DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2

     

Editor"s note: The Nintendo Switch version of Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition seems as if it shouldn"t work on the hybrid console, & yet it does wonderfully. Larian"s acclaimed RPG makes the transition khổng lồ Switch intact (except for couch co-op, though online & local wireless play are available) with very little in the way of compromises. The control scheme, as with that of the PS4 và Xbox One versions, works well here despite the lack of a traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup. The turn-based nature of combat lends itself lớn short bursts of chơi game in handheld mode, though it"s a difficult trò chơi to put down once you get started.

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Visually, there is a noticeable downgrade in both the docked and handheld modes. The lower resolution results in the trò chơi looking blurry in certain spots, but not to lớn a problematic degree. And that trade-off is acceptable because performance is rock solid--and, remarkably, the Switch"s relatively small screen is capable of handling everything you need to see without feeling cramped. Even the on-screen text, which can be difficult to read in other games when playing in handheld mode, is no issue.


I don"t know if I"ve ever felt so emotionally wrapped up in a game and its characters, and pulling at your heartstrings is not all that the game does well. Larian Studios has crafted one of the finest role-playing epics of all time, both in its original form on PC & in its Definitive Edition released for PC, PS4, & Xbox One (for specific comments on this version of the game, see the bottom of this review). Meaningful choices, evocative writing, and superb acting in the fully voiced script make for a wholly believable world. The detailed & free-flowing combat engine provides challenging and rewarding turn-based tactical battles that địa chỉ cửa hàng tension khổng lồ every action. Character depth includes seemingly endless options for creation, customization, & growth, making every thành viên of your các buổi party more of a real individual than the usual collection of buffs và numbers found in most RPGs.

As with its predecessor from 2014, Divinity: Original Sin II"s setting remains the D&D-infused fantasy land of Rivellon, but the clock has been moved forward centuries from the original trò chơi so you don"t need any familiarity with the backstory khổng lồ quickly get up to lớn speed with what"s going on. You take on the role of a Sourceror, a name referring to lớn those that draw arcane power from a mystic material called Source. This substance is controversial in Rivellon, because using it seems to inadvertently summon interdimensional monsters known as Voidwoken. Deploy Source powers và these bizarre creatures show up lớn kill everyone in sight. Because of this, you"re viewed as a danger lớn society by the Magisters, a governing body toàn thân of inquisitors và warriors who claim to lớn serve the Divine Order và protect society by rounding up and "curing" Sourcerors.

The story begins with you and the other members of your four-person các buổi tiệc nhỏ (that"s the maximum--you can play with any number of companions or even go solo) being sent off to the island prison of Fort Joy with Source-blocking collars around your necks. You soon realize that you have a greater destiny to lớn fulfill, however. Much of this is tied to lớn your past role in a war serving Lucian, sort of a god-king whose legacy has been taken up by Alexander, his son who now leads the Magisters. Eventually, you & the other members of your party discover that you are Godwoken, demigods who have a chance to ascend & basically replace the seven gods under threat by creatures from the Void.

The story isn"t just extensive, though; it"s detailed & gripping, largely due to lớn how it avoids good-versus-evil fantasy archetypes common lớn RPGs.

This epic saga is a big undertaking. Expect to lớn use up the better part of 60 khổng lồ 70 hours khổng lồ complete the main quest line & a good portion of the many side quests. The story isn"t just extensive, though; it"s detailed and gripping, largely due to lớn how it avoids good-versus-evil fantasy archetypes common lớn RPGs. Moral ambiguity is with you every step of the way as you progress from a prison boat to lớn Fort Joy, to lớn the sandy beaches and forests of Reaper"s Coast, khổng lồ the tropical Nameless Isle, and finally the besieged đô thị of Arx.

But while you start off with persecuted Sourcerors on one side & oppressive Magisters on the other, events soon carry you into a world of unrelenting grey where most people are trying to do the right thing, yet failing miserably. Some Sourcerors are criminals. Some Magisters are conflicted about what they are doing và want lớn change the system. Voidwoken may have good reasons behind their actions in Rivellon. Gods have enough hidden agendas that mortals may be better off without them. Even the paladin faction that shows up in the game as heroes turns into blinkered zealots, overseeing the siege of a city, leaving bodies overflowing atop buckling wooden carts in their wake.

