Divinerest: Divinity – Original Sin Announced

Following Divinity II: Ego Draconis, Larian Studios are returning Divinity to its Divine roots with Original Sin, which may well be the Divinest Divinitude of all. PC Gamer have seen the return to isometric RPGing in action and Larian head honcho Swen Vincke tell them the game is being created to “address frustrations with Divine Divinity”. Turn-based combat is in, as is a story tailor made for co-op play. Sounds good to me.

The characters are ready-built, a resurrected murder victim and a hunk of muscle, and there’s some clever-sounding conversational trickery: disagree on how to deal with a dialogue option, decision or quest and eventually the game will resort to stat checking to see whose character is more convincing. Co-op play and turn-based combat are enough to earn this a position on my Wall of Intrigue, particularly when the game magically allows one person to continue exploring in realtime while the other fights.

That said, it can’t replace Dragon “the one where you marry a skeleton” Commander’s place in my heart, which is also ‘of intrigue’.


  1. Asskicker says:

    Belgian pride!

  2. PleasingFungus says:

    “Turn-based combat is in, as is a story tailor made for co-op play. ”

    Wait, I, uh…

    Don’t those kind of work against each other?

    Certainly an interesting design choice.

    • Gundato says:

      A system designed for everyone to make their moves prior to advancing the action (and in a manner that is largely safe for bad connections) is bad for co-op? Huh?

    • sneetch says:

      All the pen and paper RPG’s I’ve ever played had turn based combat and stories made for co-op games.

      This could be great. :)

    • pipman3000 says:

      PBEM co-op campaign

  3. JackDandy says:

    Sounds awesome!

    Let’s see how Ultima really influences this one.

  4. caddyB says:

    I love Larian. Can’t wait to buy their new games and give them some cash.

  5. Vexing Vision says:

    They had me at “turn-based co-op with multiplayer dialogue”, and I don’t even care anymore how much I disliked all the other Divinity games.

  6. nonadventurer says:

    Finally a turn-based co-op game that I can play with my mom.

  7. Jimbo says:

    I’m not sure which of those characters I can relate to less.

  8. Fanbuoy says:

    Swen Vincke is a totally awesome name! That’s my hypothetical future son’s name! Oh, and the game sounds nice too, I suppose.

  9. LintMan says:

    Wasn’t Divine Divinity real-ime combat? I remember getting frantically chased by enemies. I cvertainly don’t recall traditional combat rounds of the make-moves-press-end-turn variety.

    Was it turn-based in the way that every step or action you took then lets the enemies take a step of action?

    It’s been so long since I played.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      No, the first game was isometric but real-time a la Baldur’s Gate (yes, yes, simulated real-time, shut up) while the Dragonknight Saga was third-person action.

      Yes, this is new for them. I am excited!

    • malkav11 says:

      They have never done turn-based combat before (and to be clear, only the combat is turn-based in this one – which is fine, that’s the place for it). Has any developer ever before taken a game franchise (admittedly fairly loose, in this case) and switched from real-time to turn-based combat? I sure can’t think of any, although there’s tragically many that have switched the other way.

  10. ZIGS says:

    Why does everything has to be fucking co-op these days? I just want to fucking play a videogame by myself, without having to DEAL WITH OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL! Is that too much to fucking ask???
    Traditional RPGs were the ones I thought were safe from this trend but apparently nothing if fucking sacred anymore!

    • sneetch says:

      Everything is not co-op, most games are not co-op and very few RPG games are this could be trend setting. Don’t worry though.

      link to twitter.com
      “Yes, the game is very much intended to be played in single player, offline, but when you want up to 4 can play together”

    • LCinn says:

      I imagine that the market for co-op games has grown, now that there is a whole generation of gamers old enough to have a family.

