Divinity: Original Sin 2 received critical acclaim last year for its compelling storytelling and high-quality gameplay.
And with the game finally releasing on PS4 and Xbox One, it’s now fair to say that one of the best RPGs ever made has, somehow, been made even better.
From the character creation screen, you can tell Larian have crafted something special. You can, of course, customise your character however you see fit, tweaking their eye colour, stature and build. You can even create your own classes! But Divinity 2 also offers pre-built characters with their own intriguing back stories and quirks.
These characters can offer an easy entry point for gamers who just want to dive in and acquaint themselves with the world in the most user-friendly way, whether you want to be jester-like Lohse, or the enigmatic Fane.
Where the Definitive Edition of Divinity 2 starts to kick in is with a brand new tutorial section added to the beginning of the game. Previously, you’d climb to the upper deck of the ship after awaking in unfortunate circumstances and the game would proceed. But now you can have an interesting encounter with a guard, a sheep, and a prisoner.
As tutorials go, it does a brilliant job of introducing you to the mechanics without being patronizing or overly convoluted, and even shows glimpses of the games’ trademark humour while tying in nicely to the existing narrative.
The Explorer mode also enables you to play the game with the lowest amount of difficulty. There’s still combat and near-death situations to contend with, but Explorer basically means you can play the story mostly uninterrupted and without struggling to keep up. This is the perfect mode for those who find RPGs a little too taxing but just want to enjoy the game’s excellent character development and narrative pacing.
Divinity 2 can be played however you feel most comfortable. You can dive headfirst into every combat situation – which breaks down into a standard turn-based affair – or you can sneak around the environment hidden in a bush, hoping nobody will notice you. Depending on what attributes you’ve chosen, this also extends to dialogue options, meaning you can avoid major conflicts. You can even talk yourself out of harms way.
This also opens itself up to a variety of ways in which any one situation can be handled. Persuade a guard to give you a key, intimidate someone who is threatening you and cause them to back off. And this also affects the relationships with your characters who are always watching what you’re doing. They can even do things independently of you, like have secret conversations with NPCs.
Divinity 2 is a massive, open-ended game that offers a brain-melting amount of possibilities. It plays well and looks great, the voice acting is top notch, and the music is beautifully composed. Even the console controls work seamlessly.
But perhaps the game’s most subtle and even startling inclusion is the drop-in, drop-out co-op. For such a highly ambitious, hardcore, and involving RPG as this, it’s staggering, then, you can wander the environment together and play the game with a buddy at your side. An extremely rare find in a genre like this and one that works very well.
That’s the beauty of Divinity 2. It is as involving and complex as anything else on the market right now, but the barrier for entry can also be lowered to make it one of the most accessible RPGs you’ll ever play. Larian have, in one sweeping motion, created an RPG for everyone to enjoy.
This Definitive Edition on consoles doesn’t just celebrate a magnificent game coming to PS4 and Xbox One, there’s some massive fundamental changes here, such as tweaks to the UI and, more significantly, huge rewrites to the latter portions of the game with new quests, characters, and plot points.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition is phenomenal. It strikes a balance few other RPGs have been able to achieve, successfully marrying up accessibility with complexity, while amazingly offering a world full of depth and substance. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the finest RPGs this generation, but it will also go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.
+ World full of depth and substance
+ Accessible for everyone
+ So many varied outcomes
+ Fantastic writing and character development
+ Co-operative component works brilliantly
+ Everything gels and works together so well
– Minor bugs
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
10 out of 10
Tested on PS4
Code provided by the publisher