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Divinity: Original Sin II



Larian Studios had a hit on its hands with Divinity: Original Sin, which came in third as our PC game of the year in the 2014 RPG awards. In 2017, it followed that up with Divinity: Original Sin II, improving upon the formula in almost every way. Players now have the option to create fully customized characters, or pick from a number of mostly pre-generated characters fleshed out with origin stories and unique in-game dialogue and quests. Players are quickly thrust into action and conflict, and don't have to deal with a slow build-up common to many other RPGs of this style. The narrative offers plenty of room for approaching problems, quests, and dealing with NPCs in many ways, and you really feel a level of freedom in these approaches that doesn't feel too constrained. The game does not hold the player's hand in regards to quests and solving problems, making exploration mandatory and making quests feel more organic and integrated into the overall narrative, instead of just being distractions.

The turn-based combat is an especially bright spot for the game, as it is more complex and engaging, while feeling intuitive and not unnecessarily complicated. Character abilities work off each other, and the combat environment is interactive, which can be a boon or an added challenge. This system again offers the player multiple options or strategies to tackle each encounter that encourage playing to each character's strengths and reacting to them. Divinity: Original Sin II also has the distinction of being approachable to new players and also a challenge to veterans of the genre at the same time through varying difficulties and an intuitive design approach.

Further value to the experience can be had in a few multiplayer modes. In cooperative play, friends can drop in and out, taking control of one or several party members, with nearly the full freedoms and options as the main player during the main quest. In Game Master mode, a player can act as a dungeon master and craft a classic customized campaign with their friends, bringing table-top to the virtual world. Larian Studios has given RPGamers a treat with Divinity: Original Sin II, offering an engaging story, an immersive environment and experience, and an intuitive but deep turn-based combat system, and it was an easy choice to be our favorite PC RPG of the year.

by Johnathan Stringer


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