I love RPG's, whether they are tabletop with dice or digital. I also love the fact that the gaming community can, on rare occasions, be proud of achieving something as a group. Such an occasion was the creation and release of Divinity: Original Sin.
It's been more than ten years (2002) since the release of Divine Divinity and Larian Studios were itching to deliver a prequel to their much lauded fantasy adventure. Being a little strapped for cash, they looked to Kickstarter (uh-oh!) in order to be able to complete their brand new product. Now, I get it. Kickstarter had its fair share of "fails" in the past where people took advantage of the Kickstarter services in fraudulent ways or in "I'll line my pockets with cash!' ways. Either way, people eventually became sceptical about supporting a Kickstarter project or ANY crowdfunded project for that matter. Thankfully, Larian Studios came up trumps.
In not so many words, I purchased my copy of Divinity: Original Sin on release day after having my doubts blown away by reviews and being pulled over the fence I was on. And to think, the game was ON the Steam Summer Sale just a handful of days ago but I held onto that fence. Well, here I am stating that paying full price for it did not bother me at all because the game bloody delivers. In a year where the RPG torch will probably be carried sky-high by RPG behemoths Dragon Age: Inquisition and the preposterously delicious third outing of Geralt in Witcher 3, it is another game that hoists the flaming wood up high in 2014. A game which was helped by the very same community that enjoys it as we speak. D:OS became the fastest selling game for Larian Studios and you only need an hour with it TOPS to understand why.
Part of the charm of videogame RPG's is literally discovering them and their world, thus I will refrain from saying much at all about what lies within the world of Rivellon this time round. What I can say is that D:OS is an amazingly crafted adventure weaved by people who did their homework and, more importantly, did their time. By that I mean they ripped through ANYTHING that was Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Dragon's Age and everything else that had you creating a character, speaking to characters and generally slashing and burning stuff up! Combat is turn-based and I don't generally like turn-based combat (in videogames). In D:OS however, combat becomes a VERY D&D affair, with initiatives coming to play (order of combat), positioning on the battlefield actually making a difference and the elements playing a very special role throughout the entire game. There is humour so fresh that you will be knee-slapping at the most unexpected of moments while the freedom given to the players and their actions becomes more apparent the more you play (hint: LOTS of freedom!). The numbers involved in the game (stats-wise, damage-wise etc.) keep, what I consider, a non-JRPG stance which means you won't be hitting for 9.999 any time soon. I always found this to be more appealing for me so I am throwing it out there for those who care about such a detail. Make no mistake, this is a proper "talk to everyone, go anywhere, do as you like" RPG.
If you at the sound (or sight?) of the word "fireball" you get a little fuzzy and warm inside then you owe to yourself to experience Divinity: Original Sin. It looks, "smells" and feels like WIN from the second you start your game and you get to create not one, but two characters (not compulsory for you lone wolves out there). RPG gamers, and generally gamers, around the world rejoice. We are not all whiners and party-poopers and D:OS is proof of that.
The game CAN be played with a friend (two main characters, right?) and you also get a world editor with your copy! Also, if you own a Mac or Linux System you might have to wait a little bit longer. But fret not, for Larian Studios will give you your Mac or Linux copy for free if you purchase it for Windows!
Larian Studios, G *effin* G!
- Frixos Masouras 2014