When I started to see the reviews for this game after it came out, along with podcasters talking about how wonderful it was to play, I knew I would have to tackle it at some point. It took awhile but I’m finally at it.
Boy oh boy I haven’t played a Western style RPG in such a long time. I once, a long time ago in a hazy fog, stumbled through Baldur’s Gate 2. It was before the whole D&D craze started blowing up in recent years. I never finished the game, and only remember a few fleeting things about it. So snap back to this year, I saw Divinity Original Sin 2 on the Playstation store on sale and decided to pick it up. I played for about 45 minutes with the wifey and then stopped. She wasn’t into it at all, I think it was a bit too complicated for her when all she wanted was a more Diablo style experience. Then my mind switched to building a new computer and upgrading my whole setup in my computer room, so the game had to wait.
So having just completed my new computer I was browsing the Steam store and was able to buy another copy of Divinity 2 for under 30$. I knew this game was going to be hard and that quick saving and loading would be an important part of the experience. So the PC was the best option in regards to load time and ease of saving and loading thanks to the F keys. I also don’t know how I’d go about managing my inventory and picking spells with just a controller (I know how to do it, just seems like a drag).
I also don’t mind supporting Larian Studios and throwing some money their way. I’ve watched a couple documentaries about their company and I’m just a fan of everything they do for gaming and the way they treat their fans. I’ll probably make a day one purchase for Baldur’s Gate 3 when it comes out (hopefully soon).
I already stated that I started the game up on PS4 and stopped. When I got it on PC I started and stopped a little into Fort Joy. I did this because I realized I probably didn’t create a good character build (I know I can change later). So I ended up reading a ton of stuff online about character builds and how to build out a good well-rounded team. Since I was able to play the opening a few times, I knew which characters I wanted in my party Sebille (main), Faine, Ifan and Beast. I then made up a document with each character, their abilities, where to spend points, what skills to focus on and so on. So I had everything mapped out and ready to go for my next play session. It definitely gave my play through less friction but also, perhaps, limited the amount of experimentation that I’d otherwise experience.
So I just loved this game. It reminded me of playing Gloomhaven in a video game with a sprawling story and interactive combat. The biggest point to know about this game is that you need to be ready for at least a hundred hours of game time to lay this to rest. It was such a massive game and that’s actually my biggest issue with it. Let me just stress that again, it was my issue with the game. If you have the time to dedicate to this one game then it can give back so much for the time you spend inside of it’s world. I started playing the game this way too, I didn’t just find one way out of Fort Joy, I found every single way out. I could have left at any point but I wanted to do everything so I just stayed captive so I could see everything it had to offer.
I kept this up, playing at the standard difficulty and just working my way through each encounter. It’s a well tuned game that rewards smart strategy and the amount of time you put into setting yourself and your party up for success. Battles are meant to push you and you have to do whatever you can to survive. If that means reloading to a save right before a hard battle, then breaking off one member of your party to sneak up on the enemy group, then teleport one of the enemeis away from their friends so your team can murder them without getting the whole camps attention. Then that’s what you have to do. I had a blast figuring out little things like that to make my journey easier. It actually lets you do that and will reward you for it. Try teleporting a merchant that’s being watched away while talking to it, then having your thief sneak up and steal from him in the woods, it worked for me a few times.
This is a gem of a game, one that I can see returning to years from now. As I’m writing this I’ve beaten the game about two weeks ago so I have a bit of perspective over having just freshly finished. I will admit that I turned down the difficulty around my 50-60 hour mark. I just started getting antsy and was getting bogged down with other things I wanted to do in my life. Like I said, this is a long game and it’s a huge commitment to make. Depending on your life situation this is good or bad, or maybe a bit of both.
I did make a hard save that I named “before difficulty drop” so that I can go back to it at some point if need be. Although, I’d probably just create a new party and start off again with the characters I left out of my group. Changing the difficulty does make the game a lot easier, you don’t have to be super tactical and paranoid about every little combat encounter, but you do have to still be strategic for sure.
My difficulty drop happened during Reaper’s Coast, just to give you an idea of where I was. About 10 hours after the difficulty drop I really wanted to start speeding up my progress in the game, I wanted to get to the end. The real push came from when I hit Arx, I kind of stopped caring about the story and wanted to see what happened at the end of the game. It’s a bit of a shame that I felt that way. Like I said though, It was just a long game and I was ready to move on. I think that If I do get around to playing it again at a later point, perhaps after Baulder’s Gate 3 comes out, then I’ll blow through some of the early stuff so that I can sink my teeth into the side-stories that I missed out on my first playthrough.
This was a wonderful game to play. The item management was a chore though for sure, it’s almost like a mini-game with the amount of sorting and time that is necessary to buy new equipment, manage your 4 character’s inventory and do everything else with those menus. I’m just happy I was playing it on PC so that I can mouse everything around, imagine how long it would take on PS4.
Score – 9.7
If you’re wondering about playing this, just go play it. Support Larian Studios because they really care about their games and are still even updating this game. I would like to start a new group and use some of the presents they’ve been slowly releasing, seems like some nice little perks. Oh, I’d also like to try a solo play, that would be really interesting. There’s just too much! Put some time into this, sink in and let it grab you. Get through a few encounters without lowering the difficulty, let it click in your head just how good the combat encounters are, and perhaps, with a little luck, you might become divine.