Posts Tagged ‘Larian Studios’

Divinity: Original Sin 2 launching properly in September

As Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] charges screaming through early access, developers Larian have announced a release date for the full version: September 14th. For early access roleplayers, though, Larian have released a hefty update including the tutorial with a fight against a kraken, the new home base on a captured warship, new areas, improved AI, and plenty more. You can see some of all this in a new dev diary if you aren’t distracted by how swish their offices are: Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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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We Spoke To Developers About Steam User Reviews

Recent changes to Steam reviews, which filter out reviews from keys that weren’t purchased directly through Valve’s digital store, have caused all sorts of worry and concern. The intent is to remove false positives in the form of reviews exchanged for keys and the like, but legitimate reviews are also affected. Games that were Kickstarted no longer have their backers’ assessment contributing toward the rating Steam displays at the top of the page, and people buying through Humble Bundles or elsewhere are similarly excluded by default.

We contacted a variety of developers and publishers, including Larian, Stardock and Mode 7, to hear if they thought the move might stamp down on unfair practices, or whether it would end up hurting rather than helping.

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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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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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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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Chris Avellone Divinity: Original Sin 2 As Writer

Chris Avellone is going to be a writer on Divinity 2: Original Sin [official site]. His involvement was confirmed at the 11th hour of Larian Studio’s already successful Kickstarter project – though not as a stretch goal, for once.

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Divinity Original Sin 2’s Competitive Roleplaying And Diverging Narratives Are Boldly Inventive

Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site] has just landed on Kickstarter but we’ve already played an early build. It’s an ambitious sequel, supporting up to four players who will now be able to compete as their objectives overlap and diverge. As well as bringing about the life and death of the party, Original Sin 2 brilliantly overhauls its predecessor’s turn-based combat and introduces multiple playable races and an origin system that defines each character’s evolving place in the world.

Bold and inventive, it adds complex layers of overlapping narrative consequences to Original Sin’s world of interlocking systems. This is how it works.

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Divinity: Original Sin II Heading To Kickstarter This Month

At Gamescom, I spent some time with Larian and Divinity: Original Sin’s Enhanced Edition [official site]. It’s almost completely redesigned, adding controller support for splitscreen local co-op, containing considerable rewrites and additions, and retooling everything from specific quests to the entire loot system. There’s also full voice acting and a revamped character development system, which should maintain interesting progression right through the end-game.

Pleasing as it is to see improvements to a great game, it’s even more pleasing to hear news of an innovative sequel. Divinity: Original Sin II will be coming to Kickstarter on August 26th and we’ll be taking a close look at the plans next week. From previous conversations with the devs, I reckon the intent is to push the simulation of the world and I’m hugely excited to see what that involves.

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“We’re experimenting with something that nobody’s done before” – Larian On Original Sin’s Enhanced Edition

Divinity Original Sin [official site] is one of the finest and most distinctive RPGs of recent years. That’s quite an accomplishment given the level of competition that exists at what is hopefully the dawn of a renaissance for the genre. When Larian told us that an Enhanced Edition of the game was coming later this year we spoke to Larian’s founder, Swen Vincke, to learn more about what exactly this massive overhaul entails.

Free to people who own the original release but also releasing as a new game on console, PC and Mac alike, it contains much more than visual polish. Quests have been rewritten, new side stories have been added, splitscreen co-op and controller support are in, and full voice acting has been recorded. We discuss all of that, as well as some of the smaller changes, along with some hints as to what’s next for Larian.

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The Bestest Best Kickstarter Of 2014 – Divinity: Original Sin

In a year when the genre seemed to be in the ascendant once again, Divinity: Original Sin is the most playful and experimental RPG in a strong field. Taking its cues from the intricately interactive world of Ultima VII as much as previous Divinity titles, Original Sin is one of the year’s finest games.

Adam: Partly crowdfunded, wholly crowdpleasing.

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How Divine! Divinity: Original Sin Gets New Companions

Divinity: Original Sin is at the very top of my “ooo, RPGs” teetering stack, making it actually significantly more difficult to reach than if it were in the middle somewhere. It’s nice, then, that while waiting for me personally to get around to it, Larian Studios keep updating their Kickstarter-funded hit. The latest update comes along with some free DLC that adds two new companions. They are Bairdotr (pronounced “Bear Daughter,” awesomely), a ranger who is seeking the druid that raised her, and Wolgraff, a mute rogue who’s been stealing from a wishing well. Also updated are the systems for listening to the conversations being had by your co-op partner and a number of minor fixes, which are listed over on Steam. Update video below.

