Posts Tagged ‘Divinity: Original Sin’

Wot I Think: Divinity Original Sin 2

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We were supposed to be heroes. As you play through Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site], your character and companions will be many things to many people: thieves, killers, saviours, fugitives, outcasts, demons, nightmares, lovers, traitors, jackasses, adventurers, pranksters and fools. But heroes? You can play through the entire game, multiple times, and never feel like much of a hero.

There’s just so much to do in the world that doing good can feel just a little to obvious.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 success makes Mac release strong possibility

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] left Early Access less than a week ago and sales figures have been very good. Those are the kind of figures, Larian CEO Swen Vincke tells me, that he’d been hoping for “by Christmas”. The game is only available for Windows at the moment and during the Early Access period, the studio stated that, “A decision on other platforms will not be made until after the full release.” With that full release now behind us, I asked if the strong sales made support for new platforms more likely. Short answer: “yes”. Longer answers on that and other matters below.

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Face-ripping & identity theft: Divinity Original Sin 2’s Undead

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“And now we just use the Face Ripper on this elven corpse so we can polymorph into an elven form and learn more about what happened by eating the limbs we found earlier.”

At Gamescom, Swen Vincke, CEO of Larian, was showing the playable undead race in Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] for the first time. Faces were ripped, children were startled, feasting on cadavers quickly became routine. I love Divinity but in among all the elves and dwarves, I sometimes forget just how weird it is. When you’re playing a skeleton, it’s going to be weirder than ever.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Quests Done Quick II

It’s Summer Games Done Quick time again! You know what that means. The final seal has been broken, the rivers are turning to blood, and High Dread Azagorath is free to destroy the land. But while people wait, they’re doing speed-runs. And in celebration of that, I thought I’d take a dig through the archives for a few particularly impressive and interesting ones that take that whole idea of a fifty hour epic and beat it down so quickly, the hero’s hometown doesn’t even have time to finish smouldering.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2’s GM mode brings pen and paper RPGs to the screen

Last week I spent a day playing with Divinity: Original Sin 2’s [official site] Games Master mode, and now I want to force everyone I know to play pen and paper RPGs with me. If this is what I’ve been missing in the years since I last went full goth with weekend Vampire: The Masquerade sessions, I’ve had a wasted adulthood.

The GM mode is separate to the main game, using the Divinity ruleset in campaigns either released by Larian or created by players, who can then share those campaigns online or with friends to recreate a tabletop experience digitally. At the press event, we built a chunk of Ultima VII and then started cannibalising the good guys. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: The genius in the inventory

I forget which game it was, exactly. If I had to pick one, I’d say probably the text adventure Humbug. It doesn’t really matter, as it’s not really the game’s fault, but I still remember the sadness of being told to go into the inventory and realising that while I was thinking of a big room full of bubbling liquids in interesting flasks and other cool science stuff, the game was actually saying ‘look in your pockets’. Especially as if it was Humbug, it’s a game about wandering around and exploring your crazy inventor grandfather’s house. I must have searched for whole minutes, back in 1990.

There’s never been a game that really harnessed that desire, but still, it explains a lot about one of my favourite things in RPGs – particularly those of the early 90s – that the inventory often was a place to experiment rather than simply pluck the correct item at the correct time. Even if then, as now, it’s often been more accident than design.

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Some Little Things I’ve Loved In RPGs, Vol 1

One of the main reasons I got into RPGs back in the day was that if you bought one, you were getting a lot of game for your money. That was important when there was only one birthday and one Christmas a year, and not much chance that some relative might pop their clogs in sync with Ultima VI coming out. Years later I no longer need the Grim Reaper’s help to fill my collection, and other genres have done their best to replace scouring maps for objectives with, y’know, game, but there’s still few that can match it in terms of raw Stuff. It takes a lot of content to fill an RPG.

This week then, I’m turning the spotlight on a few small bits and pieces from various games that I think back on fondly. Not entire games. Just a few ideas and moments from them that stuck with me, whether I liked the actual game they were in at all. Add yours in the comments, yadda yadda, you know the drill. Also, I thought I’d try and pick a few things that aren’t brought up that often, hence the lack of, say, Heather Poe from Vampire: Bloodlines or any of The Witcher III’s awesome stuff. Got that? Cool.

Note: you can browse through the list using the arrows alongside the image at the top of the page, or using the left and right arrows on your very own keyboard.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Now On Steam Early Access

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] launched into early access today, less than a year after wrapping up its Kickstarter. The fantasy RPG’s initial release is quite small, and waiting for the full version before even thinking about touching it is certainly a reasonable idea but, y’know, maybe Adam’s raving has got you pumped. Original Sin 2 “improves almost every area” of the original, he said – and it was no slouch.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Smartly Reinvents The RPG Party

Divinity: Original Sin is one of my favourite games of recent years. It’s a systemic toybox with the skin of a fantasy RPG. I spent an evening playing the sequel [official site] a couple of weeks ago and it improves almost every area. At the foundations, there’s a more interesting world, with a stronger set of characters, but there are also improvements to combat, and the smartest twist on cooperative multiplayer that I’ve seen since Dark Souls.

