By Matthew O’Hara
Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition is a turn-based, role-playing video game that serves as a modern spin on classic role-playing board games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Divinity II includes a variety of new maps, levels, and dialogue along with a new and improved physics engine, setting it apart and improving upon its original 2017 release for PC. Divinity II is available for the Xbox One and Playstation 4, making it more accessible for people interested in playing the game.
One of the main aspects of Divinity II is the amount of replayability and customization you can inject into your quest. You can choose your character’s appearance, class, abilities, and social background at the beginning of the quest, and can also do the same for your party members. If you do not enjoy or do not wish to use the customization options, you can choose from pre-set characters. Your actions influence the story, as the game gives you a variety of different dialogue options and decisions that change the game as you play. The story that involves the pre-set characters is about the Red Prince, a Lizardfolk fighter who was placed under arrest for studying dark magic known as sorcery. When he is thrown into captivity, he meets and forms alliances with a variety of unlikely allies that help him escape his imprisonment and accomplish his true destiny. These allies include Lohse, the cursed enchanter; Ifan Ben-Mezd, the sharpshooting wayfarer; Fane, the skeletal wizard; Beast, the destructive battlemage, and Sebille, the cunning rogue. Each of these characters has a unique personality and story that can be fleshed out in detail when completing side quests that are tailored to them. Along the way, you and your party will meet a variety of friends, foes, and monsters, each with their own unique battles and side quests for you to take part in. Each quest will yield a variety of different rewards and equipment to strengthen and level up your party so that you can progress in the main story and take on harder side quests.
While Divinity II is a very enjoyable and interesting game, it’s extremely difficult. Many of the enemies that you encounter will have more powerful skills and abilities, making you rely on strategy to survive. Divinity II also contains a variety of complicated puzzles and traps that your party must maneuver through, many of which will spell death for your characters with one wrong move. The level of difficulty is increased with the possible permanent death of your characters, forcing you to find and level up a new party member. Fortunately, Divinity II does allow you to revive your fallen characters with resurrection scrolls, but such items are rare and hard to come by. This brutal difficulty curve can be quite frustrating at times, as a simple mistake can lead to devastating consequences in the game, forcing you to reload and try again.
Overall, Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition is a fantastic strategy RPG, with an interesting story, diverse cast of characters, and a gigantic number of side quests that keep the game fresh and entertaining. While the game is enjoyable to play, it does cater to a specific kind of gamer, one who enjoys a challenge and strategic combat. Players who don’t fit this category will most likely become frustrated with its combat difficulty and perplexing puzzles. With these factors in mind, I give Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition 4.5 out of 5 stars.