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Review - Divinity: Original Sin

7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the RealmRPGamer Staff
edited August 2014 in Latest Updates
Successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns can bring out the best and worst in man. Larian Studios aimed to be more divine than sinful in delivering on its promises, and maybe the original sin here is that publishers won't fund traditional-style computer RPGs anymore.

Review
The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.

Comments

  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    Thanks for tacklin' this and giving us the full load down. I think the negatives are just enough for me to hold off on buying this when it eventually hits a GoG sale (I abhor old school puzzle mechanics like clues you only hear once). However, everything else looks interesting enough for me to look forward to the time when I do get to take a solid crack at it.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Jmustang1968Jmustang1968 RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    I have heard non-stop positive feedback on this. Since it is digital only, I will wait until I am ready to play it to buy. I have several other games already on my plate I need to knock out.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    I know, right? It is pretty positive, but as Glen points out, there are a few things that may hold it back for some (like ppl who don't care to use a FAQ). Like you, I don't see much of a point of buying digital stuff day one, especially given how fast it goes down in price...though I will occasionally do so for a really good game that presses enough good buttons for me because I do want to support efforts (like this) that do old school ideas right (for the most part). It's a shame (IMHO) that they had that one, dreaded old school mechanic I hate the most.... hidden items/puzzles/clues/etc required to beat the main plot (which are in SPADES in Dragon Warrior II, which I recently beat). I'm cool with them for optional bosses, items, etc., but the challenge when they are required for the main plot... if the player doesn't get the puzzle, misses the item, etc., it stops the game's progress in its tracks. It's a minor speed bump for those who don't mind FAQs, but a major irritant to those who do not.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Jmustang1968Jmustang1968 RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    jcservant wrote: »
    I know, right? It is pretty positive, but as Glen points out, there are a few things that may hold it back for some (like ppl who don't care to use a FAQ). Like you, I don't see much of a point of buying digital stuff day one, especially given how fast it goes down in price...though I will occasionally do so for a really good game that presses enough good buttons for me because I do want to support efforts (like this) that do old school ideas right (for the most part). It's a shame (IMHO) that they had that one, dreaded old school mechanic I hate the most.... hidden items/puzzles/clues/etc required to beat the main plot (which are in SPADES in Dragon Warrior II, which I recently beat). I'm cool with them for optional bosses, items, etc., but the challenge when they are required for the main plot... if the player doesn't get the puzzle, misses the item, etc., it stops the game's progress in its tracks. It's a minor speed bump for those who don't mind FAQs, but a major irritant to those who do not.

    Yeah, you might've just convinced me to buy it now to support it lol
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    I know, right? I think we need to support these old school efforts done well. It's the hidden stuff that even made me take a step back. I still may pull the trigger now, rather than wait for a sale. I'm not sure. If it was before Dragon Warrior II drove me near insane with required, hidden artifacts, I may have not given it this much thought, hahahaha.

    So, how about you, JM. Do those things bother ya? (Required, hidden stuff, clues you have to remember and figure out from 14 NPCs ago, etc)? Do you just FAQ them, or have you found your memory and detective skill so good you just breeze through them?
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Jmustang1968Jmustang1968 RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    jcservant wrote: »
    I know, right? I think we need to support these old school efforts done well. It's the hidden stuff that even made me take a step back. I still may pull the trigger now, rather than wait for a sale. I'm not sure. If it was before Dragon Warrior II drove me near insane with required, hidden artifacts, I may have not given it this much thought, hahahaha.

    So, how about you, JM. Do those things bother ya? (Required, hidden stuff, clues you have to remember and figure out from 14 NPCs ago, etc)? Do you just FAQ them, or have you found your memory and detective skill so good you just breeze through them?

    I never really liked the puzzles but they dont really bother me. I will give it a few tries, and if it stumps me, I will faq it up. I dont mind using faqs. I hate missing hidden items and characters.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    Many puzzles in the game aren't much more than a lever or two and a pressure plate. Most of the time, you just do stuff to them until a door opens and it only takes a few minutes. The hope is that failed attempts don't incinerate your party. There was one (I thought) nasty puzzle that involves finding tiny buttons in a room full of junk, then realizing one of the pieces of junk is actually a cryptic solution to the buttons. I figured that one out, but it was frustrating and took a long time, mostly spent finding one of the damn buttons. A couple other puzzles might be 4 levers in a room with no instructions or 4 pressure plates in a room with no instructions. The apparent simplicity makes it annoying when you can't figure out the solution quickly.

    I needed to use online assistance for puzzles twice. Both of them involved finding tiny buttons in a large room, but this time they were invisible unless you had high perception and stood next to them. That's why I whined about that in the review.

    The game does have the habit of putting uber-locked chests and treasure rooms in plain sight, though. I didn't figure all of them out, but that's something that will drive a perfectionist mad or to an online help thread. There's one treasure chest I found early in the game, and its key was in a place I found 70 hours later. So that's a thing...

