Review by INoble
A European RPG For A Change.
RPG's from European companies are few and far between, so as a UK based gamer I am always pleased to see such releases. This pleasure is increased when the game is one as good as Divinity II from the German based Larian Studies.
The game plays very much like a version of the Elder Scrolls series with a similar combat system and open world to explore. There is a main quest and a multitude of side quests. However the big difference (in every sense of the word) is that you get to transform into a dragon which can fly around and destroy things with its fiery breath.
The gameplay is challenging at first with your weakling character. The areas you can enter tend to be limited by your level and if you find yourself facing enemies of a higher level (and dying very quickly) it is best to go elsewhere.
Character customization is limited and there are only 3 main classes to choose from - warrior, mage or ranger. However these blur over the course of the game as you develop various skills. There are no races, only male or female human.
You can use alchemy to create potions, charms and enchantments are available for the huge range of equipment, you can create a companion creature to fight with you from the discarded body parts of your enemies.
There are lots of things to find and collect in barrels, chests, vases and scattered throughout the landscape. This can make inventory control a problem as you will find that you exceed the original 100 item limit all the time.
The game only really takes off after some hours when you acquire a base to store stuff and your own personal alchemist, necromancer, blacksmith and combat trainer.
You can hot key skills and items to your direction pad or control keys. However as these share other in-game functions you can find yourself using them when you don't want to.
If you find the game to 'challenging' there is a difficulty slider you can use at any time.
The story is pretty generic with your character up against a megalomaniac who wants to destroy the world. However the multitude of sidequests adds greatly to the storyline and many of them have a quirky sense of humour which runs throughout the game. For example one quest can be solved by using a rune that allows you to create an unlimited supply of chickens!
You will need to talk to everyone and explore every nook and cranny to discover all the quests and items required to solve them. Like Oblivion your can make moral choices and there is often more than one way to solve the problems you face.
One of the pleasures of the game is simply exploring the vast world and discovering all its secrets.
Graphics are OK and the sound is good quality with generic heroic background music and sound effects. The voice acting is not oscar winning but not as bad as many other games I have played.
I am far from the end of the game and have already put many happy hours in playing. I would imagine at least 40 hours if you explore thoroughly and complete all the sidequests.
It might be worth replaying as a different class of character or at a higher difficulty or as a god/evil character.
With the dearth of good European RPG titles and the general shortage of good game in the post-festive 'famine' this is an excellent purchase and should tide you over until FFXIII bursts onto the scene next year.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Divinity II: Ego Draconis (EU, 11/20/09)
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