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Basically, nobody can be trusted or measured at face value; not even your comrades, as only one of you can ascend khổng lồ godhood. You"re left wide xuất hiện when it comes to determining a course of action, with very few moments forcing you down a particular path. Play good, play evil, play something in between. This approach is incredibly freeing. It lets you guide your character and các buổi tiệc nhỏ according khổng lồ your own moral compass, or lack of one. I don"t believe I"ve felt this attuned lớn a role-playing experience since I played pen-and-paper D&D many years ago.

Freedom with character design và development really boosts this feeling. Character depth is tremendous, and with every nhân vật in the game comes with a wide range of bộ vi xử lý core attributes plus civil abilities, combat abilities, skills, talents, Source abilities, và more. Five racial choices blend the expected--humans & dwarves--with the offbeat--elves who consume body parts & self-conscious undead who hide their faces lớn avoid scaring NPCs.

You can roll your own protagonist or choose from one of six predefined characters representing each race. Each one comes with a specialized storyline that immerses you deeper into the saga. Even then, you"re allowed a free hand khổng lồ customize everything. You"re even able to lớn tell those joining your buổi tiệc ngọt what sort of adventurer you"d like them to be. Next to lớn standard classes such as Fighters and Clerics are more innovative options such as Metamorphs và Shadowblades, và a slew of talents that dictate even more nuanced capabilities. So if you want khổng lồ take on, say, the arrogant lizard Red Prince or the sinister elf Sebille, you"re not locked into a phối class as you would be in most RPGs.

At a glance, combat is not much different from many computer RPGs. Battles are turn-based, with an allotment of kích hoạt points governing your decisions. But Divinity: Original Sin II differs from its peers by consistently taking terrain và environmental elements into consideration. Pools of water can be frozen into slippery sheets of ice. High ground gives boosts to damage & low ground restricts it. & enemies turn these battlefield features into advantages, too. Hang out too close lớn a pool of oil & you can guarantee that an opponent will phối it on fire. Evil archers and spellcasters always run or teleport lớn high locations so that they can snipe from relative safety.


As a result, battles are damn tough. You may have khổng lồ play and lose some battles at least once in order to assess how the enemy can strike và determine a way to counter their advances. Thankfully, there are a number of difficulty options that let you control the pace of victory. The Explorer option nerfs enemies và boosts heroes to emphasize story over combat difficulty, so you get the flavor of the game without the serious challenge. Classic is the standard mode of play--tough but not insanely challenging. Tactician ups everything a little more, and Honor is the ultimate challenge, where you have just one save slot that gets deleted if everyone is killed. There is something here for just about every màn chơi of commitment và ability.

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I freewheeled in Classic mode as I went, directing characters into roles and training them based on what worked best in battle. Character progression felt as if I was moulding real warriors through an adventure, pitfalls and all. I truly empathized with my party, khổng lồ the point that I couldn"t let any of them go later on khổng lồ try one of the other heroes on offer, lượt thích the witty và talented undead Fane. There"s one reason for a replay, but it"s not the only one.

Where most RPGs let you push on and experience almost everything in a single playthrough, it is impossible to experience all that this one has khổng lồ offer in one play, or maybe even two or three.

Quest design in Divinity: Original Sin II is closer khổng lồ a pen-and-paper feel than any computer RPG that I"ve ever played. The biggest reason for this is that you can screw up. An NPC can be randomly killed, shutting down a quest before it starts. Sometimes you simply cannot succeed at a skill check necessary lớn move a particular adventure along in the way you desire. Failing persuasion checks, as noted above in that farmhouse story, is fairly routine, forcing you lớn figure out another way forward và damn the consequences. Where most RPGs let you push on and experience almost everything in a single playthrough, it is impossible to lớn experience all that this one has to lớn offer in one play, or maybe even two or three.

