It is the year 2012. We have magic rectangles that contain our entire lives and an invisible web that connects all of humankind. And while I can’t claim to own a hoverboard, I’m still pretty OK with a future in which Divinity: Original Sin defies both Father Time and the shareholder mothership to exist. I mean, it’s an Ultima-inspired, turn-based RPG that’s doing its damndest to conjure fond memories of Cheeto-stained tabletop role-playing campaigns, and it looks damn impressive. I’m afraid that I’ll wake up any moment now, and it’ll actually be a modern FPS reboot set in a future where magic was given a swirly by Totally Rad Soldier Men – a swirly that killed it forever. Somehow, though, it is a thing with its very own trailer, and the elemental magic system paired with turn-based combat looks like it could actually make for some tantalizingly tactical co-op. Marvel at its implausibility after the break.
Promising, right? Granted, the combat scenario more or less amounted to Bioshocking a baddie with water and lightning – aka, the oldest trick in the book. Larian’s shown quite the aptitude for massive, branch-twisting skill trees in the past, though, so I seriously can’t wait to see how this system evolves. I’m also definitely on board with smaller touches, like dice-roll-based co-op conversation options. Yeah, that one in particular is basically torn straight from a book titled “SWTOR’s Better Ideas,” but I’m glad Larian’s making sure Original Sin is a co-op experience - and not simply a regular swords ‘n’ sorcery to-do with co-op combat tacked on.
Granted, the potentially worrisome flipside is that Original Sin’s single-player could turn out to be a hollow shell missing the sturdy, ever-reliable turtle that is companionship. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to tell at this point. But, on a more positive note, Original Sin’s shipping with a hyper robust map editor, so even if single-player’s not up to par, I imagine the community will design at least a few worthy campaigns.
I’m a lot more excited about this one than I expected to be – especially since I sort of despised Divinity II: Ego Draconis. Now then, the waiting. Original Sin is – like all of the things – set to come out in 2013. Remember when we thought there’d be games this year? Oh what naive fools we were.