Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 1, 2014
Yesterday, Larian’s highly anticipated RPG in their Divinity series, Divinity: Original Sin, was officially released. As a backer from their kickstarter, I had access to the early release, but I didn’t play it. No, I thought I’d wait and play the “final” release version.
Consequently, as last night was a very busy night (and not just with game development stuff), I don’t think I got to play a full hour. But… wow – between what I played, heard, and some of what the “hints” that came up while loading said, I’m seeing a whole lot to like. In fact, the only thing I have any grief about right now are the save times and some stability issues (it crashed on me once).
So here’s what I’m seeing that has me all super-excited, and that these guys really are making games just for me:
#1 – Turn-based combat that moves quickly.
#2 – Party-based. By default, the game has you play two characters, but you can “lone wolf” it if you prefer, or find other characters to join you for a party size of up to four.
#3 – Co-op multiplayer! I haven’t really played a “real” RPG like this in a long time, so I’m… intrigued. Especially since there’s a built in disagreement – resolution system. And a drop-in, drop-out system for making multiplayer as seamless as possible. There is some very interesting stuff going on there. Color me tempted.
#4 – I haven’t really experienced this yet, but a hint says that almost everyone is willing to trade with you, right down to the lowliest peasant. Shades of Fallout and Ultima Underworld! This is a rare, awesome feature.
#5 – You can chuck an empty barrel on a trap to set it off. I’m not sure how much this is going to be a thing, but it seems like being able to move things around is a big deal in the game. Or can be. Shades of Ultima VI!
#6 – The environmental aspects don’t end there. Electrical attacks on water zap everything in the water, while running into oil while on fire will set the oil on fire. Then there’s spell combos that work the same way – for example, using a water-based spell to make enemies wet before freezing them will make the freeze spell more effective.
#7 – There’s a large number of things that can be picked up. Lots of stuff to pick up. Even better, a lot of this stuff can be combined to make new items. Shades of Ultima VII. Baking bread is back!
#8 – The default tutorial is easily abandoned just by going a different direction. The game kindly warns you that you are leaving the tutorial, and lets you go back. It’s very responsible of the developers to make sure you don’t stumble into a choice you didn’t want.
#9 – Characters can “evolve” beyond their starting class organically. So while you may have a character that starts as a fighter, over time they may pick up some useful spells. I suspect one of my characters is going to start learning rogue skills.
#10 – There’s no level-scaling, and the game doesn’t prevent you from wandering off to a higher-level area and getting in way over your head.
It’s off to a great start. While I grouse about Kickstarter (alternating between grousing and becoming a backer), it really has allowed some very interesting projects to make it to release. This is one. It’s a game that’s too dang expensive to do without funding, and has too many features that would never have been allowed by a traditional publisher (like turn-based combat).
I’m kinda dreading the moment when the honeymoon is over, and I find myself disappointed with the game in some way. It always happens. Well, almost always. No game is perfect. But so far, what little I’ve seen (and what I’ve read and been able to confirm so far) is really, really, really cool.
I’m crossing my fingers here, folks. We’ve seen some really tremendous new RPGs see the light of day, lately – mainstream, indie, “big indie” (like this one), low-budget indie, and so forth. Dunno about you, but I’m partying like its 1992.
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