Divinity 2: Ego Draconis Review
publisher: Larian Studios
developer: Larian Studios
|ESRB rating: n/a
release date: Jan 05, 10 (released)
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Larian Studios' Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity were fine games. Not exceptionally innovative, but fine games nonetheless. Still, I do recall Divine Divinity being extremely challenging. On the whole, it was a nice twist to the popular Diablo hack'n'slash gameplay mechanics. Now, Larian Studios brings the franchise to modern-day gaming platforms.
Divinity II: Ego Draconis takes place in a realm called Rivellon. After the Great War ended, the Order of the Dragon Slayers focused on destroying Dragon Knights who were responsible for the death of their Divine hero. At the same time, the order of the Black Ring was preparing its next move, lead by a fearless and malevolent warrior named Damian (they don't get more fearless and malevolent than that!). In a stunning turn of events, a dying Dragon Knight bestows her powers to a member of the order (a.k.a. you). Blessed with the powers of the Dragon, you begin your fight against the evil that engulfs Rivellon.
I hate dragons
When I started playing this game, it took me a while come to terms with clunky combat mechanics and the somewhat slow leveling system. Yes, it takes some time before your character becomes skilled in whichever field you choose - be it magic, ranged combat or close combat.
Now, there's nothing essentially missing from Divinity II in terms of typical role-playing ingredients. There's a substantial amount of diverse items, armor and weapons to pick from and this is probably one of the main drives for continuing your adventure through the vast realms of DII. Traveling through the mountains, forests, villages and towns, you'll notice that there's quite a lot to discover and plenty of NPCs to meet. Most of them may offer to talk or trade with you, or send you on those archetypal kill-or-bring-back-stolen-daughter-to-get-leather-armor kinds of quests. Still, it's important to go on as many of these as you can, even if they do feel slightly random and dull. In the end, they can bring some rather tasty rewards. Naturally, quests tied to the main storyline bring more items, money and experience. When solving quests in Divinity II, in addition to getting exp. points and cash, the player chooses one of several prizes - extra money, a unique item (weapon, armor, ring, shield, etc.) or additional experience. Incorporating this little feature was a good move on the developer's part. It makes each quest considerably more rewarding than in most RPGs.
In a way, mixing classic RPG gameplay with air-based combat is cool. The moment you transform into a Dragon, the game becomes a lot more dynamic. In due time, you also get access to your very own Battle Tower. At a later stage, this becomes a fortress where you'll be able to restock and improve skills thanks to a range of specialists that dwell in various parts of the tower. You'll have your personal necromancer, always ready to instruct you in the arts of black magic and creature assembling (at any time, you may assemble a pet monster, which can be summoned during combat). Apart from that, the tower is also home to a number of other characters, some can train you in combat, while others can be sent on various errands - for instance, to gather valuable resources, which are necessary for crafting weapons, brewing potions and so on.
When you consider how much there is to do in this game, it's safe to say Divinity 2: Ego Draconis is a very time-consuming game. This is probably why players will want to return to it.
Now, I cannot emphasize how things are with the PC version of the game, but the Xbox 360 edition is crammed with all sorts of technical problems, from monsters and NPCs getting stuck on various parts in the environment to sudden frame-rate drops. Gameplay wise, one of the most annoying things for me was having to go through some of the game's platform style segments. The jumping mechanics (and character physics, in general) weren't polished nearly enough to make things run smoothly during combat and exploration.
6.8 Above Average
If you're looking for an average RPG packed with a solid number of quests and random content (and your very own Battle Tower), then look no further, there's quite a few flying sections in this one as well (if you're looking for that sort of thing in an RPG), also I like the quest reward system;
Filled with bugs, clunky combat mechanics, beyond the random RPG content (standard quests, upgrading, leveling, etc.) there's nothing remotely interesting about this game, there are better RPGs out there.