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Game brings divine role-playing

By Andrew Street
Staff Writer

In June of 2014, developer Larian Studios delivered the critically praised “Divinity Original Sin.” The game, which was reminiscent of the fantasy video game “Baldur’s Gate,” blew most hardcore role-playing fans away. Now, Larian Studios is back again to deliver the enhanced edition of “Divinity” for personal computers, Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

As someone with very little experience in “Baldur’s Gate” or games of its nature, I was eager to jump headfirst into what “Divinity Original Sin: The Enhanced Edition” had promised and to see whether or not it lived up to the hours of questing, fighting and complex game mechanics that I expected.

The fantasy game takes players on various quests. (larian.com)

Being a novice in this specific genre of role-playing games, I began my journey a bit overwhelmed. The game does not hold your hand, which is sort of a double-edged sword for newcomers. While it is nice to be challenged, there was a few instances where I felt that specific functions were either explained poorly or not at all. Despite this, I was able to decipher most of what the game threw at me after paying close attention to the gaming menus and dialog.

For those unfamiliar, “Divinity Original Sin” is a classic turn-based role-playing video game. Players create two characters and control each of them to fight off the countless enemies they will encounter on the game’s many quests.

The game’s battle system is complex, slow at times and requires you to learn the advantages and disadvantages of the party you are controlling. The combat is deep and may turn some gamers away, but if you are willing to put in the time to learn its inner workings it’s an unparalleled pay off.

Outside of battle, “Divinity” matches the combat in terms of depth. Nearly everything in the world is tangible and can be interacted with. You can loot houses, get involved in local drama and do just about anything else. The seemingly limitless possibilities to get lost in tasks that range from the daring and bold to the mundane drew me in and kept me playing for hours on end.

In terms of narrative, I wasn’t as impressed with “Divinity.” The game follows two Source Hunters, a group that aims to eradicate the evil Source magic. In an effort to do so, you find yourself stumbling into a much larger issue and various conspiracies that are all entwined within each other.

Don’t get me wrong, as a whole, the main story arc is decently interesting and engaging, but at times I found myself a bit disconnected. This partially stemmed from me disliking a significant amount of crucial characters, especially the party members.

The hundreds of side quests, however, made up for the lacking narration and characters. It was here that I would find quirky talking objects, entertaining stories and silly objectives. The light-hearted nature of these smaller arcs were always a treat, and left me slightly more impressed than the main tale.

“Divinity Original Sin: The Enhanced Edition” brings back the classic, hardcore role-playing video game experience that has been absent for quite some time. The game may be overly obtuse at times, but this makes for a more challenging experience, where taking risks, being strategic and exploring can either make or break you. Whether you are jumping in on a personal computer, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you are sure to have a blast. Just be aware of the type of game you are getting into — it certainly isn’t for everyone.

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