    In all, I just didn't take things that looked optional too seriously. If I couldn't figure something out, I left it. When I got to the end of the game and was missing 2 important things, I looked them up online.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    Yeah. I feel for Glenn since I imagine there weren't many FAQs out there when he played the game for review, lol!! I don't know how some people do it.

    Still, I'm sure the necessary info for this game will be out sooner rather than later. Yeah, I might just go ahead and do it. We really should support these games at retail if we want them to make more of them!
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • NimNim _ Full Members
    edited August 2014
    A good review all in all.

    For me this is GOTY so far, though I admit that I am only in the second area. The story can't compare to the best games in the genre but the combat system is great. I haven't had so much fun with a game in years. I don't mind no quest markers and not so obvious information. It's refreshing to have to think for yourself for a change.
  • scorpio_7scorpio_7 Tactics Ogre, I choose u! Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I plopped over a hundred hours into this one.... I clearly got my money's worth. It's nice to have a game that I can do that with and enjoy the ride.
    Check out my writing and art by following this link to my work: www.stevenmouland.com
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    Overall I really love this game. The combat is the game's biggest strength. This is the kind of turn-based, tactical combat I love and I'd love to see future RPGs be influenced by it. The interface does occasionally cause problems (there's been a few times when a misclick caused my archer to run towards the enemy instead of attacking them (right into fire or poison sometimes). It's not too bad but you need to carefully pay attention to where your cursor is (you could also avoid this problem by clicking on the enemy's portrait instead). My only other gripe with the combat is that there seems to be some balance issues. My characters are currently level 13, I'm playing on hard, and am currently finding most of the combat has become too easy. Perhaps I've just built my party too well for combat (I could've focused more on thief or personality skills), or maybe I'm a tactical mastermind (I don't think that's the case) but I do find myself almost wishing for a very hard setting. Due to the open-worldy nature of the game I could probably try to go find an area where the enemies are higher level but I'd rather not do that. Perhaps the difficulty will pick up again later.

    I'm not crazy about the puzzles in the game but there's only one that drove me crazy enough to need to look up tips I think. It was basically a trial and error puzzle, which I hate. But for the most part I do like how the game "doesn't hold your hand". There's been maybe a couple points of frustration; for ex: during a murder investigation early in the game, I found I simply couldn't get into a suspect's house until after completely searching a different suspect's home first. Most of the time the game lets you do things in any order, but there's a few doors that can't be bashed or picked so you absolutely must find the key / switch / lever.

    But those are really minor issues; my experience with this game has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The story isn't the greatest and the humor sometimes gets a little sillier than I care for in an RPG, but the gameplay is fantastic. There's a decent amount of options for creating your characters as well. It's the kind of cRPG where you could spend hours just looking at all of the available skills / talents and planning out how you'll advance your characters. I highly recommend that any fan of tactical oriented RPGs pick it up NOW!
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I'm still thinking if I should get it or not. I do like the combat system in this game, but I generally don't like complex games where you can actually do something wrong that makes NPCs dislike you.
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    I'm still thinking if I should get it or not. I do like the combat system in this game, but I generally don't like complex games where you can actually do something wrong that makes NPCs dislike you.

    I haven't entirely figured out exactly to what extent making NPCs dislikes you affects things. On my first playthrough I'm trying to be basically a good person (with sticky fingers) so I haven't really upset any NPCs much. I think lowering an NPC's opinion of you will cause them to ask for a bit more when you trade with them (and virtually every NPC has items to trade), but this isn't really a big deal because there's a ton of loot in this game; I would argue that there's TOO much loot in fact. So things like the bartering and lucky charm abilities really aren't worth investing in. Some time I will have to try the game being an absolute jerk to everyone and see what happens. I'm not sure if it can get to the point where a mob of townspeople will come after you with torches and pitchforks... I think I saw mention of something about being thrown in jail but it hasn't happened to me yet :) Really, it seems like you have to try to piss NPCs off in this game. If you're worried about that, just don't steal from them and you should be OK for the most part. (Or if you want to steal, make sure to put a lot of points into sneaking and pick-pocketing so you don't get caught). I disagree with my companions all the time but that doesn't seem to matter (I don't think it gets to the point where they'll leave the party or anything like that).
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I'm mostly hesitating because I recently tried Divine Divinity (because it was in the humble bundle) and there the game didn't even tell me what items I can take and which not, so I just took everything lieing around, no warning, no NPC telling me that I shouldn't take his items and suddenly the NPCs didn't like me anymore. I didn't find that very intuitive. =/

    Not to mention that I retried again and then I just accidentally clicked on an item not belonging to me (thought I can just click on that area to investigate it and it automatically took the items from the drawer) and BAM again more disliking. =/
  • freykinfreykin Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    This one updates that aspect to make it really clear if you can take something or not, and even if it's someone else's, if no one sees you do it, I think (not certain on this) it doesn't affect your reputation with them.

