|Dev: Larian Studios|
|Pub: Larian Studios|
|Release: June 30, 2014|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Multiplayer is simple and accessible. Players can drop-in and out of a campaign at your discretion, even if you're in the middle of a dungeon. You choose which characters your new ally controls, and it quickly becomes a true cooperative experience, with your friend having complete jurisdiction over his or her newly given Source Hunter, as well as any henchmen you may have. So choose your partner well. The game was initially released with a global chat function, with the intent to allow players to seek help from the community to solve puzzles, offer information themselves, or simply engage in pleasant conversation. However, this feature has since been suspended after a post-launch bombardment of trolling and negative remarks. Larian Studios may eventually bring this social function back when they have the resources to properly moderate it.
The technical side of Divinity: Original Sin is where it shows its weakness. Character models are light on details, as are the environments, with much of the world feeling sterile due to minimal animations. It's less a matter of the visuals being poor in quality, but rather feeling archaic enough that it pulls you out of the immersion that the liberating gameplay attempts to draw you in with. I am also completely baffled as to why the developers felt that when entering sneak mode the character is shown completely engulfed in a boulder or a shrubbery, or why persuasion conflicts with NPCs and between the main characters themselves are resolved with a round of rock, paper, scissors. These hammy design choices feel out of place in an otherwise brooding backdrop.
There are some interesting musical arrangements in the game, though everything runs on the same cycle, with one song having no bearing on the complete change of instrumentation and rhythm of the one before it. Combat brings forth more adrenaline fueled compositions, and the ambient noises of the world are pleasant enough that turning the music off completely is an acceptable option for those yearning for an audibly authentic adventure.
Divinity: Original Sin is an homage to a RPG style that as long since faded, with the genre now flooded with overblown storylines and photorealistic cinematics. Yet there is still a strong audience that has been clinging to the hope that a quality turn-based fantasy would reappear. Larian Studios has delivered on our wishes by providing a world ripe for discovery, and gameplay that gives as much freedom and roleplaying options as we could ever hope for.
Date: July 8, 2014