Divinity: Original Sin II

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Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity Original Sin 2 cover art.jpg
Developer(s) Larian Studios
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Swen Vincke
Producer(s) Octaaf Fieremans
Programmer(s) Bert Van Semmertier
Artist(s) Joachim Vleminckx
Writer(s)
  • Jan Van Dosselaer
  • Sarah Baylus
  • Julien Brun
Composer(s) Borislav Slavov
Platform(s)
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • September 14, 2017
  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • August 31, 2018
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Divinity: Original Sin II is a role-playing video game developed and published by Larian Studios. The sequel to 2014's Divinity: Original Sin, it was released for Microsoft Windows in September 2017, and will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2018. The game received universal acclaim, with many critics praising its complexity and interactivity, considering it to be one of the best role-playing games of all time. It was also a commercial success, selling over a million copies in two months.

Gameplay[edit]

As with Divinity: Original Sin, players can play fully solo with only one character in their party or with up to three others.[1] Several pre-made characters with backstories are available to the player. Players are also able to create a custom character and choose their stats, race, gender, and origin story at the start of the game.[2] They can recruit up to three companions to assist them although mods in the Steam Workshop exist which increase the maximum number of party companions. Companions in your party are fully playable, and will potentially have different interactions with the environment and NPCs than the player character. Players are able to split up and individually control their party members, leading to potentially complex battle tactics, as well as excellent role-playing opportunities. The game features both on-line and local multiplayer modes, both competitive and cooperative.[3] A skill crafting system allows players to mix and change their skills.[4] The game also features a competitive multiplayer mode, where players are divided into two different teams and fight against each other in an arena map.[5]

Plot[edit]

The game is set on the fantasy world of Rivellon, centuries after the first Divinity. Living beings on Rivellon have a form of energy known as Source, and individuals called Sourcerers can manipulate Source to cast spells or enhance their combat abilities. The seven gods of Rivellon had given up a portion of their collective Source power and infused it into a person, Lucian, who became what is known as the Divine, whose role is to use his powers to hold back the Void. However, Lucian died before the start of the game, which led to the Veil between the Void and Rivellon apparently being pierced, and monstrous creatures of the Void known as Voidwoken are beginning to invade Rivellon. Voidwoken are drawn to the use of Source, which has led to the persecution of Sourcerers, primarily by an organization called the Divine Order, whose Magisters enforce their will. The Void is also home to a dark deity known as the God King, who is worshiped in Rivellon by an organization called the Black Ring. At the start of the game, the player character is a Sourcerer who is captured by the Divine Order and sent to an island fortress known as Fort Joy. Fort Joy is a prison for Sourcerers, ostensibly to cure them of their Source powers, but in actuality "purging" the Sourcerers to turn them into mindless husks. During the journey to Fort Joy, a gigantic Kraken Voidwoken attacks and sinks the ship, but the player character is saved from drowning by a mysterious voice, who calls the player "Godwoken".

Awakening on the shores of Fort Joy, the Godwoken witnesses the brutal regime of the Divine Order on the island, led by Lucian's son Bishop Alexandar and his chief enforcer Dallis. The Godwoken also learns of a tyrannical Sourcerer king called Braccus Rex, who had lived and died around 1000 years ago. The Godwoken escapes from the fortress and visits the Hall of Echoes, the realm of the Seven Gods, where the Godwoken encounters one of the Seven. The God explains that he or she was the mysterious voice that rescued the Godwoken from drowning, and that the Godwoken must become the next Divine. This is because the ruptured Veil has allowed the Void to enter Rivellon, and the Gods' powers are somehow being drained. Therefore, the ascension of a new Divine is essential to hold back the Void.

The Godwoken escapes from Fort Joy by commandeering Dallis's personal ship, the Lady Vengeance. However, Dallis intercepts the Lady Vengeance during their journey, aided by a mysterious hooded figure called Vredeman, who uses powerful Source spells. However, the Godwoken manages to get away.

The Godwoken sails to the island of Reaper's Coast, which is also under Divine Order control. There, the Godwoken gradually expands their Source powers until they achieve mastery of Source. The Godwoken also encounters their God again, who tells the Godwoken that they must travel to the Well of Ascension, where the Godwoken will be able to absorb enough Source to become Divine. During their time on Reaper's Coast, the Godwoken also learns that Dallis and the Magisters have excavated a powerful artifact known as the Aeteran, which has an infinite capacity for purging Source. Additionally, the Godwoken encounters an immortal being called Aeterna. Aeterna claims that she is a member of a race known as Eternals, who were the original denizens of Rivellon. The Seven Gods were themselves Eternals, but they craved the power to rule as gods. To accomplish this, the Seven betrayed the other Eternals and banished them to the Void, and then created the mortal races of Rivellon in their own likeness, from whom the Gods would be able to drain large amounts of Source and become supremely powerful.

The Godwoken sails to the Nameless Isle where the Well of Ascension is located. There, they learn that the Eternals in the Void have become the Voidwoken, and that the king of the Eternals before their banishment is the deity now known as the God King. Furthermore, the God King and the Voidwoken intend to return to Rivellon and reclaim their rightful home. The Godwoken makes their way to the Well, but before they can absorb the Source within and become Divine, Dallis appears with the Aeteran and destroys the Well. The Godwoken's failure to become Divine enrages their God, who attacks the Godwoken in desperation, but the Godwoken defeats their God.