    It's hard for me to resist after playing so many console games where the first thing you do upon entering a town is loot everyone's houses, but it seems like it's still possible to do without being too much of a hassle if you focus on it.
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2014
    Is it possible to play through the game without stealing anything?
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    Is it possible to play through the game without stealing anything?


    Yeah. Some items laying around NPCs homes are up for grabs. If you hover the mouse cursor over any item, it will turn orange if the NPC doesn't want you to have it. Same with doors you don't have permission to enter. I think I read that if NPCs have a high opinion of you, they will allow you to take more of their stuff, too. I think even if you click on (orange) items that aren't yours, the NPC usually even gives you a warning, or in the case of a merchant, asks you if you'd like to trade for it. The feedback for NPC attitudes is immediate too, so even if you did ever make a mistake, you can just reload (and you can save anywhere in this game).

    And like I said, enemies drop so much stuff, there's never really a pressing need to steal things. Not to mention all the random junk you can find outside in barrels, crates, etc. Stealing in this game is more about role-playing than something you actually need to do to get enough gold.


    There's one quest I've come across where one way to solve it is by picking someone's pockets to obtain a quest item but it's not even the only way to complete the quest. You really don't even need to invest in any of the thief skills because virtually every chest or door that is pickable is also bashable. Besides stealing, sneaking can also be useful to scout out an area or for backstabbing. And there's one quest I can think of where you'll have to sneak around someone's house a bit, but you won't even make that person dislike you as long as you don't get spotted going into their back room.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • TheDoomhammerTheDoomhammer Prod with the Prod Full Members
    edited August 2014
    Mind you, stealing everyone's paintings is the best way to make early gold. Plates and cutlery, too! Being a thief is quite fun, I'll never get sick of the ol' 'have one character talk to an npc to get its attention, have the other character sneak behind them and steal everything not nailed down' trick.

    Edit: that's actually a good tip for combat too. When a boss is talking to one of your characters, you can use the opportunity to position your other characters. This makes certain fights much, much easier.
  • BalanceBalance Member Full Members
    edited August 2014
    I see ya Sennaria XD, I'm so buying this game, but it just depends on if I can hold out for a sale.
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    I have heard non-stop positive feedback on this. Since it is digital only, I will wait until I am ready to play it to buy. I have several other games already on my plate I need to knock out.

    It's not entirely digital only. There's a boxed copy as well as a limited collector's edition boxed copy. It may not be the type of game that would be sold at Gamestop and it may not even be distributed in all countries, but there's definitely boxed copies out there. Probably a low print run as I don't see the regular edition on eBay or Amazon right now.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed Full Members
    edited August 2014
    The boxed edition may have been Kickstarter exclusive?

    I definitely need to grab this game, just waiting to have time. Sounds like old-school PC gamer heaven.
    Becky Cunningham, Happy Snappy RPGamer Alum
    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited August 2014
    Oce is right. It was only in the higher tiers.

    rewards_Matrix_Physical_big.jpg
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    Ocelot wrote: »
    The boxed edition may have been Kickstarter exclusive?

    I definitely need to grab this game, just waiting to have time. Sounds like old-school PC gamer heaven.

    Hmm, I know they were selling the limited edition direct through their website, but apparently not the regular boxed copy. Perhaps they were only selling it in Europe; I know they had a deal with Daedalic to distribute the game over there.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





  • Jmustang1968Jmustang1968 RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2014
    Yeah I somehow missed this kickstarter, and I have kickstarted several games now. I guess I missed out. They were selling extras on their site, but those sold out as well. :(
  • Rya_ReisenderRya_Reisender Solipsist Snowflake Full Members
    edited August 2014
    There's definitely a boxed edition available on German Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.de/Divinity-Original-Sin-PC-MAC/dp/B008XF8IY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407217251&sr=8-1&keywords=Divinity+Original+Sin
    This is however the Steam version, it's NOT DRM-free!

    Also Amazon seems to have exclusive rights to sell the boxed collector's edition (but it's sold out already):
    http://www.amazon.de/Divinity-Original-Collectors-exklusiv-Amazon/dp/B00KAZ2544/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407217251&sr=8-2&keywords=Divinity+Original+Sin
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited August 2014
    There's definitely a boxed edition available on German Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.de/Divinity-Original-Sin-PC-MAC/dp/B008XF8IY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407217251&sr=8-1&keywords=Divinity+Original+Sin
    This is however the Steam version, it's NOT DRM-free!

    Also Amazon seems to have exclusive rights to sell the boxed collector's edition (but it's sold out already):
    http://www.amazon.de/Divinity-Original-Collectors-exklusiv-Amazon/dp/B00KAZ2544/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407217251&sr=8-2&keywords=Divinity+Original+Sin

    Yeah and the in game text appears to be only in German (although a patch might allow for more language options), so I guess it is digital-only for English speakers who didn't back the KS. I had a boxed copy, but I already sold it since I also got a GOG key.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire





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