    • NathanH says:

      It’s horrible, isn’t it. It’s just another part of the invasion of PC gaming by normal people with real friends. They already have a million hobbies to choose from, why can’t they just go away :-(

      • wodin says:

        Not sure if your being sarcastic, however I agree…please normal people fuck off and leave us geeks alone in our hobby, it’s our hobby, many have been involved in the hobby for 30 odd years when you normal people where out with your mates in the summer of ’84 us geeks where playing games, we looked pale and pasty, we now look younger than you because we didn’t go out in the Sun, you now look wrinkly, you took the piss cos we was pale in the summer, yet here you are taking over our hobby with your wrinkly fingers bashing away on your trendy console gamepads…so yeah fuck off. Stop ruining our antisocial hobby with your social shite…

        • Nick says:

          Its funny, but I sort of agree with this, I prefered gaming when it was by geeks for geeks. Not as an elitist exclusionist thing, but popularity and blockbuster budget money brings with it bad things.

        • pipman3000 says:


          • pipman3000 says:

            gaming was so much better when it was dominated by selfish nerds who chased off anyone who wasn’t repugnant like them or was a minority. now you got all these regular people and girls crowding the game stores commenting on my outrageous BO and greasy fedora crowding the aisles while i’m trying to stare at their boobs buy tons of video games so i can be a useless piece of crap all day fuck im falling down all these stairs

    • Ohle says:

      You don’t have to play co-op. You can also play in single-player; you’d just control both characters.

    • Pheasant Plucker says:

      I hear you brother.

      After a day at work putting up with people’s shite the last thing I want to do if I switch on a computer game is to put up with people’s virtual shite.

      Sod off people, it’s ‘me’ time.

    • pipman3000 says:

      becoming an adult who has to deal with other people sucks. why can’t mom talk to them while i play video games???

  11. KDR_11k says:

    Wasn’t the first Divinity a Diablo clone?

    • elfbarf says:

      The combat was very similar though it had an open world and a bit more focus on dialogue/quests as opposed to purely hack-n-slash.

    • dahauns says:

      Only as much as, say…Puzzle Quest was a Bejeweled clone.

  12. karthink says:

    Isometric turn based co-op narrative game? Is this the birth of a new genre? This will be one to watch.

    EDIT: Okay, Baldur’s Gate II et al. This appears to be designed to be co-op from the ground up, though.

  13. Demiath says:

    I don’t care much about Larian’s ludography in general, but turn-based combat immediately got me interested. Take my money!

  14. oceanview says:

    I love Larian studios, Divine divinity was great also. Fantastic music and oozed atmosphere. Cannot wait for this. Isometric forever.

    Also Swen Vincke has a great blog where he talks about loads of industry inside info and behind the scenes of games and publisher relations.

    link to lar.net

  15. SkittleDiddler says:

    All I remember about Divine Divinity is getting stuck in corners constantly and uninstalling it out of frustration. All I remember about Divinity II is being forced to avoid huge swatches of the game due to the insane difficulty scaling and uninstalling it out of boredom.

    Will not be interested in the latest Divinity, but if some developer out there would take the same gameplay mechanics and make an Advanced Heroquest PC game, I would be obliged. The best RPG board game ever made, and no one has touched it yet.

    • Dominic White says:

      Divinity 2 was a mess at launch – they literally HAD to release the game unfinished or face bankruptcy – but the later re-release (under the title ‘Dragon Knight Saga’) was one of my favourite games of 2010. They went and completely reworked and rebalanced almost everything, and the awful damage scaling system (where high-level enemies had massive damage resistances, while low-level enemies couldn’t hurt you at all) was dropped entirely.

      Can’t say I ever got stuck in corners in Divinity 1, though…

  16. D3xter says:

    YouTube video/presentation of gameplay: link to youtube.com

    A nice write-up with some more in-depth info: link to rpgwatch.com

  17. lordfrikk says:

    Is Dragon Commander still coming because I haven’t seen any news about it for ages…

    • Dominic White says:

      Slowly chugging away – Larian are a pretty tiny studio, comparatively speaking, and self-funded. They’re basically at the upper fringes of indie development.

  18. Rinox says:

    The presentation looks great already. Going in my ‘to keep a keen eye on’ list for sure.

    I hope the music will be done by the same composer as the previous Divinity games too…was some of the best music in gaming. Makes you wonder why a company like Bethesda is throwing tons of money at ‘big name’ composers and not hire this guy…

  19. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Turn based co-op.
    Me: okay, could be interesting
    TOR-style dialogue system with stat rolls
    Me: neat
    Magic system that synergies with other abilities a la Magicka
    Me; Goooooood… very good…
    Level editor
    Me: F*** yeah!