Quests are not perfect, though. The journal system of tracking them isn"t nearly robust enough khổng lồ keep up with how many you have going at any given time. You can"t tìm kiếm it, và even worse, key elements are frequently not included in the text descriptions. As a result of this quest confusion, I got lost more often than I should have. I spent too much time not sure what I was supposed to lớn be doing due to lớn vague journal entries, or wandering around searching for a key location that for reasons unknown was not noted on the map. I know some will believe this to be a good thing, that we finally have a serious RPG that doesn"t hold the hands of its players. But this issue seems more like a disconnect between how quests are offered up during the game and how they are tracked in the journal than any commitment to lớn old-school difficulty.

In addition to lớn the expansive single-player campaign, you can also play with friends cooperatively or dive into an even truer pen-and-paper role-playing simulation with game Master mode--a section of the game that can live on potentially longer than Divinity"s own campaign. This is the kind of trò chơi that you"re best off playing online with friends; the involved story and the necessity lớn use teamwork in combat make the game too challenging if you"re adventuring with uncooperative strangers.

All of the above has been enhanced with the release of the Definitive Edition of Divinity: Original Sin II.

All of the above has been enhanced with the release of the Definitive Edition of Divinity: Original Sin II, which also sees the game making its console debut on PS4 và Xbox One. Larian Studios was kind lớn PC owners as well, offering a không lấy phí upgrade that lets you launch either the original or new versions (old saves are not compatible with the new game). This revamp makes it worthwhile to play one of the greatest RPGs of the past few years all over again. Comprehensive work has refined the plot, quest journal, interface, balance, difficulty, & more. New nội dung has been added, lượt thích new encounters in Arx, an expanded tutorial, more informative tool tips, new battles, & a Story mode (which lowers difficulty) for those who want more adventuring & less reloading.

The console version of the Definitive Edition is an almost entirely seamless port of the original PC game. I have lớn admit that I had my doubts playing the game on PS4 due to concerns about navigating such a complex RPG without the benefit of mouse & keyboard. But Larian has done a superb job of moving the control system lớn a gamepad. Everything can be accessed readily, mostly using the left stick & the shoulder buttons to open a radial menu where you access character stats, equipment, inventory, skills, & so forth. While this control system lacks the immediacy offered by a cursor and keyboard hotkeys, it is remarkably smooth and soon becomes intuitive.

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A lot of other little changes make appreciable differences. Persuasion appears lớn be easier, which let me mở cửa up quests that walled me off with failure before. This time around I could succeed in swaying NPCs lớn my point of view much of the time, and I felt that I was able to experience more of the game as a result. Story mode adds resurrection as a skill, includes the ability khổng lồ readily flee combat, và dramatically reduces battle difficulty. The latter made it easier to lớn tolerate lengthier encounters that I didn"t want to slog through again. At the same time, Story Mode doesn"t turn the trò chơi into a total cakewalk. Gruelling scraps can still be a challenge. But if you bởi find it too easy, you can shift back khổng lồ tougher difficulty settings on the fly.

Divinity II: Original Sin will always have a strong degree of complexity, regardless of design changes. The Definitive Edition remains a complicated affair where your path has been left almost entirely wide open. Definitive or not, console or PC, this is a game that remains true khổng lồ its inscrutable CRPG roots. Once again, though, even while I have to lớn gripe about being left in the dark at times, the freeform design makes it all worthwhile. I"ll accept some confusion và uncertainty if the trade-off is a wonderfully realized & almost boundless fantasy world.

From lonely farmhouses through pitched battles with gods in far-flung dimensions, Divinity: Original Sin II is one of the most captivating role-playing games ever made in both its original & Definitive incarnations, with the latter proving that even the most complicated role-players can be ported successfully khổng lồ gamepad-limited consoles. This immaculately conceived and emotion-wrought fantasy world, topped by brilliant tactical combat, make it one of the finest games of recent years, & it remains an instant classic in the pantheon of RPG greats.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is featured on our danh mục of the best Xbox co-op games and best split-screen PS4 games list.

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Disclosure: Former vinaexpress.com.vn reviews editor Kevin VanOrd currently works at Larian Studios, serving as a writer on Divinity: Original Sin II.