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Ooh You Rascal! Divinity: Original Sin Adds AI Personalities

Yes, but how does this make you feel?

A nice bit of conflict always livens up a party–an argument here, a thrown punch there, an explosive cloud of poison out in the garden. As promised, Larian have added more AI personality profiles to Divinity: Original Sin so you can stoke friendships and flare-ups if you fancy. This was planned for launch but, er, they ran out of time while it was in Early Access. The first patch arrived yesterday, bringing AI personalities along with oodles of bug fixes and balance tweaks and other patchy stuff.

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Wot I Think: Divinity – Original Sin

Some RPGs are built around systems and some are built around scripts. Divinity: Original Sin is an example of the former and its one of the finest I’ve ever seen. Oops. Gave away the ending. Larian’s lates is a single or two-player cooperative RPG with turn-based combat, crafting and an enormous world full of objects to interact with and NPCs to converse with or kill. No knowledge of previous Divinity games is required but an appreciation of the older school of roleplaying may help you to acquire this particular taste.

It’s a sprawling game, responsible for some of the most interesting experiences I’ve had in all my years of gaming. I could write about it for weeks but I’ve limited myself to a single feature. For now. It’s broken up into three parts, all of which are below.

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Nude Skins Ahoy! Divinity Original Sin Editor Due This Week

This screenshot was named 'FANTASTIC WORLD TO EXPLORE.png' in the press kit.

Divinity: Original Sin may not be officially launching until next Monday but, as it’s been on Steam Early Access since January, fans will already have a fair idea of what they’d like more of in the RPG and what they’d like changed. They’ll get to make a start on that this week, as developers Larian today announced they’ll release the turn-based RPG’s editor this Thursday.

What do we think fans get their hands dirty with first? Nude skins? Rebalancing? Jokes we still enjoy but feel nervous cracking because they might be wearing thin? Larian have beat everyone to the punch with that last one, as the sample mod they’re including with the editor is Cow Simulator 2014.

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Adam In Greaves – Divinity: Original Sin Gets Release Date

Pretty sure there's a Led Zeppelin song about this

Divinity: Original Sin may not have the big name backing of, say, Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2, but the gorgeous-looking chip off Ultima VII’s block has impressed us time and time again. Rare is the role-player that offers this degree of choice and reactivity, not to mention a world of spontaneous, non-scripted orc wars and clairvoyant cattle. Larian’s spent years (and nearly $1 million in Kickstarter money) putting all the pieces in place, and now it wants you to knock them all down like a particularly careless Godzilla. Divinity will be out in June, but you can try the Early Access version – which just received a lumbering ogre spider of an update – right now.

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Larian On Near-Closure, Divinity’s Future, Gender Parity

Divinity: Original Sin is looking positively divine. Honestly, in the sheer heat of the moment, I might be more excited about it than Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2. I already spoke at length with Larian head Swen Vincke during a massive video play session, but that wasn’t enough. Afterward, we chatted about everything from the studio’s rocky, too-close-to-closure-for-comfort history to the possibility of using Divinity’s engine on a non-fantasy RPG to the chances that Larian goes back to Kickstarter. On top of all that, Vincke told me why having gender parity (one male, one female) on his writing team turned out to be the “best decision ever.”

Vincke’s admirably frank answers to roughly a million questions are below. 

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A Game And A Chat – Divinity: Original Sin’s Divine Depth

In a year potentially chock full of amazing classic-style RPGs (Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, the beginnings of Torment, etc), it’s easy to overlook Divinity: Original Sin. That, however, would be a tremendous mistake given that the Ultima-VII-inspired Kickstarter darling looks to have depth and personality in spades.

I corralled Larian in my very own (adoptive) hometown of San Francisco, and we played the opus-in-the-making’s latest build. I had to pre-record this one sans a camera, unfortunately, but Larian head Swen Vincke showed me nearly two hours of late-game (read: not in the alpha) gameplay and discussed how players can kill every NPC and still progress, non-violent approaches, how Larian *wants* us to break its systems, how it plans to avoid another disastrous Divinity II: Ego Draconis-style launch (despite some rather pressing bugs in the current version), comedy in a normally self-serious genre, talking to animals, and gobs more. This one is now near the top of my most-anticipated list. Tune in below.

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