“Divinity” does not disappoint, offers classic dungeon crawl mechanics, addictive gameplay

Luke Van Hoomisen, Split Screen

By Luke Van Hoomisen

Split Screen, KBVR-TV

Has the modern era of online gaming got you down? Longing for the old days of local multiplayer dungeon crawlers like “Gauntlet” and “Baldur’s Gate?” Consider picking up “Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition” for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux or Mac OS. With added console support, two-player split screen co-op and a ton of new game content, the enhanced edition of “Divinity: Original Sin” makes this game ideal for anyone who hates to game alone.

“Divinity” is rich in game content with more than 100 hours of quests. It provides players with a massive open world environment that is filled to the brim with unique characters, storylines and—most importantly—loot. Players are free to explore this world as they please, but without close attention to detail they may quickly find themselves in over their heads. Outside of the starting city of Cyseal, “Divinity” is rampant with orcs and the undead, and nearby encounters are completely unforgiving to low level characters. Split Screen does not recommend leaving Cyseal until your characters reach level three and have a full party of four heroes (you start with two). In order to reach that level ,you will need to complete quests, which is where it gets interesting.

When you accept a quest in “Divinity,” you will have to pay close attention to the dialogue with the quest giver, as that is where all of the details of the quest hide. You won’t get a mark on your map, so you’ll have to use these details­—they are sometimes cryptic or misleading—to find your way to your objective.

That’s right, this is a game that actually forces you to read and pay attention, rather than slamming on the X button until your thumb bleeds to get to the next fight.

But when you do get to the fight, “Divinity” does not disappoint on any front. With turn-based combat systems that utilize action points and allow you to control every character in your party or split them up between you and a friend, this game actually plays an awful lot like the tabletop classic “Dungeons & Dragons.”

With its well developed world and in depth character customization, you might even forget you aren’t rolling dice. Your characters are quite customizable. You start the game by creating two main characters for the purposes of the main storyline, and you can recruit a variety heroes that you meet in the game to join your party. All your characters can be developed through the game’s classless leveling system, which allows you to choose from all the available skills, abilities and attributes for every character.

You are given presets to start building your character off of, but these are just suggestions that could be changed as much as you like. You also have to make a lot of in-character role-playing decisions that affect your character’s personality. You are rewarded for creating personalities for your character and developing personality traits comes with an increase in your stats.

This game is kind of quirky in its attempt to be humorous. It drops a lot of pop culture references and even more puns.

But combined with its cartoonish art style, this just serves to develop the game’s unique personality. One moment you’re stealing all the art out of the local inn, the next minute you’re arguing with Hilda on the ethics of grave robbing and then you’re fighting crabs, negotiating with zombie trolls and putting out boat fires.

“Divinity” really lets you do almost anything, and often requires you to think creatively to solve problems. For example, early in the game your heroes come across a ship that has caught on fire. Standing near the fire and casting a “rain” spell will put it out, but there isn’t really anything to tell you that. You just might happen to have the rain spell, and think “maybe this will stop the fire.” This really keeps you on your toes and helps to create an involved game experience with open-ended problem solving.

I think my favorite thing about “Divinity” has to be that it is split screen, even if it is only for two players. It isn’t perfect—there is no sprint and the camera if fixed in your choice of two less than ideal angles (fixed overhead or an almost painfully awkward isometric). But it just does so much right that all quirks are forgivable.

The opinions expressed in Van Hoomisen’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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