- COMIC: XCOM The Healing Process
- Evenin '13
- SimCity's Amusement Park Pack Leaked, Releases May 28th
- Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Re-Confirmed For PC Release
- Game Gear Games Coming to 3DS eShop
- Nintendo Open E3 Gaming Doors to Public at Best Buy
- The Wonderful 101 Gets a Release Date
- GTA 5 Screens - Cars, Motorbikes and Scuba Diving
- Black Ops 2 Uprising DLC Ships
- Driveclub PS4 Screenshots
- The Elder Scrolls Online Gathering & Exploration Video
- The Elder Scrolls Online
Gathering And Exploration Dev. Diary
- Gran Turismo 6
- Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City\'s most dangerous
- Metro: Last Light
- Resident Evil: Revelations
Panic Dev. Diary
- Command & Conquer
Beyond the Battle Dev Diary
Divine Divinity Review
publisher: CDV Software Entertainment
developer: Larian Studios
PII 450, 128MB RAM, 8MB Video Card, 2.5GB HD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Sep 22, 02 (released)
|» All About Divine Divinity on ActionTrip|
Role-playing games will never be the same after Diablo 2 (Ed. - For PC.). Simply put, it set standards for good action adventure games. (Ed. - On the PC.) The farsighted team of Blizzard Entertainment (geniuses or goofs?) has always shaped the future of (Ed. - PC) gaming , and Diablo 2 is their answer to all players' dreams. Of course, to sell any product (be it computer games or condoms) and to win hearts of all the users, you must hit on some basic instincts; such are greed, bloodlust and insatiable need for speed. Diablo, with its endless hordes, unique treasure award system and frantic action, remains the Supreme Law of all the action RPG's - whether we liked it or not. All the games we saw after Diablo 2 were mere shadows, poor attempts to take a step forward and to create "the" perfect game. Alas, such attempts often fade into oblivion.
Right who did that? Speak up.
With computer technology advancing, older and slower games such as Curse of the Azure Bonds (don't even try it punk, most of you were just toddlers when this beauty was released) (Ed. - Not me.), started to lose ground and adapt to the needs of new techno-reality. Before you could say 'Fireball!' computer RPG's lost what 'real' tabletop fantasy role play has to offer and that is - feeling of the adventure. It's that magical concoction of exploration, magic items, evil monsters, lofty paladins and good ol' gritty combat, which attracted us to the world of role-playing games. The history of computer RPG's advanced toward Diablo 2, but after its advent, the first leap across the borders of genre are Dungeon Siege and Neverwinter Nights, which actually bring nothing more than mere adaptation to modern technology (e.g. they are still hack & slash only in full 3D), and none of the adventuring fever.
Larian Studios, a small but reputable Belgium developer, created Divine Divinity for CDV Entertainment (those of you who played 'Wet' and 'Sudden Strike' know who they are). This is one of the rare successful attempts to combine two extremely opposed approaches to computer RPG's. Every second of the game, it vibrates with the desire of programmers to make you feel the pure, clean fun of the adventuring. That basically means, Diablo 2 with a real background story, exploration and mage-like item collection, gore, mayhem and hack fests, drama and suspense and all the things that made you go and finally do that surgery to allow your index finger to achieve blindingly fast click-rate.
In Divine Divinity you are a warrior, mage or survivor (actually, a rogue, but who cares), male or female. There is not much sexism in the game, since both genders are equally able and talented, except for the initial choice of skills (and well, yes obvious advantages of anatomy which I will not detail in here). Character classes differ somewhat, as all the skills (and there is a host) are available to all the characters. They are organized in three classes, four sections per class and eight skills per section. The usual differences between classes are still there though, since only warriors learn special whirling strike moves and only survivors can crouch and sneak more efficiently. Warrior skills comprise weapon specializations, elemental augmentations to attacks, archery skills and charms enchanting of the equipment. Charms are akin to Diablo 2's diamonds and skulls. In Divine Divinity, charm quality determines 'slots' that skilled warriors can imbed in their weapon or armor to increase their power. Magicians have different schools of magic, such as elemental attack, spirit, matter and summoning. Survivors have the broadest range of skills, from seducing charms and thief skills, traps, backstabbing, lures, alchemy, identification, even some divine skills. As seen in Diablo 2, every skill has its rank, and each rank can be gained at the required level. Progression takes a while since you don't acheive the you'll have to wait till the tenth level to achieve the second rank, etc. But not every skill works in this way. Experience points are not gained only by roaming the map and sweep-cleaning them of all life. A good portion of your experience comes from solving quests, and problems that harass peaceful inhabitants of Rivellon world. Of course, all the sweet dilemmas await you: 'Should I increase strength? Agility or intelligence? Maybe constitution?! Vitality, Mana, offense and defense directly depend on your basic statistics. Armor and damage you deal depend more on the items you wear, and those items though Diablo-like, are somehow moderated. There are many items with similar properties (e.g. New, Crafted, Tailored, etc), but rare are those super spoiler items we saw in Diablo. Durability is extremely important at all stages of the game because shops and traders are a rare commodity.
