Have You Played... Dragon Commander?
Before Divinity: Original Sin
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
It's the one where you can marry a skeleton and until Divinity: Original Sin 2 came along, it was probably Larian's strangest interpretation not just of the undead, but of the world they created as a setting for all things Divinity. Dragon Commander is very strange.
The first time I played Divinity: Original Sin, I had played Dragon Commander moments before. I was at a preview event in a Walkabout bar in London, tucked in a small back room where Larian had brought two games to show to the press. I was there for Dragon Commander, with its weird politics that included capitalist dwarves and reactionary reptiles. It looked deliciously bizarre and far more appealing than yet another isometric RPG.
As soon as I actually played Original Sin, I realised that was the game I should have been paying attention to all along, and history is on my side. Dragon Commander, if it's remembered at all, is a strange interlude in Larian's recent ascent to RPG mastery. I choose to remember it as a bold experiment, the sort of game that if I'd played it on my Amiga decades ago would seem like a weird cult classic. I'd want a remake.
The RTS sections annoyed me from the first minute to the last but there's something in that relatively simple political strategy game that I'd like to see revisited. Perhaps not by Larian, who may not remember the game as fondly as I do, but by someone, somewhere, somewhen.