Saturday, February 18, 2012

Slightly Redder Red: Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga Review

Instead of having a shitty tenth weekend update, which I want to have lotsa content but I couldn't find enough to write about to make one, you get a game review.

The game is pretty good, too. Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga is a very well executed RPG with a better than average story, good gameplay, and the developer and writers' knowledge on how to make an engrossing game that doesn't take itself too seriously.

For starters, the game looks awesome. The landscapes are bright, vibrant, and even your standard early zone forest looks nice. The visuals that take the cake, in my opinion, are the ones of Damien's Realm, the fiery and hellish landscapes matched by flying demons and ominous and deadly soldier and fire spewing towers. They remind me of the planes of Oblivion from Elder Scrolls IV, but a little less confusing to navigate. They're a lot deadlier though, albeit you'll spend most of your time in Damien's Realm as a dragon. I'll be getting to how fun the dragon gameplay is. The zones are very detailed, I can tell a lot of work went into making them. They all have their own little secrets, scripted events, sidequests, and more content than you can shake a stick at. The game saying there's over one hundred hours of content might be a tad of an exaggeration, but there's still a lot to discover in all the towns, cities, forests, valleys, and beaches of DKS. Exploration is actually a very key aspect to the game; at one point in the story I was being sent around an island to find the best helpers I could get to aid me in my mission, and I stumbled upon the next quest in the main storyline before I finished my previous objective. It gives a real DnD vibe how much player exploration is stressed.

The side quests that fill up the land aren't too shabby, either. Each are deliciously different, from stealing pigs from a group of horny soldiers (I know what you're thinking, but the situation is much different than how poorly I phrased that), to sending a breakup message from your combat trainer to her lost love, or to finding a book on a pirate for a maritime secret society. They're all written very well, and the voice acting is spot on to fit the characters. From your average bar wench to your envoy from the largest and most majestic cities, the cast did well.

Where the writing shines, however, is the main storyline. For a game that doesn't take itself seriously at all, it actually has a very original and well written main story. You start the game as a recruit to the Dragon Slayers, an order of knights responsible for keeping the land free of the Dragon Knights, who are mankind's greatest enemy. But, when it comes time to square off with an actual dragon knight, you learn that they are the misunderstood guardians against the ancient evil that threatens to plague the land, and you join their cause. I won't spoil the game too much, but it's now your job to destroy the ancient evil, and it's a pretty well done job at that.

The gameplay also shines. The combat flows nicely and is fast paced, and is also difficult enough to keep you on edge but still having fun. Something I could change, however, is that you don't regain health outside of combat. Well, you do, but at like four health per second. What is it with games and not having your health regenerate outside of combat? It always severely pisses me off, especially now that I started playing Dark Souls. Why is this ever a good idea? I'm getting sidetracked... but anyway, the class system is fun in how it isn't really necessary but still gives overarching bonuses if you spec into it, and the fact that you jump like Shaq is fun too. Don't even get me started on how high you jump. Jumping is kind of made obsolete when you unlock dragon form, but so does ground combat, too. However, dragon form can only be used in Damien's Realm and outside, so it's not completely overpowered.

The best part about the game, the part that sets it apart from other RPGs of its kind, is the mind reading. For an amount of XP, you can glimpse into what an NPC is thinking, and I"ll be damned if every time I ever chose to mind control something awesome and beneficial didn't happen. Whether I was finding the location of a mace a demon let a mortal borrow, or simply learning of the blacksmith's affair with the farmer's wife, it all helped me out. The secrets and side quests unlocked by this completely optional feature continue to make life easier, and it almost makes the game.

In closing, it's really fun and something that I urge you to acquire. It's funny, charming, well done, and overall a great game. 8/10.

1 comment:

  1. I may give this a try. I tried the demo, and spent 20 minutes kicking the rabbits running around. Then I got a quest I didn't ask for talking to a guy. It was awful. But if you think it's good, maybe it'll get another chance. Some day.


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