Divinity: Original Sin (or D:OS for short) was one of those RPGs that got praises everywhere. It had a very successful Kickstarter campaign and according to many it over delivered. Back in those days I was busy with other games, but I did scoop it up when it was on a Steam Summer Sale (remember those?).
A few years ago I had some space between games and gave D:OS a try, but it somehow never clicked. Since I had plenty of other games to play I just added it to my backlog and continued with other games. Now with us all being at home and me racing through my backlog as if I’m trying to make it to the bathroom, I saw this game popping up again.
This time however I was convinced, I would research the game like I have done with many other RPG. Picking the right classes, races, spells and abilities, making sure that the character(s) I would create, would be awesome and hopefully all powerful mid to late game, but…
Wait, let me explains first what my background is. My first proper RPGs were Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic. Noticing any similarities? All these games were either based on AD&D, D&D or D20 rulesets, which are from the brilliant minds of Wizards of the Coast. Since I already was playing Pen and Paper games it was very easy for me to jump into these games.
And this brings me back to D:OS, which has its own rules. It is a combination of points and cooldowns. This is very different if you compare it to rules from D&D. An example to clarify it:
With D&D a fighter could have 4 attacks per round, each attack would be calculated to:
- Roll D20 + Attack Bonus + Strength bonus + Magical bonus = Total versus the Armor Class of the enemy (equal or higher means a hit)
Assuming that the fighter has no penalties, it will do those 4 attacks no matter what.
With D:OS a fighter can do an attack and it will cost you a certain amount of points to perform:
- Pay X points to attack = Total versus behind the screen calculation for a hit
So far quite similar, but things change when you add abilities. In D&D you can activate abilities (feats) each round and in some cases even multiple times each round. With D:OS you can activate the ability, which will cost you more points, and after that the ability goes on cooldown for X rounds.
The result is that combat is much slower and leans more heavily on chance. Missing with a special attack means waiting several rounds to try it again. And since RPGs make use of RNGs (Random Number Generator), the less attempts you have, the more it feels like the deck is stacked against you.
Sadly combat isn’t the only thing which turned me off. The amount of dialogue / text you have to go through, all of it without voice-overs, can become a bit tedious. Combine this all with the already slow pace of the game, it feels like forever to make any progression.
So with 16 hours of playtime, knowing that the game surpasses the average of 66 hours with ease. I have thrown the towel in the ring. This game is not for me and even though many of you were so positive about it I have to take a loss.
Now I’m a bit worried though about Baldur’s Gate 3…