You Should Try: Divinity – Original Sin | A Turn-Based Combat RPG

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Greetings and welcome, I’m Ash, and today
I’m here to recommend you Divinity: Original Sin, a combat orientated turn-based RPG that
offers you a myriad of ways to blast away your enemies in either singleplayer, or co-op
multiplayer with someone who will hopefully remain your friend even after you accidentally
lob a fireball straight at their nether regions. Before I go over anything else, its worth
mentioning that even though Divinity features co-op multiplayer the entire game is perfectly
beatable in singleplayer alone. The only issue you will ever run in to while playing solo
is that sometimes you will be required to hold an argument… between yourself and yourself.
Its a bit weird, I’ll be the first one to admit that, but if you’re willing to suspend
your sanity for a couple of minutes and roleplay as two completely different people you will
be able to enjoy the same sort of thing the multiplayer version offers. On the other hand, if you have a friend who
shares your love for RPGs and doesn’t mind the occasional difficulty spike, you will
find that Divinity offers the type of gameplay experience you will find nowhere else. With
rather difficult battles and friendly fire being permanently on you will need to plan
ahead, use the environment to your advantage whenever possible, combo spells and effects
with devastating results, and most importantly, prop each other’s weaknesses in order to ensure
you actually make it out alive, and not as a brand new chew toy for a zombie dog. You might accidentally hit each other every
now and then, but as long as you don’t make it a frequent occurrence it will simply be
one of those things that make for a hilarious story down the line. For example, I still
remember one moment early in the game when me (a mage) and my friend (a melee orientated
rogue) were fighting a bunch of bloated, disgusting zombies. Since they were proving to be tougher
opponents than anyone could’ve expected we decided to employ a good old fashioned fireball
scroll against them, as gas-filled zombies tend to light up like Christmas candles when
touched by even the slightest ember. Unfortunately for my friend, we learned that
zombies also tend to explode violently when you force-feed them a generous serving of
fireball, a realization that resulted in my friend getting completely engulfed in flames
and now desperately searching through his inventory for anything that might save him
from his fiery demise. While he was scrambling through his backpack I managed to remain calm
and observant, and so I spotted an entire barrel of water just laying around in the
middle of nowhere, an incredible stroke of fortune! Triumphantly I used my telekinesis
skill to lift the barrel and smash it over my friend… only to realize that the symbol
I thought was water actually represented oil, and that I had just chucked an entire barrel
full of easily flammable liquid on someone was already struggling with a fire-based problem…
woops! While all of that seems like an elaborate
joke that happens only once in a lifetime, the truth is that nearly every encounter in
Divinity has some sort of environmental effect, or interesting object placement that facilitates
unique and exciting encounters. It doesn’t always have to be fancy either, simply putting
a hill or a couple of trees in the way will greatly affect the course of a battle, as
will the addition of a single barrel of oil, or perhaps a bunch of explosive enemies you
can then teleport straight into the biggest cluster of enemies, and then detonate with
hilarious results. Choice is the bread and butter when it comes
to the combat in Divinity. You not only have to make choices on which talents to take,
which spells to learn, and what class to play, but also make sure to use the appropriate
spell at the most opportune time, and this is harder than it sounds since a single character
can have upwards of 20 spells, without even including grenades or other such consumable
items. As you might imagine, there are some spells and combinations that are almost always
good, spells such as the fireball or flaming butterfly, but there is also an incredible
amount of niche buffs and effects that have an enormous impact if used at the right time,
and it is this process of figuring out the “when and why” that makes Divinity so compelling
to me. Simply having a lot of choices, however, doesn’t
mean the gameplay has any depth to it, as many have learned for the first time with
the launch version of Diablo 3 that sported something around ~200 spell permutations per
class, with only ~10 of those being even worthy of consideration. Thankfully, the combat in
Divinity (especially on the harder difficulties) manages to be just that right amount of annoying
that it forces you to think outside of the box, without ever becoming so annoyingly difficult
that it makes you want to tear your hair out, chuck your mouse at the wall, and smash the