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2016’s Most Promising RPGs

We’re almost half-way through the year, and it’s not been a bad one. The finale of The Witcher 3. Dark Souls III, for those players who consider it an RPG. A couple of late-arrivals, like Dragon’s Dogma. But as the nights again start to draw darker, what’s up next? Here’s some of the big quests still promised for 2016. As ever, don’t be too surprised to see a few more jump from A to B.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name

Full disclosure time. I’m about to talk about Fallen London [official site] by Failbetter Games, a game and company that I’ve now done a fair amount of writing for. Please pause to get the necessary pinch of salt to take with anything that follows, if you wish. However, my love for this crazy Victorian universe goes back a lot further than that, and this week I’m not going to talk about anything I’ve had a hand in. Instead, I thought I’d discuss Seeking the Name. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the most interesting, disturbing quests you’ll ever regret taking on.

Some minor lore spoilers follow, but nothing too deep.

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Love And Games: Long Distance Wizard-Killing

I was in a long distance relationship for over two years and gaming was incredibly useful for keeping in touch with my partner*. But not every game was a good fit, either because of relative game experience or temperament or any number of other things. So here are some of the games which worked and some of the games which didn’t. I’m going to explain them from my point-of-view because I don’t want to presume to know exactly what his experience was!

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Cooperative Competitive Cannibalism: Divinity Original Sin 2’s Systemic Design

Divinity: Original Sin [official site] is an incredibly complex game. It’s a very silly game, which might lead some people to think it isn’t all that clever, but even though it wears a comedy tie to the RPG Christmas party, it’s still the smartest game in the room. That’s because it’s built on intelligent, simulated systems that overlap and feed into one another to make both interesting narrative choices and dynamic situations in both combat and roleplay.

The sequel takes all of the complexities of the first and adds competitive multiplayer for up to four players. At Rezzed, Larian’s creative director and founder, Swen Vincke, explained how it all works.

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Living Worlds: The Joy Of NPC Schedules

Just before the Christmas break I was trying to catch up on all of the interesting games that I hadn’t found time to play earlier in the year. Else Heart.Break() was right near the top of the list, even though I have zero interest in games that expect me to learn how to program in order to have fun. If I learn how to program it’ll be so that I can become a megarich superstar game dev, not so that I can solve puzzles in somebody else’s game.

So why play a game that is quite clearly about IFs, ELSEs and ANDs? The Store page description contains phrases that should have warned me off the game rather than encouraging me to buy it, and yet something appealed. I wanted to play the game because of a single paragraph in Brendan’s review:

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The Joy Of Expansions And Enhanced Editions

As the year draws toward its final frosty furlong, I’m slightly surprised that one of the games I’m most looking forward to playing is also one of my favourite games from 2014. It’s Divinity: Original Sin, a game that I adored when I played it last year and that I expect to lose myself in again when the Enhanced Edition comes out next week. It’s not the only RPG that I’ll have revisited this year – both Pillars of Eternity and The Witcher 3 sucked me in at release and then lost me for a while when I realised they were going to require weeks of attention, but I used their expansions as an excuse to pick up where I’d left off. Here are five reasons to love digital expansions.

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Scrolls of Honour – 2015

As the dragons finally return to their nests to hibernate and the ghosts don their chains to help remind misers of the meaning of the season, we approach the end of another year. As is tradition, that is time for we at the guild-house to award both quests and questers the ceremonial Scrolls of Honour™. (Chorus of affordable angels)

Scribed upon only the finest vellum in ink taken from a particularly recalcitrant octopus from the Abyssal Depths, they are a testament to skill and imagination and occasional disappointments that mean exactly nothing whatsoever except that I have a column and so I can hand out whatever made-up crap takes my fancy. Lo! We begin!

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The Beginner’s Guide: A Journey Through Genres

One day I’ll write a Desert Island Discs about the games I’d keep with me until the end of days, given a choice of ten. It’ll no doubt be a Desert Island Digital Downloads given the absence of physical media in my life. I live with the ghosts of entertainment.

Rather than compiling the list of games I’d take to the Vault with me though, today I’m aiming to put together a collection, one from each genre, that I’d use to introduce those genres to a PC gaming newcomer, or a lapsed gamer. A friend inspired this particular bundle of joy, someone who grew up with an Amiga but developed other interests and hasn’t touched a game for more than a few minutes at a time, either console or PC, for over fifteen years. A recent illness has left him unable to engage in his usual outdoor hobbies and games have filled the gap.

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Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition Is Out

We knew that Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition [official site] was coming today, so its arrival is no surprise. We knew what to expect too: split-screen co-op; improved graphics; more voice-over; controller support; a reworked story; revamped loot and economy systems; an overhauled skill system; and so on. I’m still impressed looking at the changelist detailing almost 1,300 changes that are now here for Larian’s fantasy RPG – and that’s excluding bug fixes and things too minor to mention.

You go on ahead and download the Enhanced Edition now – it’s a separate download, but free to all Original Sin owners – and I’ll pick over the changelog.

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Before/After – Divinity: Original Sin’s Enhancements

In a typically laid back yet pleasantly upbeat and enthusiastic dev video, Larian Studios have detailed all that is new and fresh and shiny in their Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition [official site] ahead of its release next week.

Adam was impressed by what he played of the Enhanced Edition at Gamescom earlier this year, and now you can see many of its improvements side-by-side with the original in this here video below:

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The RPG Scrollbars: Oktoberquest

This month, it seems like just about every major RPG out there is getting a major update. Divinity: Original Sin. Wasteland 2. Guild Wars 2. Even Deus Ex! All we need is for someone to announce that they’ve secretly been upgrading Darklands on the sly and we’ll have the whole set. Here’s a quick look at what’s taking a level up on a PC near you.

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