The Godwoken pursues Dallis to the harbor city of Arx. There, the Godwoken learns that Dallis is heading towards the Tomb of Lucian, located in Arx's Cathedral. The Godwoken makes their way to the Tomb, but finds that Lucian is alive in it. Lucian reveals that he faked his death and hid in his tomb, and it is he, and not the Void, that has been draining Source from the Seven. Lucian intends to purge all Source from Rivellon and use it to permanently seal the Veil, which will finally bring peace to the world. Dallis, who is secretly an Eternal, has been aiding Lucian. To this end, she has resurrected Braccus Rex, who has been serving Dallis under the name of Vredeman.

Braccus Rex breaks free of Dallis's control and summons the Kraken to attack the Godwoken, Lucian, and Dallis. After Braccus Rex is defeated, the Godwoken can choose from several endings, such as ascending to become the next Divine, purging all Source from Rivellon, or allowing the God King to return to Rivellon and restore the land to Eternal rule.

Development[edit]

The game was first announced on August 12, 2015.[6] It was announced that the game would launch on Kickstarter on August 26.[7] The game reached its $500,000 goal on Kickstarter in less than 12 hours.[8][9] Some of the stretch goals were reached before they were even announced.[10] In the end, all of the available stretch goals were met, with over 2 million dollars collected in total. Larian announced that the company decided to head to Kickstarter again because they wanted the opinions from the community when developing the game, as well as allowing them to further expand the vision they originally had for this game.[11] The game's music was composed by Borislav Slavov, who replaced former series composer, Kirill Pokrovsky, who died in 2015.[12]

The game was released for early access for Microsoft Windows on September 15, 2016,[13] and was fully released out of it on September 14, 2017.[14] Despite a power outage in Ghent on the day of launch, the location of Larian's development studio, the game was successfully released and shortly had a concurrent player count of 75,000 within a week, becoming one of the most played games on Steam at the time.[15][16] The game will also be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by Bandai Namco Entertainment in August 2018.[17]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic93/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid9/10[19]
Game Informer9.8/10[20]
GameSpot10/10[21]
IGN9.6/10[22]
PC Gamer (UK)92/100[23]
Polygon7/10[24]
Hardcore Gamer5/5 stars[25]
Metro10/10[26]
US Gamer5/5 stars[27]

Divinity: Original Sin II received "universal acclaim", according to review aggregator Metacritic.[18] Multiple critics and publications considered the game to be one of the best role-playing games (RPGs) of all time.[20][21][22][23][28][29][26] Rick Lane of Eurogamer considered it a "masterpiece", thinking it would be many years before he could play another RPG that was even close to being "that rich with choice and charisma".[30] Adam Smith of Rock, Paper, Shotgun thought that few games allowed players to take part in better tales than Original Sin II.[31] Leif Johnson of IGN highly praised the stories, quests, tactical combat, and replayability, calling it one of the all-time greats of the RPG genre.[22] GameSpot gave it a perfect 10/10 score, becoming only the 14th game in the publication's history to achieve that.[21] Mike Williams of US Gamer called it the "pinnacle" of the computer role-playing game (CRPG) genre, praising its characters, role-playing options, environments, and combat.[27] Metro called it one of the best computer role-playing games ever, praising its level of complexity, flexibility, and interactivity.[26] Janine Hawkins of Polygon was less positive than most, calling it "stunningly ambitious", but that it failed to "pull all its pieces together".[24]

A month after release, the game sold over 700,000 copies, with over a million sold by November 2017.[32][33] The game was nominated for "Best Role-Playing Game" at The Game Awards 2017;[34] it was also nominated for "Game of the Year" and "Best Story", and was a runner-up for best PC game and best RPG at IGN's Best of 2017 Awards.[35][36][37][38] The game also received a nomination for "Best PC Game" at Destructoid's Game of the Year Awards 2017.[39] The staff of PC Gamer voted it as their game of the year for 2017, where it was also nominated for the "Best Co-Op Game" award.[40] The staff of GameSpot voted it as their fifth best, while Eurogamer ranked it 11th on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017".[41][42][43] Readers and staff of Game Informer gave it the "Best PC Exclusive", "Best Turn-Based Combat", and "Best Side-Quests" awards,[44][45][46] and also placed it second for the "Best Co-op Multiplayer" award.[47] The game was also nominated for "Role-Playing Game of the Year" at the D.I.C.E. Awards,[48] for "Game Engineering" and "Game, Franchise Role Playing" at the NAVGTR Awards,[49][50] and for "Best Sound Design for an Indie Game" and "Best Music for an Indie Game" at the Game Audio Network Guild Awards;[51] and won the award for "Multiplayer" at the 14th British Academy Games Awards.[52] The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were nominated for "Best RPG" at the 2018 Game Critics Awards.[53][54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larian Studios (September 10, 2015). "Kickstarter Update 7: Stretch goal unlocked... and new stretch goals announced!". Larian Studios. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ Marks, Tom (August 26, 2015). "How your Divinity: Original Sin 2 character choices affect everything you do". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ Van Allen, Eric (August 26, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Brings Competitive Multiplayer and Raining Blood to Kickstarter". Paste Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ Smith, Adam (August 26, 2015). "Divinity Original Sin 2's Competitive Roleplaying And Diverging Narratives Are Boldly Inventive". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Futter, Mike (April 23, 2016). "Divinity: Original Sin II's Competitive Multiplayer Might Be My New Addiction". Game Informer. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ Potter, Matt (August 12, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Announced". IGN. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ Senior, Tom (August 12, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter launches later this month". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  8. ^ Makuch, Eddie (August 27, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Reaches Funding Goal in Less Than 12 Hours". GameSpot. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  9. ^ Potter, Matt (August 27, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Funded in 12 Hours". IGN. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ Pereira, Chris (August 28, 2015). "Divinity: Original Sin 2 Reaches Stretch Goals Before They're Even Announced". GameSpot. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
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External links[edit]