Welcome to the newest feature for the blog (which means this will be the only time it is used); where I blog about an older game you have either already played or have no interest in playing. Should be really riveting stuff, so get excited!
I want to like Divinity: Original Sin more than I do. Which isn’t to say I don’t like it, but at the same time I can’t play it for more than an hour, and while I’m overall interested in whats happening, the game works really hard to make me care less with its humor and immersion-breaking bits.
Let me get this stuff out of the way first; The graphics are very good, sometimes amazing (standing on a cliff and looking at the area below is very well done), but I wish there was some in-game indicator for what the terrain is. Sometimes it can be hard to spot a pool of water, which is rather important when you are throwing around lighting spells. Sound is mostly good, although as mentioned the goofy voiced dialog can at times be distracting or a negative. No crashing, game loads up quickly, has mod support, etc, so all good on that end.
The combat is a lot of fun, although can be a bit taxing. I’m more than fine planning things out for a larger battle or a boss fight, but doing all of that for EVERY encounter can feel a bit much at times. There is also something a bit off with the numbers behind the action, as a lot of times I don’t take much damage at all, but then for some reason (crits, specific element damage, bad status effect) a character will just get trucked almost instantly. Resurrection scrolls seem to be rather plentiful, but still it would be nice if things were a bit smoother.
My main issue with the game however is the setting/humor. D:OS to me seems to be stuck in an awkward middle ground, where it has mostly serious content that fits the setting, but throws in just enough jokes or immersion-break self-references to pull you out of that setting anytime you start to really feel invested. Either go all-in on being a jokey RPG, or keep the meta-jokes down so they aren’t always so in your face.
Finally, while I can see where min/maxing characters could result in a lot of fun and powerful combinations, the game feels as though you almost HAVE TO min/max to get a lot out of it. Combat is clearly geared towards combos, so if you happen to run a party that can’t combo easily (or the combo you do have a certain enemy is immune to), its not only an uphill battle, but you feel like you are playing the game ‘wrong’. I think if every character had more access to elemental damage, but the overall impact was toned down a bit, the game would feel better. Right now a lot of the encounters feel more like a “do you have this combo” check than a strategic puzzle to figure out.
Again, I am enjoying the game overall, its a fun RPG with a lot going for it, but it’s not on the same level of Pillars of Eternity IMO. D:OS gets 80% right, where I felt PoE got 95%.