Posted: July 8, 2014
They say that old is gold and I find that this proverb rings particularly true with the hack and slash fantasy role playing game Divine Divinity that was released in 2002.
I'm not sure why I didn't get my hands on this game until now. And I probably wouldn't have played it still for years to come if I hadn't received it as a gift from a dear friend of mine. The best way to describe Divine Divinity is that it's a mix between Baldur's Gate, Diablo and Skyrim. Chances are that you'll love this game if you've played any of them, or better yet, all of them. However, one thing that you should know before diving into this game, is that it's pretty hard and requires quite a bit of dedication and perseverance. There will definitely be moments when you might want to give up and ragequit but try to hang in there and give it a chance because otherwise you'll miss out on a fantastic RPG experience.
You can play as either a male or a female human and there are three classes - survivor, warrior and wizard - that you can choose from. Depending on which gender you pick, you receive certain starting attribute bonuses, for example, the male character has more strength and the female character is more agile.
At the beginning of the game, your character wakes up in the cellar of a house in the small town called Aleroth that's home to several healers. Before long, s/he finds out that the leader of the healers has gone insane and s/he is, as might be expected, asked to find a solution to this problem. The story begins to unfold from there. Pros:
- Divine Divinity has definitely aged well, although I believe that the art style that's been used in the game is pretty much ageless anyway. Furthermore, various patches have enabled DD to be played in widescreen and higher resolutions. The textures are crisp and spell effects still look pretty damn cool. All in all, as far as graphics go, I believe that DD could easily measure up to any point & click action RPG that's been released in recent years.
- The soundtrack fits the eerie atmosphere of the game down to a tee.
- The storyline is gripping and cohesive. It sure kept me glued to my screen for several hours at a time!
- Odd, yet welcome, comical bits that pop up here and there. When I first encountered one of these random humorous encounters I felt slightly confused because up to that point I'd been under the impression that the game was very dark and serious. As I progressed through the game and started seeing these goofy bits more often I just got used to it and dealt with it, so to speak.
- Lots and lots of sidequests. Some of them are pretty straightforward, others require you to do a bit of thinking, solve some puzzles or do a bit of research.
- Familiar fantasy setting with various races like elves, dwarves, orcs, etc., that makes it easy for any RPG fan to immerse themselves in the world and maybe even grow to care about the characters that they meet.
- Although the game has three classes to choose from, you can learn almost any skill that you want. For example, if you've picked the wizard class because you love to use magic but you really want to use a bow as your main weapon, then you can totally do that!Cons:
- Overdramatic and cringeworthy voice acting.
- Some very difficult boss fights that might seem impossible to win if you haven't levelled your character properly.
- The font becomes very small with bigger resolutions and it's hard to read books, manuscripts, etc., unless you're sitting very close to the screen. To fix this, download a font enlargement patch.
- The interface isn't very player friendly and it's quite awkward to use until you grow used to it. I think that it could have probably been handled a bit better. You can only map spells/skills/potions to the F-keys which means that you've only got 12 keys for all the stuff that you wish to map, and it isn't exactly natural to press those instead of the usual 1 to 0 buttons.
- There's no button to make your character stand and attack on the spot during combat, so if you prefer to use ranged attacks and you misclick, then you can accidentally run into a horde of enemies and get yourself killed.
In conclusion I'd say that if you're an RPG fan who hasn't played Divine Divinity yet, you should definitely give this game a go. Perseverance will be rewarded!