When it comes to RPG titles on the Xbox One, there are two standout titles, Diablo 3 and Neverwinter. This though is about to change with the release of Larian Studios Divinity Original Sin – Enhanced Edition. This is the multi-award winning classic RPG that was released on the PC over a year ago. It has now came to consoles with many hundreds of enhancements that make this already compelling title even more so. Things don’t get any more RPG than this, so if you want an in-depth role-playing game where every single stat matters, then this should not be looked over.
The story to Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition has you play the role of two source hunters who are sent to the city of Cyseal to investigate a mysterious murder which has taken place. What starts off as a small murder investigation soon explodes in to a mammoth adventure which will see you partake in an insane amount of quests over vast areas in this fully immersive world. They are quite compelling and I found myself just unlocking quest after quest as I stumbled across them. I’m sitting with about 18 opened right now and I have many, many more to go before even getting into half way through the story. This does mean that at the time of writing this review I have not been able to complete the full story but you are looking at anywhere between 40-80 hours if not more to do so. To survive you will have to master the elements an learn how to use your environment as well as the dynamic weather system to your full advantage. On the way you will meat all manor of creatures and humans some friendly and some not so. There are some really imaginative foes to let loose your wand waving skills and more. To help you in your fight you will take charge of up to two more characters of the many you will encounter to help you fight the good fight.
Upon starting the game you will be presented with the character creation screen where you will create two characters which are your Source Hunters. What is great about this title, especially for the highly dedicated RPG fans is that you can create and develop your heroes as you see fit. While you can select from pre-made templates as your starting class you can also completely customize your skills etc. Admittedly I don’t have enough knowledge to have done this so I just stuck to a pre-made template. Even so you still have full control on how your heroes develop so the game is non-restrictive allowing you to really get yourself immersed into the role you want. New styles of play include Duel-Wielding, Wands and Grenades. While you only start off with two in your party you can have up to four and again while these characters can vary you can still customize them as you progress. Don’t think that you have to stick with all four of the same companions the whole time as you will be able to chop and change dependent on your needs at the time – Tip unlock the Hall of Champions as soon as you can. You can come across more Source Hunters and even free people who were once captured and have them join you. This really makes me want to hunt down more and more people willing to join me in my quest, plus they all bring their own advantages as well. The XP system also has to be mentioned as all your characters receive the same XP regardless which one completes a quest etc. This means that all your characters level up at the same time given a much greater playing experience.
A big factor of RPG’s are how immersive the title is and how long it can hold your attention. While there is a lot of reading involved in Divinity Original Sin, the Enhanced Edition has made things easier and much more engrossing with the voice-overs for nearly all NPC’s. Couple this with some great written humour and you soon forget about how much text really is involved. With this being rather old skool you will have to take in what you are told so you always know what to do. It can be overwhelming at times for those new to this type of game but there is a handy log that keeps track of thins that you can refer to. The other thing that makes this such an entertaining title to play is the fact that literally everything you do, how you communicate to stealing will have an impact on how NPC’s react to you. Stealing you can get away with if you are not within viewing distance but if you get caught it can lead to your death easily. It’s not only NPC’s that have an effect this way, your party members all get to have a say in certain things and how you react to each other will influence their perception of each other. Disagreements are settled using the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors, which is a nice touch, again this can be from NPC’s or other party members. There are buffs which you can have which will help greatly if you are any good at guessing.
Speaking about interaction, one of the funniest things I have found is that there is a trait called pet pal which will allow you to talk to the animals. Yes even the animals will have something to say which can be bloody hilarious. It is small things like this that will keep you in this fantasy world where you will manage between just exploring and quest completing. Both are just as good as each other and with a difficulty mode to suit novice and hardcore players.
No RPG is complete without your inventory and while this is pretty much again your standard affair there is so much you can do with items you find along the way. As long as things are not stuck down you can pretty much pick up anything. Where once you might think that you are just collecting junk in Divinity Original Sin you can always use it to make something. I am having fun just testing things out, it can be a system that is only limited by your imagination. You can create your own scrolls to the classic nail bomb and a nail filled 2×2. You will find recipes for brewing potions and other stuff as you venture and haggle with the many traders. Pretty much everybody you speak to you can trade with and this comes in more helpful than you may think. Just beware that the price offered on things can depend on who in your party the trader speaks with.
How this title differs from other RPG’s I have played is that it uses a turn based combat system so it’s not like your action-RPG’s where you can just go in Rambo style. You will quickly learn that all your stats, skills and attributes will effect pretty much everything. If you go through the optional training dungeon at the start it will teach you the basics of combat but then you are on your own. This is pretty much the only downfall of this game, but then it has been made from a labour of love to the most dedicated RPG fans. I have grown to love this game more and more the further I progress and that’s because I have to learn new things and use my own initiative. One thing is for sure the game won’t hold your hand for long. While this has caused many frustrating moments it has also had many a eureka one too. It is bit of a slow burning game at the start but stick with it for some wonderful and testing times ahead.
With this title being a port from the PC the UI was always going to be a thorn in the teams side. They have however seemed to just rip that sucker right out and giving a highly intuitive interface which gives you all the details of what you need simply and effectively. You have a number of slots at the bottom of the screen for each character where you can put items and skills in for easy navigation during battles. The Inventory screen is also easy to navigate and you can pass stuff easily between party members. There is a great little feature where if you click the left stick it will allow you to emulate a mouse movement which is great if you don’t want to keep pushing the stick. The maps easily accessible as well id the menu for the way points. To be honest it is quite an impressive job on the UI and nothing I can see to really complain about. In fact it is one of the best UI I have used in an RPG title.
To say the world of Divinity Original Sin is huge is an understatement as even in the first area there is so much to explore and do. I have sunk many hours into this title and yet there is so much that I have still yet to see. New in this edition is the 360 degree view which just brings you in like nothing else before. This allows players from the original games to experience this already impressive world in a new perspective. For console players this is pretty much the icing on the cake, even if it may not be up there with the like of Diablo in terms of graphical looks.
Divinity Original Sin also has co-op multiplayer online and off-line and a game that I can only see will be even better with a friend. The offline co-op offers split-screen so that you both can go off and do your own thing. Which is a great feature as well as settling disagreements via usual mini-game. It is great to see a split-screen option for a title this big making it an even more attractive title for couch co-op players. When it comes to the online co-op people had issues connecting to me although I could connect to their title, however this has been the only minor issue so far.
The Good Things
- One of last years best RPG’s finally hits Consoles.
- Superbly designed UI with some great features makes this a joy to play with a controller.
- Compelling and addictive story with meaningful quests and side quests.
- Fully customizable characters from the get go and all the way through the game.
And The Bad
- Could have maybe done with a few more tutorials for novice players.
- Can get frustrating at times if you are not giving it your full attention.
- Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is such a compelling adventure and such an engrossing world where each thing you do matters. It will makes you not want to stop playing it. Admittedly there are times of frustration but that’s more on my part by not paying enough attention to conversations etc. There is a steep learning curve tied to the game as well for novices but so much customization options for the hardcore RPG fan. There are though some wonderful moments and it feels great to stumble across things by chance that will complete that quest you almost forgot about. The team have also done an outstanding job in not only porting the original from the PC to console, but also enhancing it so much making a great game even better as well as an outstanding experience for console players.
One of the best and most immersive RPG’s to grace consoles.