Divinity: Original Sin II might not be a household name but those that are familiar with it can attest to its greatness. Since its release almost a year ago, it has sold over a million copies, has a Metacritic score of 93/100 and was one of a very small selection of games that Hardcore Gamer scored 5/5. Despite these numbers that any developer would be proud to achieve, this wasn’t good enough for Larian Studios. People familiar with this title’s predecessor shouldn’t be surprised since Divinity: Original Sin also received an improved Enhanced Edition about a year after the initial release and as such history is repeating itself with the upcoming Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition. Improving a game that’s already as good as Divinity: Original Sin II is a jumbo task that is comparable to trying make Kelly Kapowski more beautiful, but Larian has been known to set a rather high bar for themselves.
Divinity: Original Sin II is a massive RPG where freedom and character choices are virtually limitless. The players take on the roles of a party of Sourcerers, individuals who are able to use Source power to execute magical abilities that are hunted by the Divine Order. The part of the game that was originally intended to be the brief tutorial snowballed into becoming a twenty to thirty hour area called Fort Joy, though it’s really a prison camp and joy in name only. The players are free to choose from several classes and races, along with undead variants of each race or they can select from several origin story characters.
One of the great things about Divinity: Original Sin II was the ability to choose almost method to get from point A to point B. There are numerous open world games that offer the players choices and varied paths to reach the end, but Larian wanted to take this a step further and remove as many limits as possible which has resulted in some players finding solutions to parts of the game that the dev team didn’t even anticipate. This is a game that can be successfully completed by killing zero people or by killing everyone, though most playthroughs will consist of killing some but not all of the NPCs. Terrifying boss battles have been thwarted by creative uses of teleportation skills that can result in having two powerful hostile creatures from different areas fight each other while the player just relaxes as their problems sort themselves out.
Perfect scores in video game reviews can be somewhat of a misnomer. Divinity: Original Sin II received several from various publications but we all know that while several games may be good enough to deserve that coveted accolade there are always tweaks that can be done to improve them. Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition has too many changes to list all of them. Specifically, there are about forty pages worth of patch notes that will be implemented, and I am much too lazy too type them all out, especially considering forty pages of patch notes are too boring for anyone to read. In general, the goal is to make this enormous game bigger and better.
Though we won’t get into everything that is changing, we did find out some specific areas that will be addressed in the overhaul. The journal system has been updated to cover world updates and make the objectives and goals of currents quests more clear and concise. The inventory system has also been reworked, making item and equipment management much quicker and easier. One of the later acts has been completely reworked to offer a more satisfying and extended experience. More interactive quests have been added to accompany the completely rewritten and revised act. Lastly, combat wasn’t without spectacle to begin with but it has become more cinematic, along with other unspecified improvements.
Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition is scheduled for release on August 31 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, making its console debut. Divinity: Original Sin II was one of the best RPGs released in 2017 and arguably deserves a spot among any listing of best RPGs of all time. Console gamers who missed out on its release last year now have the opportunity to enjoy it. PC gamers who have already completed it may find reason to revisit it with the changes coming to the later act, especially since current owners will receive the Definitive Edition as a free update.