  20. Urthman says:

    I just started Divinity 2: Dragon Knight having picked it up on an Amazon sale of all things.

    And it is much, much more fun than I expected. The combat feels like the best parts of Diablo mixed with a good brawler. It’s a satisfying mix of stat-based skills and player skill. Both the combat difficulty and loot seem pretty very well balanced. I’m consistently finding new exciting stuff instead of finding one uber-sword and being stuck with it, finding nothing but inferior weapons for several hours.

    And the writing is much more amusing and clever than I would have thought. At one point I met a hostile skeleton and had the option of asking him how he could even talk without lungs or a tongue or anything and he started getting all defensive about it — “It’s not easy, but it sort of makes sense if you don’t think about it too hard” and then you have the option to keep confronting him with how it doesn’t make sense–he has no brain or eyes or muscles–until he just gives up and falls apart. It’s a funny concept, but it’s also actually written and executed well, which was the best surprise.

    • Jimbo says:

      DKS is pretty great. The almost pantomime tone it has is quite refreshing. Also, making a pet monster out of enemy body parts in some kind of sick take on Pokemon is just fantastic.

    • Chaz says:

      I tried the demo when it was Ego Draconis and found the combat like hitting a brick wall, and then tried the second demo with the DKS release, found it much improved and bought it after that. I too was very pleasantly surprised at how good the game was, it far exceeded my expectations and has become possibly one of my most favourite recent RPGs. Yes even more so than the Witcher 1 and 2.

      I think what sets it apart for me is it’s whimsical approach to the story telling. It’s just so refreshing when compared to the ridiculous po-faced seriousness of other RPGs. To back that up though is some genuinely good and very witty writting and superb voice acting, with some real laugh out loud moments. Another thing that really impressed me were the quests. They’d really gone to great lengths to include a really diverse variety of quests that by and large kept away from the usual RPG tropes. You never felt as if you were just going through the motions doing the same thing over and over again, or just performing a load of filler quests. For starters I can’t remember doing a single stock go kill me 10 of these quest. Some of the quests even featured quizzes to see how much you had been paying attention to your surroundings or whether you’d bothered to read any of the lore books left lying around. Another one had me changing my sex to take part in a play, before which I was given the script to read and memorize the lines. The game was just full of great little moments like that.

      After playing DKS I played Two Worlds 2, and my god that was duller than a dry cream cracker by comparison. Dreadful painfully dull dialogue with the blandest voice acting, that just seemed to drag everytime there was a cut scene for dialogue, which basically was every time you spoke to someone. The most boring quests, more or less it was just an endless round of fetch and kill quests. I remember one quest on the second island had me running back and forth some distance between 2 NPC’s just delivering straight messages between one an another. No input or way to sway an outcome, no fighting or anything like that, just a dull trudge back and forth to sit through a load of tedious dialogue for some thing really trivial that had no bearing on the story at all. Then to top it all off and really add insult to injury, the game was finished with a boss fight that didn’t really require the talents of your carefully crafted character that you’d just spent the past 40 hours or more building up. Nope, just a frustratingly hard, cheap shooting gallery game. What were they thinking? Frustratingly you could see the game had lots of potential. The islands themselves were big and lush and beautifully done but on the whole the big wide open spaces were just used for grinding mobs. The game featured a sail boat, one of the things that got me really interested in the game, but it was used for nothing. No quests made use of it to send you off discovering far flung lands. You could sail off to a nearby island and bash yet a few more mobs but that was it. It felt as if there was a lot of unfinished potential there, like the game had been shoved out the door prematurely, and quite likely had. However unlike DKS it would have taken a serious major overhaul to fix everything that was wrong about TW2.

      Divinity 2: DKS = Brilliant

      Two Worlds 2 = Fecking awful.

  21. Solidstate89 says:

    Is this the same studio that was making that strategy/action hybrid where you could control a dragon with a jet-pack and marry a skeleton princess?

    I haven’t heard a peep of news about that game since I read about it here on RPS and got quite excited about it.

  22. Caiman says:

    DKS was my favorite game of last year (when I played it). I put over 100 hours into it so it’s a massive game.