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Review: Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition

It has been some amazing years for Larian Studios. A Belgian company that conquered the hearts of many gamers with their traditional RPG, Divinity: Original Sin. The game was one of the best releases last year on PC and a must-have for fans of classic RPG games. The Enhanced Edition brings the same magic to consoles and is actually one of the first console games of Larian in years. But will the console audience enjoy this Original Sin?

Nobody holds your hand boy

The biggest difference between modern console games and classic PC games is that modern games tend to hold your hand. They take you by the hand and guide you past enemies and interesting location. Divinity: Original Sin does nothing like that. Sure, there’s a short scene showing some pirates on a boat but after that, you’re dropped on the shore. You start the game with two characters and no clue on where you need to go, as it should in classic RPG games. For modern console gamers, this one might come as a shock but it’s for the better good of course. Original Sin stays true to its formula and explains only the most necessary and that isn’t a lot. So you get a lot of freedom, that’s good right? But how do you control such a game on consoles.

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Larian Studios really did its best to translate the keyboard and mouse setup to a single controller. You zoom in and out with your right thumb stick. By lifting your stick, you zoom out on the map, by pushing it, you zoom in. Sure, it isn’t that intuitive as a classic PC set-up but it works surprisingly well. You’ll need to adapt to this new camera control, since you’re used of 360-degree cameras on consoles but once you get the hang of it, it will start to feel very natural.

Besides the camera, you’ll need to control your characters as well of course. This happens with the left thumb stick and feels natural for the console players of course. There’s nothing strange going on with character control but do note that the game runs on thirty frames per second, meaning a fast spin with the camera might ‘freeze’ the game for a second. Nothing major since you won’t be doing that a lot but it’s worth mentioning nevertheless.

Have you seen those menus?

It won’t be a surprise to say that Divinity: Original Sin came packed with menus on the personal computer. It’s the way a traditional RPG has to be played and Original Sin is no exception. It’s easy to click open the right menus on PC but how does this work on consoles? Well, Larian Studios once again proved that they are masters of console ports. All menus are in the console version and nothing was cut from the original game. This means there are tons of menus to check out, most of them are mapped under your thumb sticks.

By clicking your left stick, you’ll activate a radial menu that can be used to switch characters. It works fast and that’s important during combat. By clicking on the right stick, you open another radial menu, including essential information. In your right radial menu, you’ll see everything about your quests, inventory, equipment and more handy things to activate. The sticks do an amazing job in creating small, easy to master menus compared to the ones found in the original PC game. Like the regular controls of the game, you’ll need to get used to it of course. Don’t worry if you accidently open up the wrong menu, with a click on the button it will be gone and you can open the right one. The controls need some thinking and adapting to at first but once you understand them, they feel very intuitive and natural.

 

One of the best classic RPG’s

 

Besides those handy menus, your action buttons are used during combat to activate your casting menu or items during combat. After a while of playing it, we started to believe that Larian Studios created the perfect control scheme for console RPG games. This alone is worth some praise of course!

Enhanced for consoles

It’s great to see that the controls work on consoles but what are the other enhancements? Well, the most important one is the voice acting for sure. Unlike the PC version, this Enhanced Edition comes with a huge voice acted cast. This of course, was needed for console gamers to hear what they were supposed to do. On PC, it doesn’t really matter if all NPC’s speak since you’re close to the screen and can perfectly read what they are saying. This is a lot harder on consoles. Most console gamers are further away from their screen so a lot of small texts wouldn’t benefit their experiences. Thanks to the voice acting, which is actually done pretty well, gamers won’t have any problem in understanding the NPC’s. It might sound like a small improvement but it really adds a lot to the game.

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Another great addition is the inclusion of a great co-op multiplayer mode. This can be played online with friends or random players and offline on your couch, with a friend. Yes, Original Sin does what Halo 5 doesn’t. It delivers a great couch co-op experience without any lag and it’s amazing to have such an offline experience today. It might not be the perfect game for it since it’s rather lengthy but if you want to play the entire game with a friend, it’s possible!

The classic experience

All those enhancements are great but won’t matter if the basic game isn’t fun. This isn’t the case for Original Sin. The game creates a classic RPG experience but brings it to the modern era. It looks sharp and plays very fluently. There’s a lot going on in the environments and the combat and looting feel perfect. Be warned however, this isn’t that type of game you just pick up in stores and play at home, you need to understand what you are getting. Deep and classic RPG games aren’t for everybody to enjoy due to the length of the game (more than sixty hours) and the amount of dialogues. If you like traditional RPG’s however, it doesn’t get better than this one.

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Conclusion:

Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is the best possible PC port console players could hope for. The controls are remapped to perfection and the voice acting makes sure you always understand what NPC’s are saying. This Enhanced Edition isn’t like something you often find on consoles. If you’re looking for a traditional RPG that you can enjoy alone or with friends, this is without a doubt your best option.

8.5/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.

One Comment
  1. m88bet May 8, 2016 at 08:09

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