You know it’s autumn when you have to choose between games like Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Tooth and Tail and Divinity: Original Sin 2 in the same week. But for now I choose the latter as I’ve been waiting for this game for more than two years.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor improving on its many flaws but committing some of its own. The previous game had its strengths in combat with an interactive world design. The sequel took these elements and for the most part improved them. The combat is still turn based supporting tactics over raw power in engagements with a difficulty level brought straight from hell. It feels like overkill at times, with an almost forced difficulty that isn’t fair, an actual original sin of the first game. While combat is even dangerous, sneaking and exploration have become better ways to progress on. The world design saves the players the trouble of going through tediously tough fights by providing multiple pathways for some of the tasks at hand. It almost feels like an open world viewed from an isometric perspective, something that surely has attracted a lot of players. The blend between combat and world design surely eases the pain of feeling like a group of hobos pitted against an army of well trained and equipped soldiers. This is a rather weird trade off for this particular series that’s hanging on a thin balance that I hope it strengthens as I play more.
As the series strengths have their weird match of balance, the story seems to be catching up from behind moving away from the comical approached to something more serious. Hidden behind the uninspired prologue is an intriguing premise that raises some questions and has the potential of leading to something interesting. The cosmic plot doesn’t seem to be entirely gone, but has been refined to be captivating. The companions jump in to with their diverse personalities and hidden goals to make the whole adventure more enjoyable and from time to time they actually succeed, something I couldn’t say about the prequel. It’s quite clear that the writing is visibly improved, it’s not at the masterful level of older cRPGs, but can hold its own against the tide.
I feel compelled to continue playing Divinity: Original Sin 2 past the burning rage of a visibly unfair difficulty. Maybe I’m masochistic or maybe I feel like the game still has time to redeem itself for mistakes that mirror those of the past. Yet I can’t stop feeling disappointment looking at the corners that have been cut. Maybe these conflicting feelings will prompt me to write a review, something I haven’t been able to do in a while. We shall see…