Story is very nicely implemented. Adventure starts slowly and inconspicuously, gradually gaining in leverage, allowing players to adapt, explore the surrounding area, but occasionally you get more heat than you hoped for.
Where are you goin' pretty boy?
What a cheerful spot.
Namely, as legend (supplied with game in .PDF) says, once upon a time there was this hard-looking character who bound himself to all these indestructible demons. And of course some sissy sorcerers apprentice delved all the way to trap the mega-villain, who freed himself. As you can guess, plague and hard times press upon Rivellon, as Lord Chaos (Ed. - They couldn't come up with anything better than Lord Chaos?) is seeking his revenge. You, are the unwilling hero, the Marked One, one of the holy divine trinity (hence the name of the game), and your task is to slay Lord Chaos once and for all and save the world. But, before you can save the whole world, why don't you run several dozens of errands, minor and major quests that will ease the problems of the suffering population? Quests are varied and there are a lot of them, there is your basic 'fetch me this'n' that' missions, but also complex tasks which have their own sub-quests. The entire story and quest system is vast, but not cumbersome, which is a definitive high for this game. Divine Divinity puts an entire vibrant world in your palm, but in the same time logical progression trough the storyline makes you feel resolved to finish them all, and not feel like a lost puppy which is the norm for most of the open-ended questing systems (just remember Morrowind or Daggerfall). If you wish to play munchkin, then go ahead and kill everyone and everything, poke every three and leave no stones unturned (actually possible, a nice feature of the game-engine), and you will eventually dig all the secrets, and be the biggest badass in the game.
Your reputation, your dialogue choices (attitude), your previous behavior and of course gender, will affect heavily the NPC's opinion about your character. More than pure role-playing effect, attitude affects barter trade deals, gets you free healing, help from others and also a possibility of a romantic encounter. Yes, true, there are several characters in the game that you can seduce (or they can seduce you), there is even a 'kiss' animation and some rather tickling lesbian encounters. (Ed. - SWEET!) Hooray for Belgians, say I!!!
While graphics are 2D (I'd say 2D ½), they are up to the current gaming standards. Map design, characters, enemies, monstrosities, it's all nice; though it's also obvious that static models are a lot better than the animated ones. Still, things look cute and convincing, which is less important for this kind of game, than its overall atmosphere. Female characters are really cute, but then again so are all those kitties, rabbits and whatnots. One advice, max resolution is 1024x768 and it gives a sharp picture; details are small but sometimes seem photorealistic. The game looks best in this resolution, as you can see enemies approaching from afar, and the mini-map is not in you way. Trouble is, when action gets hectic, so does your vision, as the game stays super-sharp and you can easily miss small items or some detail whilst your eyes scream for refocusing. If you watched any of the latest hyped-up computer generated Disney movies then you know what I mean.
The game supports older SVGA modes and you don't need to have 3D graphics to play Divinity (er...yeah, sure). (Ed.- Wow! Actual thought to consumer needs from a PC game, will wonders never cease!) Audio effects and sounds are not a huge part of the game, more like a regular part. Combat sounds could've been more interesting, and spell effects more mystic. Same ol' boring sounds of coins clatter and that annoying swoosh sound of items being handled are getting really stale. Music is quite nice and ambient, though sounds of the wilderness are not as wild-like as one would expect. In short, the sound could be better!!
This game features some nice details, such as wild life and butterflies, romantic encounters, alchemy, cooking, generally loony conversations and hilarious NPC's. There are hours of gameplay ahead of you, and familiar combat and playing systems allow you to focus on adventuring. Considering the lack of bona fide RPG games, Divine Divinity is indeed divine. But if you are a player of sophisticated, delicate taste, then I suggest you go back to 'real' tabletop role play. (Ed. - Or pick up Final Fantasy X.)
8.1 Very Good
Great balance between a Diablo-like hack and slash, and an actual role-playing experience. Nice story handling and multitude of cute details. Not overly difficult but still challenging enough;
Animations, especially during combat sequences. Poor interface handling.
BACK TO TOP