Divinity 2

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

I’ve been playing Divinity: Original Sin with Adrian over at The Gaming Observer lately (go check out his flash briefing, by the way. It’s great.) and it’s been making me think about the origins of the Divinity series again. Many people remember the highly successful Kickstarters and games that followed for the Original Sin games but many often forget that Larian has been making Divinity games since all the way back in 2002. Today, let’s skip over that one awkward spin-off and jump straight to today’s game, Divinity 2: Ego Draconis, developed by Larian Studios and released on PC and Xbox 360 in 2009.

The Original Sin games take significant inspiration from classic CRPGs, Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, so it can be a jolt to remember that the original Divinity games took their prime inspiration from the action RPG, Diablo. You start the game by picking a character class but then, as you level up, you can progress in any direction on the open skill tree, crafting your character in any direction you wish. 

The game is shown from a third-person perspective, one of the only games in the series to use this camera style. Players can run freely around the environments, jump at will, and attack with the press of a button. Combat feels less like Divinity and more like the Fable games in this entry. Inventory management is where the Diablo-roots still shine through. Loot is dropped by every enemy and the character must manage plenty of weapons, armor of all types, and jewelry, all with special bonuses attached. 

Divinity 2’s plot follows the first game and the spin-off Beyond Divinity. Lucian has become the divine, savior of the land of Rivellon, but his son, Damian, has rebelled against Lucian and the two sides are currently preparing for war. Damian’s anger is due to the death of his love, Ygerna, whom he hopes to revive. Your character is on Damian’s side of this conflict and must choose what path to follow in the war to come. Divinity 2 features full dialogue trees, allowing players to make choices in the quests throughout the game.

The original version of Ego Draconis was not well received, either on PC or Xbox 360. The graphics were poor for their time and the 360 version especially was riddled with glitches and problems. The story was well received although they noted that playing the previous games was important for understanding the story, something that players may not have done considering the relative obscurity of Divine Divinity, particularly in the US. After the release of a DLC pack, Flames of Vengeance, the game was re-released with several patches as The Dragon Knight Saga and this version was better received on both the PC and 360. A Director’s Cut version has also been released in the years since and is available on GOG and Steam.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.