I’ve been with my partner for four years now, before we met she had played some computer games here and there but she didn’t advance much past the Playstation One. She had nerdy tendencies with film and TV so it wasn’t long before she was getting into the world of gaming with me. We played a few games together here and there but then she tried Diablo 3 with my friend and I. She was hooked. When it came to consoles the hook was in even deeper and then throw into the mix my formative dalliances with being a Dungeon Master for a Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition campaign she was sold on RPGs. With Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition coming to consoles it was an easy sell for me to make, “It’s like Diablo but deeper and with the talking and concepts of D&D”.
We started this isometric RPG up and were greeted with our Co-op character creation screens. We worked through our appearances and chose from the huge list of starting classes. As I played through the game I realised that class doesn’t mean much as you can more or less put points in anything, this does give a little bit too much choice however as it isn’t always clear what you should and shouldn’t be pumping your valuable XP into. My partner chose a female fighter called Bonnie and I went battle mage called Denvir. Quickly you’re covered in exposition as the game tries to set the scene and the world at large. You are Source Hunters, workers for a military/agency/cult that goes around using magic to stop bad people who use magic, I couldn’t help but see the hypocrisy here. Out first objective was to solve the murder of a councillor in a nearby city. In the 2 hours it took to get there we fought orcs, raided a dungeon and accidentally killed numerous civilians as we tried to be good guys.
The transition to console has meant the obvious need to now use a controller and playing on the Xbox One it worked great. There are radial wheels for the main selection of which menu you want to hit up and the hot bar is a simple raise and scroll affair for you to choose what you want to blow stuff up with. Inventory’s fill quickly and are slightly cumbersome but VS the alternatives it serves its purpose. Combat is turn based in Divinity Original Sin and moving your left stick to move a pseudo cursor around to select who you’re attack is as simple as you’d hope.
Combat is one of Divinity Original Sin’s strong points. Much like in a number of pen and paper RPG’s you’re given a turn order and a set number of Action Points. With each ability and movement distance costing a different amount of Action Points you must think ahead and plan your turn to get the most out of your available points, there’s nothing worse than trying to attack someone, realising your out of range, walking over to enemy within range, then running out of AP and realising you’ll have to wait until next turn before doing anything.
As well as the combat the game features a lot of talking. This isn’t stuff you can just skim through either, you’ll need to be awake and aware at all times and listening to what people are saying. There’s a number of opportunities to re-read things in your log book or get a basic run down of what was said but unless you’ve listened well there is often times you’ll have no idea what to do. About 3 hours into the game when you’re trying to solve a murder of someone who sounded like a bit of a douche you’ll hit a major pacing issue in the game. You go from a good mix of combat, talking and puzzles to just walking back and forth across the city talking to people and not really having an obvious direction. Through dialogue trees you may find out something new but mostly you’ll hear the same stuff over and over. It was at this point I lost my partner. Harriet could no longer take the CSI: RPG stuff and flat-out claimed boredom. I tried to break up the hour of overly talky gameplay with some combat on a nearby beach, it was here we realised that dialogue trees were not levelling us up and we were severely outclassed by a giant orc.
Despite her issues with the early sections of the game we had fun, mostly because of the unexpected elements. Without going heavy on the spoilers very early on you meet a couple of drunk legionnaires guarding a bridge, ‘Bonnie’ talked to them. I was still in control of Denvir at this point and started wandering around picking up some junk and just pottering. I saw something the other side of the bridge so I decided to nip across and grab it whilst this conversation happened, as soon as I got halfway across the guards took a dislike to my lack of sneaking and combat started. Harriet proclaimed she was winning them over and I screwed up her plan, this game followed a real world logic, something I wasn’t expecting. With people not liking their stuff being nicked and you being fined if caught, fire spells on oil spills blowing up, rain spells putting out flaming boats and locked chests being opened with a fist rather than a key; all things that make you realise how deep this game is, how much logic and room to improvise there is, how many opportunities for stupid plans and entertaining successes there are.
Graphically the game looks great on console. There is the usual RPG disconnect on the character models looking slightly ‘cartoony’ but with the attention to details on all the locales you can’t help but be drawn in. Add to that the absolutely wonderful soundtrack and you’re given the potential for a truly immersive experience. All characters have voice over now and despite some hammed up acting for some NPCs you are given a new sense of character for many of the people you need to interact with. Some however are just too over the top to even be near, the recruiter for the Fabulous Five and soon after Zixzax are both particularly grating.
Divinity on Xbox is a great experience, the transition to console and controller has been as smooth as Diablo 3’s migration. It’s hard not to compare the two, especially with Diablo’s insane popularity on console, and I’m pleased to say Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition holds its own. With lots of improvements over the vanilla Divinity Original Sin, as well as an obvious move to console, this Enhanced Edition is great for fans of the original or console folk looking for something to get their teeth into. It may be a bit deep for some and the pacing gets a bit wonky in the early stages but the sheer depth and intuitive nature of NPC’s and the game’s reactions to your actions means that you’ll rarely go 10 minutes without being impressed that the Larian Studios thought of a particular tactic or mistake. If you have a good attention span and want something to test yourself on your console then you can’t go wrong with Divinity and it’s awesome split-screen co-op. air max 95 air max 95