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Divinity: Original Sin - Appearance

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Lluís Enric Mayans
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Divinity: Original Sin is the latest from Larian Studios. Project launched on KickStarter in March 2013, the requested $ 400 was raised in less than a month and no less than $ 000 at the end of the funding.

 

It serves as a prequel to the Divinity series, set several hundred years before the time of Divine Divinity. For connoisseurs of the series, some questions that can be asked in the Divinity series will also be answered in the latter. (Zandalor, the historian goblin, and many other "mysteries").



In Divinity: Original Sin, we take control of the two main protagonists. Before embarking on the adventure, we can customize them as in any RPG, by choosing its class, its gender, with a personalization of appearance (rather basic unfortunately), the personality of the characters (especially useful when the 'we play solo) as well as the spells, characteristic points and starting talents. Note that eventually, the classes chosen at the beginning will absolutely not block progress if you want to change orientation. During my solo part, I chose ecclesiastical as a class for one of my characters to finally direct him towards a witch later in the adventure. During our adventures, we also meet several companions who will join the adventure.

The personalization of the character and the choice of the class.

The choice of abilities, talents, attributes and skills in creation.

We therefore begin our adventure in Cyséal, a small port village undergoing attacks from orcs and the living dead for several years. Unfortunately, I cannot say more, because from the start, we are immersed in intrigues, investigations, murders and other betrayals of all kinds and I will risk revealing the story. Moreover, the game is not recommended for those who are allergic to reading. Indeed, in Divinity: Original Sin we spend a lot of time chatting with people or reading books, scrolls of all kinds, etc.



The main square of a pretty village.

Let's talk about it. During the adventure, apart from the main story, we meet a lot of people who need our talents. It is possible to complete most of these quests without any combat as long as our characters have the necessary skills and characteristics. No need to look for symbols on the heads of NPCs to indicate quests, or arrows to show us the location of its achievement. Here it's old fashioned with our good ol 'map and exploration. The only way to get quests is by chatting, exploring, rummaging right and left but also listening to them, t NPC conversations, reading books, notes, or even talking to animals. (yes, even animals have problems that require our talents!). It should also be noted that there is not only one and unique way to trigger the same quest, it can very well be unlocked by talking to an NPC, or by finding a related object for example. In addition, we also have the possibility of validating these in various ways. We can, for example, recover and return his cargo to a merchant who asked us for it just as we can keep it to ourselves without ever returning to see him (or tell him that it is lost) or even kill him all. taking the opportunity to make the pockets of his corpse. In other words, we are really free to do what we want, as we want. That said, be careful, do not kill an NPC linked to the main quest otherwise you risk having difficulties for the rest, or even being completely blocked.

The quest log. With point-by-point tracking of each quest.

 


Of course, a reputation system spices things up. According to our acts towards the characters, our actions during the quests, the way in which we carry them out, the way in which we validate them, our exchanges with the sellers, some coins discreetly slipped to the NPC during a transaction, etc. All of this is taken into account. The system is more developed than that which can be found in a Mass Effect for example. Here, we not only have our "global" reputation, but also a reputation with every NPC in the game. It may very well be, for example, that an armor salesman is our best friend and gives us discounts while the fish seller next door hates us and that, even if you are a nice one (it is fresh my fish! It is fresh!). Be careful though, if you are too malicious there is a good chance that the guards will attack you on sight and you risk not being able to enter a city. Unless you kill the guards or move stealthily ...


Reputation gain can be increased by various means.

The characteristics are gained throughout the adventure according to the choices. These affect your main characteristics as well as your reputation.

On top of that, we also have a "rock-paper-chisel" system in some conversations, the latter of which allows for a "dialogue fight" with an NPC to find out, for example, whether or not he is going. reveal a secret to you. The "fight" lasts several rounds, in each round the winner will gain several points and the first to reach 10 points wins. Before the start of this "mini-game", we will have to choose how we want to "fight" with the character. We can choose between intimidating him, coaxing him or appealing to his logic. Of course, each character will respond more or less favorably depending on his personality. For example, it is unlikely to be able to intimidate a captain of the guard, so he will have a great advantage over our characters and will earn more points for each victory if we choose this option. But on the other hand, we will have a great bonus by appealing to its logic. Unfortunately this system, although fun and sometimes a little frustrating. Indeed, even having a lot of charisma (the skill that improves the effect produced on people), it does not increase our chances of winning on each roll, but only the number of points that we earn. If you're unlucky enough to lose every turn, there's nothing you can do about it. It is a pity that this system is ultimately far too based on luck.


Here is an example of a conversation "duel".

It should also be noted that when playing in a duo, if the players do not agree during a decision, a "battle" of the same kind will be triggered between the two protagonists (in single player mode, this does not happen). is not available).


