My usual games of choice usually include things like the Grand Theft Auto series, Call of Duty and various Simulations but today i decided to try something different – Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition. My first thoughts of the game by looking at the cover was that it is some sort of combat game by looking at the animated characters, and what they were dressed in, the stances they were in and what weapons they had so i immediately linked this game to be like Mortal Kombat.
When the game first launches you are presented with some Medieval type music and some really fascinating animated artwork of ancient ruins by the sea, on what seems to be a deserted island with an old ship in the background. Already you start to get a feel of where the game is set, in the middle of this serene environment is the games title and just below, “Press X to Start” (playing the game on Playstation 4) so i did. After pressing the X button the main menu appears with the usual stuff you see on games, Continue, New Game, Options etc. After clicking “New Game” the background of the sunny, ancient beach changes to a dark cave lit with fire lanterns, skulls on wooden posts and water on the floor – this immediately shows a darker side to the game that wasn’t before expected.
As well as the stunning graphics the game then prompts you to pick either Single-player or Online Multi-player, as this was my first time playing i settled for the single player option. After doing so another set of menus appear asking you what game mode you want – Explorer, Classic, Tactician or Honour Mode. Already this game is throwing loads of different options at you, luckily as you hover over each mode it it gives you a brief description on what that particular mode is all about. I won’t go into too much detail about the different modes but i chose the Explorer Mode, the reason being, i wanted to explore this game a bit more before going into harder, more challenging scenarios as the description of this mode was “If you prefer story and exploration over being challenged in combat, this is the difficulty for you” now i love a bit of both but to start me off i chose this.
After waiting a minute or so for the game to load, the game then prompts me to create my character, how i want them to look and what skills to start off with. This is a good feature as it allows us as the gamer to have some freedom and control over our characters rather than some pre-made character being dumped upon us. Before creation a text box appears explaining what this stage is all about, in order for it to go away it says press X. When you press it nothing happens, it turns out you have to hold it until the white ring around the X completes a full circle, if this feature carry’s on throughout the game it can get quite annoying but as well it is good as it prevents you from accidentally getting rid of some help text that you may need. On to the creation part and you have to create two characters, male and female, as mentioned before you change their looks, skills and you can also name them like i did Hanson and Judith (i thought it would suit the era the game is set in – Medieval times) or you can keep the default names.
After the creation of your unique characters you have to press the smallest button on the controller to start the game, the “Options” button and the game informs you of this with the text along the bottom of the screen.
After starting the game my original high hopes started to fall. After waiting again for the loading screens to go a Star Wars type text started scrolling from the bottom of the screen to the top giving some sort of narrative to the story, the animation for the moving text was not so good as it kept jumping. After the text had stopped a picture appears and it looks like some sort of dungeon, however this illustrated scene was not just a picture, it was actually a cut scene for the story line. A pirate appears in a bad, jumpy animation and then a box appears on screen which is a close up of the pirates face and he starts talking. After doing this the cut scene moves onto the pirate ship and the same thing happens when the captain is talking.
As the characters are talking the sound is not in sync with the animation so as a result i did not fully hear what they were saying as i was more concerned about the sound being out of time to the animation. After the cut scene you are then placed into the actual game with your characters. Straight away i did not like this as the camera angles were appalling. It wasn’t a first person view, nor third, but it was a really weird birds eye camera angle which i quickly started to dislike. Furthermore you are not given much information on the controls and what you have to do, when you first start a couple of information boxes appear but they did not seem much help to me so i got rid of them by yet again, holding my X button.
Eventually i managed to locate my task by holding R2 and selecting my Log, i have to investigate some murder. After walking around for a couple of minutes i managed to find some stairs and walked up them. Immediately some more people appeared but they were enemies and i had to fight them off. The controls for doing this were not presented very well and i could not work out how to fight off these enemies so i pressed a couple of random buttons on the controller in an attempt to kill these enemies before i got killed. Somehow i managed to press the right thing and the camera angle went birds eye and a red circle appeared on the floor telling me to move it with the L stick. I moved it over to one of the 3 enemies and pressed X for attack and he died. A second attempt to do this to the remaining enemies failed as i was apparently out of XP so i had to move onto the other character to complete the job.
After doing this i advanced further and got into some sort of ancient temple, i carried on and nearly killed myself by stepping on a mine and catching fire. My objectives were still unclear to me and the camera angle was still being an annoyance. The controls were still a foreign language to me to i decided to stop and end it there. My final thoughts on the game was that it needs work done to it.
At the very beginning the game looks promising with its pretty images showing the tropical scene and the eerie caves. But as the game starts the animation and game play let it down. If the camera angles were better, maybe a third person view and if the controls and objectives were explained more and made easier then this game would be fairly good. I have played similar games before such as The Witcher Wild Hunt and this was set back in the days where fire was used as light, horses were the transport and swords was the weapon of choice and enjoyed it this is why i had high hopes for Divinity as it is a similar game only difference being Divinity has more spells and fiction to it.
To wrap up this review i would recommend this game to anyone who is into fantasy type games and likes un-ordinary occurrences happening however things do need to be improved with the game such as its camera angles, animation, easiness of understanding – if these things were done then i would come back to the game. But for now, this is not the game for me.
ItsMuchMore Guest Review: Harvey Priestley