We’ve been eagerly watching (and, on some occasions, playing) Divinity: Original Sin ever since it launched a turn-based assault on Kickstarter, growing its already grandiose vision of a classic RPG world into one worthy of having its praises sung. Now it’s finally available to everyone, whether old and grizzled or so young that they think Baldur’s Gate was a middling action-RPG on the PlayStation 2. That said, this one traces its roots more to Ultima VII than anything else what with all its systemic complexity and obsessively detailed interactivity. There is, in other words, much to dig into here, even in Early Access form. But should you? Well, that depends on a few factors.
On one hand, this is a pretty sizable chunk of content, clocking in at around 15 hours if you only play once straight-through. But there’s also plenty of choice and many systems that are absolutely delightful to just mess around with, so you could conceivably spend even more time gallivanting about. New to this version over the initial backer alpha, meanwhile, are companions and a co-op mode.
All sounds rather nice, right? Problem is, Larian admits that it’s still early, and wipes are liable to happen. Don’t get too attached, in other words.
“Be aware that it’s still rough around the edges and that certain features are missing. New features and improvements will be added regularly. We will be updating the game regularly. It’s important to know that save games will not be compatible between versions.”
“If you want a polished experience, we advise you not to play the Early Access version. It only makes sense to play an Early Access game if, for instance, you want to support the development of the game, you want to influence development with your feedback or if you want to get a taste of things to come.”
So be wary. That’s kind of the conundrum with Early Access and sprawling single-player games. You don’t get the full package, but if you decide to string up your patch-ridden adventure trousers anyway, you spoil a portion of the game for yourself. And that portion isn’t even as good as it could – and probably will – be. I mean, I’m glad Larian is doing all of this testing given the awful state Divinity II was in when it first launched, but still. Decisions, decisions.
Are you going to try Divinity: Original Sin’s Early Access alpha? If it helps, I imagine we’ll have impressions up in some form or another before too long. But if you can’t stand to wait, probably don’t go in expecting an experience so polished that its glint could blind the heavens. Someday, hopefully, but not yet.