 

Besides completing quests and maintaining our reputation, there are plenty of things that will keep us busy for dozens of hours. The main one is, as in any good self-respecting RPG, exploration. In Divinity: Original Sin, the smallest setting can hide immense treasures or else ... death! If we have enough perception, we can detect traps, secret passages, etc. Otherwise, we will very often end up in a little pile of ash, shredded, flattened, disintegrated, burnt, melted, poisoned, electrified, scattered in confetti and the like. But rest assured, all this can be avoided. It is indeed possible to detect and disarm traps, pick locks and chests, find secret passages, hidden buttons and lever, etc.

With the necessary tools, you can disarm any number of traps.

But what would exploration be without the secrets that come with it? In Divinity, you can find "treasure maps", or get information from NPCs, in a newspaper, etc. But still don't expect to see a big yellow arrow on the map to show you where these magnificent treasures are located! It will be necessary to be satisfied with a vague description, an enigma or a research style "treasure hunt with clue".

Secrets will give even Indiana Jones a hard time.

Finding treasures is great, but what to do next? Trade and crafting are a big part of the game. In Divinity: Original Sin, trading isn't all about frantically clicking on inventory items to get rid of them. You can haggle with the merchant, resell items for more than the original value and, if you're nil at bargaining, sell them for less and that will be very beneficial to the merchant. Moreover, it is possible to haggle with almost all the NPCs in the game. Whether the merchant, passing by the peasant in his field and even a child playing on the beach. Another clarification, the merchants are not reserves of gold on foot: their capitals, as well as their stocks are not infinite, we must therefore be careful not to ruin our favorite merchant. These can also help us identify our objects or repair them.

The craftsmanship itself does not appear like in recent games. We do not have a box with the list of items that can be made, where you just have to click on it and it is done by itself. Here we will have to combine the objects manually. We can either try to make by combining objects at random, or find books, notes or even an NPC explaining to us how to make such and such an object as well as how to make them more powerful. This system allows us to create absolutely everything, from a fire arrow for the archer, to hooks for the thief, as well as a magnificent flat weapon for our service nag and to finish, a pretty dress. for our mischievous magician. We can also create spell scrolls, or even manuals, allowing us to obtain them permanently.

Exploration, haggling, chatting and crafting are all good, but there comes a time when you have to talk the guns out! Divinity: Original Sin's combat system is based on a turn-based system. Movements, attacks, spells, object uses will all require more or less action points to be performed. The number of action points, cost and point recovery each turn will depend on stats (strength, speed, build, etc.) of talents and equipment. It goes without saying that a warrior in heavy armor with a two-handed weapon will need many more action points to move and attack than a thief in leather armor with daggers.

The big plus point of the combat system comes from the synergy between skills, spells and elements. The scenery, the weather, the type of soil (poisoned, wet, etc.) will play a major role in victory or defeat. Indeed, if for example we fight enemies when it rains, do not hesitate to use and abuse spells of electricity and ice. The enemies will be soaked and therefore very vulnerable to this type of spell. Is there a puddle of oil on the ground? A small fireball will do. But beware, the same goes for us! Of course, if the enemy is a fire elemental, do not expect to burn it, on the contrary, it will heal it.

You can also create a cloud of vapor, for example, by extinguishing a fire with water and then electrifying it, then teleporting enemies into it. But beware, in Divinity: Original Sin, friendly fire is a must. It is therefore better to avoid raining a rain of fire if our companions are within range. It is also strongly recommended to prepare the ground before a fight. If there are enemies insensitive to fire who are surrounded by flame (and therefore, who will be healed as soon as they are in them) do not hesitate to trigger a light rain in order to extinguish the flames before dying. 'go rub shoulders with them. Or even create a puddle of water under their feet in order to paralyze them with a flash of lightning. The game prompts you to think before you act. Going headlong will more often than not lead to death.

Unfortunately, a few small issues taint the experience a bit. First of all, the translation is sometimes far-fetched. The latter not having been made by Larian Studios, but given to an outside company, they did not take into account the many puns to which Larian had accustomed us in his previous opus. Fortunately, humor and winks are still present.

Peter Lee, vice president of research at Microsoft.

It also happens, from time to time, that a quest bug and does not validate, remaining indefinitely in the journal. Fortunately, this is still very rare and not systematic.

 

To conclude, Divinity: Original Sin has everything of a great RPG. The main adventure takes about fifty hours in a straight line. A hundred hours is to be expected if we intend to play the game 100%. In addition, replayability is very important since we can complete the quests as we see fit. Not to mention that it is possible to play it with two players, each controlling a main hero as well as one of the companions, adding even more interaction and possibility.



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