’ll want to raise different stats on different characters depending on what class they are. For instance, you’ll want to increase strength for a warrior, but intelligence for a mage.

You can gain experience points from battle or completing a quest. Getting enough allows you to level up, which grants you the ability to increase their stats. You can also increase the level of abilities, such as the different kinds of magic. There are also perks you can choose, one really cool one is called “Pet Pal,” which lets you talk to animals. After a battle, you can loot corpses, but there are also many containers throughout the world, which may contain some goodies or junk like gold, armor, books, crafting ingredients, etc. As for armor there are many pieces. There is one for your head, chest, legs, arms, and feet. There’s a slot for a necklace and two slots for rings. There are also two slots for weapons. You can dual wield, such as using two knives or you can use a two-handed weapon or a one-handed sword and a shield. Weapons and armor have their own requirements. In the beginning, you won’t have a problem with these for everything you find, but later in the game you’ll find gear that only your mage or warrior can use as it requires intelligence or strength, for example.

One of the interesting quality of life enhancements that this second game adds is better inventory management. Inventory items are categorized such as weapons and armor, magical, consumable, etc. There is also a button you can press to “auto sort.” Another thing you can do is right-click on an item and click “send to wares,” if it’s something you just want to sell. Then, when you interact with a NPC that has items to sell, there’s a little button below the scales button that you can press and it will put all of your wares into the slots of items that you’re offering. You then click on the scales button to balance the trade with gold. Just be careful to keep an eye on how much what your offering is worth versus how much gold the NPC has. You could accidentally sell your stuff for less than what you would normally get if the NPC doesn’t have enough gold. If you don’t select the scales button, the game will ask you if you’re sure that you want to just give the items to the NPC for free. It doesn’t seem as though NPCs will sell you things if you can’t afford them, they’ll refuse your offer, but perhaps that changes with their attitude of you and your barter skill.

Inventory management for the party as a whole isn’t bad, but it can be a little odd at times, especially since the order of party members can change or be changed so easily. In the inventory screen, you will see the inventory of all party members, each is separated, one underneath another. You can click a box to show the whole party as described or just individually by selecting their character portrait, or having them as the active character. One thing you can do is right-click on an item and click “send to” and the name of another party member, this way you can easily transfer items. I don’t think there’s a distance requirement for this either, so two characters could trade inventory items no matter how far apart they are. Perhaps the confusing part may come when combining items, which is how crafting is done in the game. This menu looks like the inventory menu, but items are not visually separated between party members, but instead each party member’s inventory is shown as a whole collective. Everything is also sorted automatically in this menu. You can still right-click on items on this screen and sent them to which ever party member you want to send them to, though.

Many different books and letters or notes exist in the game. Some is lore and some contain crafting recipes. You can craft very many things using the many different ingredients you can find. For instance, there are a lot of various food items. One thing you can do is create apple juice by combining an apple with an empty cup. You can also create potions, crude weapons, magic scrolls, and many more things. The game will keep track of the recipes you’ve learned, so you can look them up when you need to. This makes it so that you can sell recipe books after reading them. Many lore books or notes and letters can also be sold, but not all of them.

Much of the game is centered around exploration and dialogue. You can talk to everyone, though they may not all have something interesting to say. Every NPC is voiced and there is plenty of variation between them that you don't usually run into multiple NPCs voiced by the same person. I have run into some that I've noticed, but this hasn't been common. I’d say this is impressive as Skyrim tried this, but failed with it's very limited voice variations (or voice actors).

I’ve already clocked 82 hours. However, I’ve restarted multiple times as I’ve learned more about the game and how I want to level my characters. In doing so, I’ve actually also found more to do that I previously overlooked. With this last save there was an area I didn’t even think I could get into, but I did and it was interesting. As I draw closer to the end of the game, I'm thinking about starting the game using different characters when I'm finished.

One of the great things about the game is that it’s not linear. There is an end goal, but along the way there’s plenty to do and sometimes different ways to accomplish quests. Aside from the main quest, you don’t have to do any other quests, but side quests are a fun element of RPGs. There are dialogue choices. So, you can choose to be nice or not. Your choice may elicit different replies from whoever you’re speaking with.

In some ways, this game reminds me of Diablo 3. In some areas there’s a lot of blood and gore. There are also undead creatures. Weapon and armor loot is kind of similar, too, because some things have to be identified with an identifying glass before you can see what kind of stats they have. Some loot is “rare” or “legendary.”

The music is good and sometimes reminds me of other music. Overall, so far, I think this is a game I would recommend, especially for those that are into RPGs. I feel like I can understand why the game seems to me to be so popular.

One thing that really surprised me about this game right away is that it supports my Razer Chroma keyboard. My keyboard lights up, which is extremely helpful when playing in the dark. I got this, because Terraria is adding support for this keyboard in it’s next update. When playing this game, the keys will reflect the red progress bar that is the loading screen. Also, when speaking to a NPC, the corresponding key will glow white depending on which keys for dialogue are available.

What I don’t like:

There really isn’t much that I don’t like about this game. I can only think of three things and they’re just annoyances and not game breaking. I mentioned in my last review for the original game, D:OS, that it was annoying at times when I was trading with a NPC. Sometimes this takes a while to look through each item and decide whether or not I want it. This means I can spend a few minutes in one spot with whatever NPCs that are around me. Sometimes this is annoying, because NPCs often repeat the same thing over and over again and it gets annoying after a while. There was a particular one in D:OS I was not fond of. D:OS2 has one similar, but it’s not as bad.

The second thing I don’t like is another annoyance. Sometimes, when completing a quest, you’re shown a few items. You’re supposed to chose one of them as a reward. Unfortunately, you can’t switch between your characters to see whether or not you want that item for a particular character. So, for instance if I completed a quest and was talking to a NPC with my knight. I’d then be offered a few different rewards. If among them was something that might be suited for my mage, say it requires so much intelligence, then I couldn’t switch to my mage to see whether or not I would want it, or whether or not it was better than an item I was already using on that character. So, in a way, it almost requires you to keep up with what your characters have equipped, or you just have to pick something and hope it’s something you want, otherwise you can sell it later.

Also, NPCs move around or at least many of them do. This sometimes makes it difficult to click on one to interact. At one point, I needed to cast Bless on some pigs, but they move around too much and I kept casting the spell on the ground, which didn’t count for the quest I was doing. I had to stop and wait and try to keep close to them so I could do this.

Otherwise, this is a cool game, I like it and am glad I got it.

So, what do you think? Have you played the previous game and this one? Let me know in the comments.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 03/23/2020 at 05:22am

I’ve heard so many great things. Think I might pick it up on Switch at some point.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/23/2020 at 09:13am

I've restarted my game again. I sold something I shouldn't have, I'm sure. As I mentioned, there are six characters and you can only have a party of four, so it might be interesting to play it again with the the other two. Oh and I've even thought of more good things to say about it that I left out here. I think it's pretty good when there's a lot to write about.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 03/23/2020 at 04:59pm

I remember playing Final Fantasy III for the first time and losing Shadow and not choosing the Atma weapon. It killed me but I don’t make those mistakes anymore 🤣

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/23/2020 at 05:19pm

It's the process of learning about game and even though there's repetition, it's still fun, otherwise I wouldn't do it. I didn't have to restart my game multiple times, but I chose to. I really like what I've learned about it and what I've come up with such as which skills to level on my characters. This time around, I've made it a bit easier on myself, I think, because I learned. Learning is or can be fun and doing it with or for a video game makes things more interesting and fun. smile

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