Posts Tagged ‘Larian Studios’

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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Springing Into Spring: Divinity – Original Sin

It’s taken an enormous amount of willpower to resist the charms of Divinity: Original Sin since the Early Access version arrived on Steam. It’s not that I’m worried about playing parts of the game before it’s complete – I’ve already spent two days in its company – it’s that I’m in need of an RPG partner. Far too many of my friends are either unnerved by the idea of traipsing through a fantasy world with me while I talk to dogs, cats and cows, or they’re digging their heels in and waiting for the full game to be released. A new video shows some of the environments due when that happy event occurs, sometime in Spring. There are also weather effects. Around thirty seconds in, a big ol’ monster slips on some ice and falls on its arse.

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Uproariously Glorious: Divinity Now On Early Access

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.

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Alphamania – Divinity: Original Sin Backer Alpha Kicks Off

There are so many early access alphas emerging from gaming’s underbrush right now – bugs exposed for all to see, freely worming around in the loam – that my pointing it out is even becoming tiresome. So let’s skip all the run-up. Divinity: Original Sin, Larian’s heavenly-looking fantasy role-player, is now available to backers in alpha form. If you didn’t back it, no dice for now. A more open beta might take place at some point down the line, but for the moment the early wallet gets the worm, or 10-15 hour chunk of an extremely promising adventure, as it were. Video and details below.

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Hands-On: Divinity – Original Sin

Preview events often involve around half an hour with a game, while carefully chaperoned through its corridors. I spent sixteen hours playing Divinity: Original Sin over two days in Belgium last week and nobody told me what I should or shouldn’t do. I spent two hours looking for a potato because I wanted to make some chips and Larian’s founder actively encouraged me in that mighty quest.

If I hadn’t had a flight to catch, I would have played for another sixteen hours over the next couple of days as well. There are more technically impressive fantasy RPGs coming out next year and there’s a great deal of work still to be done, but Larian’s latest is living up the early promise and is right near the top of my most wanted list.

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Divinity: Original Sin Condemned To 2014

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. The Bible said that, and – now that we will all be without Divinity: Original Sin until early 2014 – I’m pretty sure we’re technically allowed to throw rocks at each other for a few months. You know what that means, don’t you? STOOOOOOOONE FIIIIIIIIIIGHT! Hahaha, nearly got me Adam, hahaha there go three of my teeth, hohoho good one Lucy – you always did have the best throwing arm of any of us. Whew, what a riot. Also, I think we may have started an actual riot. While I tend to that, you go below to a) avoid losing an eye and b) watch a video explaining why stretch goals are to blame for Divinity’s definitively human error.

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Reptile High Club: Dragon Commander Out Today

I shouldn’t be surprised that Dragon Commander is out today, after all, we seem to be have been writing about it forever. Somehow, because it had been spotted in the incubation chambers of press events so often, I’d started to believe this was one speckled egg that might never hatch. Alec’s most recent preview identified the game thusly – “Dragon Commander’s a bit like an over-friendly dog that jumps up at you, headbutts you in the crotch, licks you on the eye and then farts in helpless excitement when you come home.” Is that a seven out of ten? It’s an odd game but there’s an unexpectedly descriptive launch trailer below that summarises incredibly well.

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Burn The Press: Dragon Commander’s Interactive Trailer

You 'orrible little man
My favourite thing about this interactive trailer for Divinity: Dragon Commander is the music it plays while you consider your position. It reminds me of dramatic quiz show music, adding a frisson of tension to the already taut situation you’re asked to involve yourself in. It makes me want to ask Noel Edmonds for his opinion on the matter, which is how all decisions should be made. You’re asked to mediate on a political dispute: the press are reporting on the more sensationalist aspects of the world’s leader’s lives. Should you allow them to continue, or should you stop them from printing? Listen to the arguments and make a decision. As a gamer, I’d imagine you have annotations on Youtube turned off. They’ll need to be on for this to work
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Dragon Commander’s Call To Arms Pre-Order


Divnity: Dragon Commander looks special. It looks mad and it looks silly. And it also looks like you can get into the beta right now if you pre-order. Adam has already played it, and he says: “I’d planned for dragons with jetpacks strapped to their backsides, but I hadn’t expected a skeleton to rebuke me for refusing to discriminate on grounds of gender and sexuality.”

Latest developer video below. Aren’t they handsome?
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Have A Half Hour Of Dragon Commander

What's Dragon for 'Left a bit'?
Hooray for the person who decided that dragons can have jetpacks. I get the impression that the from that moment on, Divinity: Dragon Commander was set on a path to Sillyville. Any further questions about lore were probably answered by the lead developer pointing to artwork of a dragon blasting jets out from his backpack and then a shrug. It’s a decision that ends at the inevitable cul-de-sac of an overly verbose and racist lizard man trying to get out of having a party with an imp, as is shown in this video. I’d imagined this offshoot of the Divinity series to be a lot less personable, but there’s plenty of of political maneuvering in 30 minute play through, as well as a pile of characters to talk to and make plans with before the Dragons are released.
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Breath From Above: Dragon Commander

Dragons wearing jetpacks are far from the strangest thing in Divinity: Dragon Commander. The politically charged fantasy world is a carnival of the unexpected. Take the undead – far from being clattering bags of bones with nothing to say for themselves, they include among their ranks a tragicomic princess and her fearsome fundamentalist father. It’s easy, as I did, to become distracted by the game’s abundance of character, but strategic planning and rapid-fire reactions are necessary to succeed once battle begins. The game finally has a release date – August 6th – and the video below shows various members of Larian preparing to apply the final touches.

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Divinity’s Original Win

Why is he surrounded by lips and dildos?

Another RPG sequel (spiritual or otherwise), another big Kickstarter victory. So it goes. And so Larian Studios go home with $429,508 of their desired $400,000 for Divinity: Original Sin, and that’s with 16 days left on the clock. Across its 9,472 backers, that’s an average of $45 per person. I don’t why I mention that, I just had the calculator program open anyway and thought I’d use it. For fun.

Larian’s Divinity series might have never quite set the world on fire, but it has a passionate following who’ll be clapping their hands with glee about this. As are Larian themselves.
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Hands On: Divinity – Original Sin

“Can I steal from these market stalls?”
“Of course, but there are guards…”
“Can I lead monsters into the market and if I do will the guards attack them?”
“Of course, but…”
“Can I kill that chicken? Will the guards mind if I kill that chicken?”
I’m playing Original Sin with one of the people who is responsible for making Original Sin and I am trying to cause trouble.

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Hands-On: Divinity – Dragon Commander

Divinity: Dragon Commander contains two distinct components and in just over an hour of playing, I found much to like in both. I’m not entirely sure that the parts combine in a particularly meaningful way, but the total package managed to surprise me more times in that hour than many games do in a week of playing. You may well expect one side of the game, if a fast-paced RTS revolving around dragons wearing jetpacks is ever truly expected, but it’s the remainder that inspires the strongest response.

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