Click here to read my Divinity: Original Sin 2 preview on GameWatcher.com.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a game by it’s name. Divinity: Original Sin 2. The second Original Sin, not to be confused with the first Original sin (the original, Original Sin). Yes, the name of this game is silly but you’ll just have to get past it – the game itself is actually pretty good.
A few weeks ago, we sat down with some of the team from Larian Studios to take a look at their newest title. Set one thousand years after the first game, Original Sin 2 puts a different spin on the world that fans are familiar with. Players will now assume the role of a Sourcerer – an incredibly powerful individual whose source of power was previously hunted in the first Original Sin game. The Divine is dead, the Void is everywhere and unfortunately your people are being blamed for it. You’ve been captured and shipped off to Fort Joy, where you will be ‘cured’ of your powers (we all know where this is going). So, it’s up to you to escape from Fort Joy and save the world from the encroaching Void, hopefully creating a new Divinity in the process.
The first thing players may associate Original Sin 2 with is Diablo III, however these two games couldn’t be further from each other. The Original Sin games are CRPGs, a genre which is very different to standard RPGs. CRPGs tend to be more complex than regular RPGs, opening up several solutions to quests instead of being relatively linear. In a game like Diablo III, you may be given a quest by an NPC to kill ten scorpions in a specific area. Original Sin 1 & 2 lets you kill those ten scorpions, or you could cut out the middle man and kill the NPC who gave you the quest in the first place. Original Sin 2’s Early Access content contains around one hundred and fifty NPCs, all of which can be killed. The game will react to any of your decisions, so if you accidentally kill someone who turns out to be important to your storyline, you’ll still be able to continue on with your quest somewhere else.
Co-op plays a larger role in Original Sin 2 compared to the first game, this time giving four players the chance to play together. The most interesting part of the ‘cooperative’ play is that you and your friends don’t need to help each other all the time. You are encouraged to be together when it comes to the main quest, but each player has their own origin quests which they can complete on their own. The developers have given players the chance to compete with each other by making some of the quests overlap. In order to keep things vague, a quest will ask you to speak to a certain NPC, however your friend’s quest may ask them to kill that same NPC. If your friend happens to kill that NPC before you get complete your quest, you’ll have to figure out another way to achieve your goal (again, there’s always another way!). Oh, and when we say that you’ll have to figure out another way to do something, it really is on you – don’t expect the game to hold your hand and tell you exactly where to look for clues.
Furthermore, you’ll also be able to discover more, depending on which abilities your character possesses. Fans of Original Sin will remember the ‘Pet Pal’ attribute where you would be able to communicate with animals in order to obtain more information about quests. This ability will be returning in Original Sin 2, along with teleportation and a few new additions. By using the ‘Corpse Eater’ skill, you will be able to consume one of the limbs of a deceased NPC to gain some of their memories, which in turn can unlock more quests. Certain skills can also be obtained from crafting however; these have not been revealed yet.
One aspect that has undergone some of the more dramatic changes in Original Sin 2 is the combat system. The most notable change will give players the ability to curse or bless various surfaces. For example, if there is a pool of blood on the floor you may decide to curse it, following up in your next turn by throwing your enemy into it. Real-life chemistry also plays a part in combat so if you decide to combine poison with fire, expect to see an awesome explosion. Stealthier players will be happy to hear that when fighting enemies, you’ll now be able to see their potential field of view, making it easier for you to sneak up on them. In the build that we saw, our character transformed into a bush and got quite close to a group of unsuspecting enemies before engaging in combat. In addition, Original Sin 2 has been somewhat streamlined compared to the last game. Fans of the series will notice that the cost of various moves in combat has now been greatly reduced, with your bank consisting of a mere six Action Points. In theory, this should make it a lot easier to plan your attack as you will immediately be able to see what you can afford at the beginning of each turn. Two Action Points can also be carried over at the end of each turn, if you are planning to hit your enemy particularly hard next round.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 will be launching on Steam Early Access on 15th September and four races (including Human, Elf, Dwarf, and Lizard) will be playable in this build. Larian have also estimated that there will be around eight hours of gameplay per character when this launches, meaning that there will be plenty to do, with hours of replayability promised for each class. The Early Access build will also be sporting two difficulty levels: Classic Mode for a more traditional Divinity experience, and Explorer Mode for those who are more interested in story rather than combat (the Advanced Modes known as Tactician and Honour will be added at release).
MINIMUM: OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 550 or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6XXX or higher DirectX: Version 11 Storage: 25 GB available space
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit Processor: Intel Core i7 or equivalent Memory: 8 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 or AMD R9 280 DirectX: Version 11 Storage: 25 GB available space
As mentioned above, Divinity: Original Sin 2 will launch on Steam Early Access on 15th September. As far as we are aware, the full game is set to release some time in December 2016 however, this may be subject to change.
While we do have some minor complaints regarding some of the generic dialog spoken by NPCs and the seemingly tacked on PvP Arena Mode, none of these things seem to matter when it comes to Original Sin 2. Everything Larian had to show us looked impressive, so much so that we are starting to question whether the full game will maintain that high level of quality. Judging by the standard set in the first Original Sin, this game looks like it’s only going to improve on what the developers have already created.
If we were told this game was just a single player game we’d still be impressed, but the fact that it can be played with four people is amazing. The game can already be played out in unexpected ways with just one person, now imagine throwing another three people into the mix – you’ll be playing a radically different game depending on who you pick and which of your friends you play with. Your friends may decide to mess with you by trying to get you in trouble with the guards in a town, or they may be your trusty companions until the game ends. The choice is completely up to you.
Speaking as people who completely missed the first Original Sin game, it’s clear that we missed out on something really special. After spending some time with the Original Sin 2, there is no way we will be committing that sin once again (they make terrible titles for their games, we tell terrible jokes). There’s so much to look forward to with this game, make sure you keep an eye out for one of 2016’s biggest surprises.
Most Anticipated Feature: Trying out the co-op mode with three friends.