Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition launched on Xbox Game Preview a few days ago, and we were fortunate enough to play the opening chapter on Xbox One X. Those who purchase the $59.99 game can get early access to the title, but you can't go past the first environment. Luckily, even the first prison fort area is filled with numerous quests, quirky characters, and incredible secrets.
Divinity: Original Sin II gives players the freedom of a sandbox role-playing game, encouraging improvisation and experimentation, with rules made to be bent rather than followed. The game takes place in the world of Rivellon where gamers can go anywhere, talk to anyone, and fully interact with the world like no other experience. Divinity: Original Sin II features six unique characters with proper backstories, personalities, and quests. You can also choose to make you own hero.
The title starts off much like every The Elder Scrolls game. You're a prisoner who has a collar around your neck to contain your "Source" powers. Unfortunately, the ship transporting you is attacked by a massive behemoth and you barely make it ashore. That's when the real adventure begins. Not only do you have to escape the island, but you also have to become a god. The long-term quest is quite possibly the most epic endeavor presented in any game to date.
Just like any challenge, there are other individuals who have been chosen by rival divine beings to become their champion. Navigating these social interactions as well as trying to escape the island is difficult. The region is filled with guards and other deadly monsters. Who you side with and who your companions are is incredibly important. You need to supplement your abilities with theirs in order to succeed even though they're your competitors.
Choice plays an important role because you can talk to anyone and do anything. There's no morality system so it's up to you to choose who you want to be. For example, do you stand by while a few ruffians murder an innocent elf or do you intervene? Do you steal certain powerful artifacts back from a grieving daughter who just lost her father even though they're mementos? There's no right or wrong answer. You need to do what you have to do. How you feel in the beginning of the game might be different to how you feel at the end. How players evolve is another interesting facet to Divinity: Original Sin II.
Divinity: Original Sin II features turn-based combat which requires skill to master. If you're new to the genre, you should play on "Explorer Mode" which gives you more of a story. However, even then combat is challenging so you have to pick and choose your encounters. Analyzing how strong enemies are and saving often is necessary. Only tackle guards when you have better weapons. Finish every side quest and level up before you go after the vile Bishop Alexander.
Finding items is another part of exploration in Divinity: Original Sin II. While I wasn't able to play past the first area, I found a lot of powerful swords and wands hidden away. For example, if you climb the hill in the center of the map, there is a majestic saber waiting for you! Consider this a tip because I was slicing through enemies with ease after I acquired it. I can't imagine the wealth of content the full game holds.
Unlike the first game, there are also a number of options for romance. While this isn't a necessity, it adds to the world because it gives you more options for how to interact with the computer-controlled characters.
Divinity: Original Sin II features online multiplayer so you can team up with three other players to conquer the world of Rivellon. Larian Studios also added a split-screen mode so you and a friend can take down "Magisters" from your couch.
The game looks a little blurry on Xbox One and doesn't currently feature Xbox One X support, though it is planned. This is puzzling because the graphical leap isn't that significant over the first game and the resolution still seems to be 1080p. Apart from that, Divinity: Original Sin II doesn't appear to be running at 30 FPS all the time as there are some noticeable drops. Hopefully Larian Studios will be able to iron out these issues and introduce proper Xbox One X support at launch and maybe even a 60 FPS option.
The amount of content packed into the opening sequence is truly staggering. It took me two days of continuous playing to reach the final Xbox Game Preview boss. Then another day after that to finish all the side quests. At least I think I finished them because there are so many characters and secrets. After playing for a few hours, you'll immediately realize why Divinity: Original Sin II garnered tremendous critical acclaim when it launched on PC a few months ago. The game is truly an amazing achievement in the role-playing genre and the standard against which future titles will be measured.
There are serious missions like avenging certain injustices and silly ones like putting out fires on immortal burning pigs. The variety — and hilarity — make Divinity: Original Sin II a truly unique game which all Xbox One owners should purchase. According to the developer, the Definitive Edition for consoles includes hundreds of additional tweaks and changes which make the experience even better. You simply cannot miss this one.
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