hypothetical box with a very real, and very large hammer. The reason Divinity manages to do this is
because the difficulty is handled through what I like to call the “everything is equally
unfair” principle. You can create massive storm clouds that stun enemies for multiple
turns if they’re unlucky enough to be stuck within one, but on the other hand, they can
do so as well! You can counter this by either avoiding the area the storm will hit, drinking
a potion of air protection, or applying some sort of resistance buff to yourself, but so
can they! You can decimate your opponents in a couple of hits, thus making your spells
and abilities always feel powerful and awesome, but much like your opponents, you can’t take
much punishment either. When you combine this with some extremely
stylish graphics and sound effects, you get a combat system that is exciting both in terms
of strategy, but also in terms of spectacle. Corralling your enemies in to a tight spot,
oiling them up and setting them ablaze with a gigantic fireball is satisfying enough from
a “plan well done” sort of perspective, but the impressive visual effects and the WOOSH
of the fireball as it flies towards its destination only serve to make an already great combat
system feel even better. As far as combat goes I very few complaints
as it manages to be difficult but fair, chaotic yet still understandable, and most importantly,
filled with a whole bunch of background objects, effects and traps that you can use to approach
each encounter in your own personal way, whether that be through the use of overwhelming force,
clever use of area of effect abilities to force enemies to bunch together, or whatever
else comes to your mind. The one complaint I will level against the combat system is
that the first few levels are unnecessarily harsh as you only have access to a measly
few spells, spells that don’t tend to get their job done very well when you have an
entire menagerie of the undead chasing after you. You may have noticed at this point that I’ve
only focused on the combat aspects of Divinity, and what exactly I find great about them.
There is a good, or rather bad reason for this, and its the fact that the story is generic
at best, and completely laughable at worst. Even after going through a complete rewrite
with the Enhanced Edition the story in Divinity manages to somehow be simultaneously self-aware
and cheesy, but also completely serious and melodramatic, which is a combination that
makes for some cringe-worthy storytelling. To give you a spoiler free example, there
is one moment where a character discusses the upcoming end of time itself, a rather
serious matter given that we are talking about the end of everything. The dialogue is adequately
ominous, and it foreshadows the arrival of some rather nasty things, but is instantly
followed up on by numerous crappy puns, one after another. I have no problem with puns,
I even consider myself a connoisseur of shitty jokes, but if you’re trying to tell a serious
story, tell a serious story! You can’t just mix and match two completely different styles
of writing, and two completely different tones in to the same dialogue and expect everything
to work out fine and dandy. That short rant aside, the dialogue is not
badly written and the background lore is genuinely interesting, so if you do decide to play Divinity
make sure to read all of the books you encounter, talk to the NPCs, and overall try to soak
in the world and its atmosphere, just don’t expect the main story to ever go anywhere,
because it most certainly doesn’t. Divinity: Original Sin is one of my favorite
modern RPG, a fact that I’ve proven to myself by playing through it three times now with
the exact same class! The mixture of nasty encounters, great spell variety, and plenty
of elemental combinations means that each and every encounter can go a completely different
way depending on what sort of a tactical approach you choose to use this time around. I’ll be the first one to say that Divinity
is not a perfect game, but if you’re looking for an exciting combat RPG to play with a
friend (or even alone) there are very, very few games that do this sort of thing in a
better, and more enjoyable way than Divinity. In other words, you should try Divinity: Original
Sin Enhanced Edition, it has managed to provide me with countless hours of fun, and hopefully
it will do the same for you. Thank you guys for listening and if you enjoyed
this, or even if you didn’t, please do let me know. And if you would like to see more
you can either subscribe here, or check out the website linked down below, that one tends
to be updated more frequently. With all of that said, I hope you have a nice day and
I’ll see you soon, see ya!

 

5 Responses

  1. That Marty Fella

    May 2, 2016 3:10 pm

    This is an actual rpg that has co-op (not diablo clones or those kinds of games). Cant wait for Divinity OS2 because of Chris Avellone working on it! Great video as always!

    Reply

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