RPG Fun to the Min-Max!

Reviewed on PS4

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition on PS4 is gaming alchemy. It tweaks the formula of the tried and true traditional role-playing game and comes up with the solution for what is the ultimate console RPG experience. Whatever approach you enjoy taking in your role-playing exploits will be elevated as every aspect of this epic adventure has been explored and then fine-tuned, raising the bar for the genre. The general gameplay is open to the way you want to approach it, and the way you tackle the turn-based combat will showcase your creativity. All the characters you come across will have a meaningful story worth delving into. Dialogue is expertly written, and the voice acting that has been added for the Enhanced Edition is impeccable. While planning character progression is more important and challenging than the game will lead you to believe, jumping into this game is pleasant as the characters are welcoming and the plot stays highly interactive. The tutorials are plentiful and will aid you with this console translated homage to turned-based role-playing greatness.

In Divinity, you assume the role of two Source Hunters. The pair of heroes you create arrive in the medieval kingdom of Cyseal at the request of the interesting polymorphing Arhu, to solve the murder of Jake. Esmerelda, Jake’s wife is everyone’s initial suspect, but character witnesses say otherwise and further proof complicates things. Source Hunters could be compared to witch hunters. They seek out evil beings that tap into a power called the source and take them out. To use this energy is called sourcery. While the regular use of magic is not considered sourcery, the place where source is drawn from is unknown. Arhu suspects the use of sourcery surrounding the murder of Jake. This is why he has called upon you. During your initial visit to the crime scene, the cosmic implications of sourcery is revealed to you. This overarching plot behind what you are doing as a Source Hunter seems almost out of place when it is revealed to you because how much of it seems to be forced on you at once. Fortunately, the rest of your interactions and side stories reveal great storytelling that any gamer looking for an interesting visit to another realm can enjoy.

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If you have a game or set of games you have been putting off from playing because you want to have the time to properly invest into them, then perhaps it’s more than just adult responsibility sneaking into your life. Maybe, just maybe, you are a min-max’er. Min-Max’ers are people that restart games multiple times to recreate their characters to march through a game more effectively. Min-Max’ers are also people who conduct research on Google and interact in forums in order to find the best character builds to beat a particular game with. Whether you see it coming or not, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is a game that will inadvertently have you approach playing it as a min-max’er. Divinity streamlines a complicated set of environmental effects into the intricate combat system. These weather induced combat scenarios put you in a position where you will be engaging skilled enemies that understand the game’s mechanics better than you. While combat is manageable through a few of the lower levels, you will likely find yourself rerolling your characters several times to be able to break into the mid game. The early fights ramp up in difficulty quickly. The game suggests you try things out and enjoy the game the way you want to play it, but if you experiment too much and don’t learn how the combat systems work, you will fall behind the curve.

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What does Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition do to create a better RPG? It allows you to steal, sneak, craft, cast spells, barter, bribe, fight, and role play to a greater extent than you may have done in previous genre games. Divinity takes the best of the genre of traditional role-playing games and MMORPGs and weave them into a coherent progression system of unique skills, talents, and abilities. Skills like Pet Pal allow you to speak to animals to get hints you wouldn’t otherwise find out. Abilities like loremaster aid you in identifying items. Crafting has a kind of horadric cube from Diablo meets traditional MMO crafting flair. Weather can turn the tides in battle to a very high degree. Using an electrical attack on an opponent that is being rained on increases the damage of the attack. But shooting lightning at an enemy standing in a puddle with you will leave both of you stunned. You’re going to want to have a battle plan for different types of terrain including elemental effects. Moral discussions that your characters engage in lead to bonus traits that assist your character in a range of interactions like bribery and negotiations. Talents you choose to add to your character are meaningful and extremely useful. They seem to make more sense to the casual gamer than things you see in other games, like the highly technical feats you find in Dungeons & Dragons.

The tutorials help you get rolling in Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition with ease. The game doesn’t leave you hanging wondering about rules or repercussions. The level up screens give you an expectation of what upgrades are to come the next time you level, so you can start planning your character build a little ahead of time. However, one hidden bit of information you will need to know to do well in this game is that your main abilities level up in a special way. Abilities include your spell trees and combat styles. Very similar to the original Guild Wars, to level up an ability to the first tier costs one ability point. Then to level it up to the next tier costs two extra points, and then to level it the third tier costs three additional ability points. If you want to raise a particular skill to the highest level, you will want to save those ability points from level to level.

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Since you will be pouring hours into Divinity, the learning curve of the PS4 controls is perfectly acceptable. Eventually, the controls will become intuitive and flow the way you want them to. Like you would with other traditional role-playing games, save your game before a fight, during a fight if you have an advantageous position in the battle and know you’ll win, after you win a fight, after you modify your tool bars and sell off your bad equipment, and don’t forget to save when you are done for the day. During your first dozen hours or so, you’ll have mishaps with the controls during battles. An example is you might try to click to throw a water balloon to put out a small fire, and instead you burn yourself alive as you walk over and jump in the flames. Items and skills are so pivotal to combat, that one of these mishaps almost always leads to reloading your last save.

Another extra thrown in to make this edition of Divinity stand out includes the addition of local splitscreen multi-player on the PS4. The clunkyness of the inventory management system can be explained that it was done that way to support the easy transition to multi-player. Gamers can play together over the PSN online as well. If you own a PS4 and do in fact have a queue of turn-based or action RPGs you want to get around to, then maybe Divinity deserves to jump to the front of the line. And if you are a PC gamer that owns the original version of Divinity, you should know the upgrade to this edition is free!

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition Review
Interesting story with amazing dialogue and voice acting.Deep progression system that is rewarding.Intense and creative turn-based combat.
Steep learning curve.High probability you will have to restart your characters.Interface takes a while to get used to on the PS4.
95%PS4
Presentation90%
Gameplay95%
Visuals92%
Sound100%
Value100%
Reader Rating 4 Votes
69%
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