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Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Gamescom 2016 Impressions

If you played Divinity: Original Sin, you know Larian is not known for making “easy” RPGs with quest markers pointing left and right. Apparently that same style has also been carried over to their bussiness booth choices in Gamescom 2016. Being experienced adventurers, we managed to find them. (Although it may or may not have taken us half an hour of searching through the same corridor!) But we quite enjoyed our first quest and reward in Divinity: Original Sin 2; because the presentation itself was amazing!

So, what’s new? You may probably find some bulleted lists through various gaming outlets already. Well, from what we can see, most of them got it right. Yes, graphics are even lovelier than before. Water effects are total eye-candies. People seem to give a lot of thought about water graphics; personally I don’t care much. Nice to have; wouldn’t notice if it was not there. So let me tell you what has changed from a hardcore RPG player perspective. I was hoping for some improvements in the sidekicks area. And even expected more interactions with the environment. (Some people are sick of my rain and lightning combo already) [Actually I’m fine with it, as long as I have my Stun Immunity ring on! -Can] I got what I wanted. And then some more…

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New customization options are definitely much better than the previous one. Especially Origin system.

First of all, now we can customize the main characters with more options than just hair shape and color. Although I really loved the hair color names in the previous game, I was really yearning for more customization options. Now we can even change our race! Our options are human, elf, lizard and undead. Yep, undead. It wasn’t in the initial build they showed at Gamescom, but what we saw was looking pretty cool. For example, the elves get the memories of the people they eat. True, they are not your typical every-day elves, but cannibals. This is a really old concept of course, some Amazon tribes practiced cannibalism to preserve the wisdom of their ancestors. Although it was a funny coincidence this also appeared in Torment: Tides of Numenera beta recently. Be careful Larian, first the masked undeads, now cannibalist memory preservers! They may have bugged your office… Anyway, I liked the concept of cannibalistic elves more than “lean built humans with slightly longer and pointy ears” and my previous experiences from talking to animals say these kind of weird abilities are both fun and extremely useful in solving puzzles. Talk with everything! Or in that case, eat everyone! The second part may sound a bit creepy, but our intentions are pure and just.

Then there are lizards. We don’t know much about this people. But from what we saw on the Kickstarter page, they don’t happen to have boobs like they do in some other fantasy worlds. Sorry D&D. Apparently not all females has to have those. Anyway, another thing we know about them is that they are slavers; and some elves hate them particularly for that. This creates an intriguing sub-plot for your characters. Because one of the other origin stories also includes an ex-slave elf with a kill-list consisting of lizard nobles. And guess what: “The Red Prince”, our lizard origin story is about an exiled lizard noble. Although he has nothing to do with that particular elf, he can still be a target for her vengeful anger. That’s the main thing Divinity: Original Sin 2 appeals to. You can be a party with different agendas, working towards the same goal. But will you be able to get along and keep your characters from killing each other? Because as developers themselves told us, conflicts between characters will be a main part of the game now. They even mentioned someone will “win” the game in the end. Now I am not sure if I want to play it with my friends; they are terribly competing people!

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There are no “lizard people with boobs” to see here. Sorry D&D…

Well, at least if you want to blow up the steam that’s came between you and your friends, you can always go to the PvP zone and get revenge on that scheming, back-stabbing trai–I mean friends! I meant to say friends! Since Divinity: Original Sin 2 supports up to 4 players now, you can gather your friends and enjoy about 20 minutes long arena sessions against each other. Although you can’t transfer your campaign characters over, you can select from a roster of predefined heroes. Now that’s a game mode I can unleash my powers without giving a damn about others! Normally I wouldn’t be too thrilled about a PvP mode in a scenario-heavy RPG; but thinking about Divinity’s combat system and elemental interactions, I must say that I’m excited! On top of what’s already in D:OS 1, they also expanded ground interactions. Now you can make it rain blood and if you have the necessary talents, you can get healing from that blood. Or you can curse that blood pool and de-buff everyone that stands on it. Is that all? Nope, not even close! You can then set that corrupted blood pool on fire and make it a “necro-fire” while debuffing and burning everyone. There are also other ground effects too, like holy-fire for instance. When you put all these together and combine them with Capture the Flag, Free-For-All, King of the Hill modes… Well, that’s Divinity: Original Sins 2 PvP system for you.

Oh, I almost forgot. The awesome soundtrack of the first game… may get even more awesome. Because now you’ll get to choose what kind of instrument you want as your character’s special theme and game will use it in defining moments. So, you can get a different experience in a second playthrough even soundtrack-wise.

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If regular fire is not enough to kill someone… Try necro-fire!

Right now there are 4 predefined characters we can play at the early access and more is on the way apparently. I personally can’t wait to try them all. Luckily Early Access starts next week so I don’t have to wait a lot. We’ll try to share our Early Access impressions as well. See you all in Rivellon, fellow sourcerers!