Has the prodigal son of RPGs finally arrived? Divinity: Original Sin certainly has everything it takes to dominate the genre. Developed by the Belgian studio Larian, Original Sin is a stunning title that should appeal to every D&D fan – despite a few flaws in its gameplay.
A scenario and universe that lacks defining ideas
In Divinity: Original Sin, you start by creating two characters to control through the adventure. It’s a fiction where magic is called "the source", its prophesied to bring balance, save the world… so far so Star Wars, or a dozen other fantasy stories. Yes, its story is bland, but the developers have provided a huge amount of dialogue for the main and secondary characters to provide plenty of flavor to the world. Plus, a good dose of humor keeps you involved.
There are loads of options and depth from the very beginning of Original Sin. From the look, powers, and moral alignment of your characters, to books you can read to give you a better idea of the universe before you start. All of this brilliantly connects you with the world and your characters from the outset.
Much like Baldur's Gate - the template for Original Sin - nothing is certain. The game provides you with huge amounts of freedom in any situation. The means the tale laid out by the developer is just the frame for your tale – it is your creative spark that forms the story and events that live on with you once the game is finished. It is this that truly fascinates and captivates us.
The importance of your characters are constantly reaffirmed during the game. Numerous stats are taken into account during your dialogue choices and exploration - such as intelligence and perception in a way that mirrors Fallout. And of course your stats effect combat, forming the linchpin of the exciting battle system.
A rich game system with a wealth of treasures
Original Sin may look like a hack’n’slash, but that is not the case: this is a true, challenging, turn-based, RPG combat system. Each round character take their turns in order. If you are something of an adrenalin junkie this may put you off with its lack of dynamism, but I assure you it shouldn’t. It may be slow, but the system offers a huge number of options to resolve battles.
Whether you are getting a cat involved to help you fight, or using tables to funnel enemies where you want them, the variety Original Sin offers is just exciting. That, and an emphasis on powerful magical combo attacks between characters, can result in fireworks on the battlefield. Tactical fun.
But the focus is not combat, and far more of your time will be spent engaged in multiple-choice dialogues, intelligent and challenging puzzles, and brilliant crafting system. The only problem with the last of these activities is that the inventory system is awful. Filled with ill-conceived categories, objects pileup and you have no idea how to best use or find them.
An excellent RPG, if you look past its tiny flaws
Divinity: Original Sin is excellent. With its immense freedom of action, living world, multiplayer coop, level of challenge, exciting combat system... the list goes on – all adding up to a massively entertaining experience. All of which more than makes up for its weak story and few interface problems.
Plus, with its level creator, we are sure you can expect plenty more to come from the community. Who knows, there may even be some good stories.