Repost: Divinity II Ego Draconis Review

Divinity II Ego Draconis is the story of betrayal, history, and misinformation. On that note, anyone interested in playing the title should know that Divinity II is not for the beginner RPG player or even a casual fan of the genre.

This title is made for the hardcore, level grinders who know customization beyond armor and weapons, and who know the importance of dexterity over strength.

The title begins with the protagonist as a new Dragon Slayer. In these beginning moments, the protagonist is allowed to choose their class (Mage, Warrior, or Range Fighter) and learn a bit about the history of the Dragon Slayers.

Once players arrive in the first town, the game begins the insane RPG elements that will either aggravate players or excite them with the furious difficulty that starts after the first journey outside the town.

Plot-wise, Divinity II has enough to keep the game worth playing as each area reveals a bit more about the overall story and where the protagonist fits. The story itself is very linear with the plot being a bit dry and expected, it does fall into the “misguided savior realizes their destiny to save all of mankind” type, but the humor and dialogue in the title keep it interesting.

Visually, Divinity II has a mixture of really well realized areas and bland dungeon areas. The main character looks interesting and detailed, equipped accessories are visible during exploration and combat. The NPCs range from highly detailed to what looks like painted skins. The outdoor areas are the best looking with shadows and lighting effects.

There was an amount of pixel bleeding on the character models with the backgrounds, the NPCs would lose some of their definition and what looks like the lack of anti-aliasing was present during the dialogue conversations.

In different areas of the game, the maps create bottlenecks, causing combat to be very one-sided against the player. Animations themselves look both eloquent and like a drunk waving a bat in the air. The animation issue also runs into issues with a lot of the NPCs as the movement assigned has that “walk on ice” feel to it. The larger enemies also have this issue which breaks the immersion of the game.

On the sound side, the game has a huge amount of dialogue in it, every character will have at least a line or two and the dialogue trees are very long, thankfully they can be skipped. The environmental sounds are also great with a defined difference between outdoor and cavern areas. During large battles, there is a great surround sound mix that works really well.

Going into civilian areas like bars or towns come alive with the movement of people and other small sound effects that aren’t immediately noticeable, but added to the lived-in feel.

In the gameplay, Divinity II is an action RPG that includes both turn-based assignments and real-time combat. The first tier weapons and armor are more or less cardboard when compared to the later weapons in the game. Those higher level accessories have the ability to include enchantments and charms which add different effects, all of which are necessary to survive.

The ability to Mindread, something earned in the beginning of the game, is so integral to the plot and gameplay, that not mindreading, which is used through experience points (having no experience points will create a debt) is going to penalize the player from the start of the game.

Besides the usual stat points that are upgraded after gaining a level, there are skills that can be upgraded. Magic, Ranged, Melee, and Dragon Slayer skills can all be upgraded as players work through the game, but careful consideration is needed because sometimes the obvious choice is the wrong one.

After gaining the ability to turn into a dragon, which can be equipped with armor, the game does take a different feeling because the combat of the dragon is different from the combat of the Dragon Slayer. That ability is gained in the latter half of the game, so the experience is something that has to be earned through the story.

The main issue with the title is the extreme difficulty. In the case of Divinity II, it holds nothing back from the start. Side missions become necessary because leveling is the most important task to continue the story. Players might become frustrated with how the game presents itself, enemies only one level higher are able to attack with both high attack and range points.

Unlike a lot of other RPG titles, where the difficulty gradually increases, Divinity II never gets easy and saving every two minutes is absolutely necessary. Some bosses later in the story are able to kill the main character with one shot, but on repeat attempts will perform some of the strangest attacks or simply stand still taking damage.

Considering the genre, Divinity II Ego Draconis is a step in the hardcore direction, but the intense difficulty could cause disinterest early on for a lot of players. The ability to turn into a dragon later on in the title is interesting, but I don’t know how many people will grind enough to be able to get to that point.

The title is a game that rewards those who work towards completion, but otherwise, most novice RPG players should take care when they start. Divinity II Ego Draconis‘ story is one worth discovering, but it will take a lot of hours to get there.

Review copy provided for review purposes

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