Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition Review

Larian Studios brings its well received turn based action role playing game to the console masses with the arrival of Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition. Xbox One and PS4 gamers get the best of both worlds and if you’re coming from the PC original then the Enhanced Edition features will come as a free update. In a nutshell, players select a male or female starting character and then head off into the city of Cyseal to adventure until their hearts are content. There are several styles of play to adopt that you would expect such as melee fighter, ranged attacker with bows or spell-casting mage types but interestingly you can mix and match rather than stick with a pre-defined role which is pretty neat. What starts out as an investigation into a mysterious murder involving some sort of sorcery opens up many paths as players talk to NPCs and increase the list of quests no end. Interestingly, the choice of two characters means that there’s a bit of banter between them when specific events happen where one might not be in agreement with the other, except, the player determines the choices which is a novel approach.

Gameplay revolves around the aforementioned talking to the numerous NPCs, traders and potential new party members, exploring the large map and generally getting into scrapes will all sorts of lesser minions and boss characters. The combat is turn-based which means you’ll need AP to move and attack or cast spells. You’re able to bank AP by ending one’s turn early on giving you an edge if you’re positioned correctly. However, attention to the turn rotation is key to success in terms of targeting the next potential attacker and keeping your four man party at the forefront of aggression. As a new aspect for the Enhanced Edition players can equip grenades of various types to open up the combat and provide areas that can trap opponents. For example, tossing a fire based grenade will set the surrounding area on fire which means any opposition caught in the initial blast will continue to take damage from the resulting fire. There’s a neat system here because these can be used to your advantage with great effect. Another example would be to toss the grenade at a group and then using a teleport spell, grab another enemy who might be outside of this area and slam them down into the flames. It’s not all plain sailing though because the enemy AI isn’t stupid and if there’s a chance will cast a rain spell during these moments which as you would expect douses any flames. There’s some really neat moments to experiment with here and when you couple this will stealth, numerous explosive barrels and such like means combat is always fun and engaging.

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The adventuring across the map is a mixed bag due to the fact that although there’s free movement with the camera and players can directly control each of the four characters, the speed at which they move is painfully slow making treks take far longer than they need to be. Luckily there’s some handy teleport and waypoint tools but these only help in certain instances – even navigating the starting town just seems to take an age which hurts the game if you’re impatient. That said, there’s a plethora of things to look at when running about including crates and talking to interesting characters. It’s rather neat being able to trade with pretty much every character you come across although stealing can result in being attacked which offers a bit more depth to how you relate to NPCs. On one occasion we accidentally moved an object in an important quest NPC’s home and instigated a battle. We succeeded in taking him down but this meant we had to find an alternative way of getting the information we required. You can clearly see there’s a lot of depth to the game making it a rewarding an involving experience. If there’s any real criticisms levelled at how the game presents itself is that there’s a lot to take in for the newbie player which might seem a little daunting at first. If players can get past the constant reminders of what can be accomplished and learn at their own pace then the rewards are there. That said, the game is quite vague where being stumped is part of the learning process. Who would have thought that placing crates over gas emitting traps would enable you to freely walk past – something that is shown during the tutorial but not made a point enough of being a constant feature during play.

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Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition does a decent of job of providing a solid interface for players where selection wheels enable changing of characters in an instant and looking at inventories, equipment and logs. It does take some getting used to especially as you can’t swap between character inventories without changing character first which seems a bit unnecessary. However, as a conversion from a PC game the interface works well with a game-pad.

The visuals are also pleasant with some bright and cheerful locations at the start of the game fused with dark and moody interiors befitting of an adventure game of this ilk. It’s great being able to zoom in close to your party to get a good look at their current get up despite this camera angle not being particularly useful for much else.

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Audio has been beefed up considerably over the original release thanks to some excellent voice acting for most characters which means the lengthy discussions have a bit more personality. This is welcome if you’re patient enough to not skip the text. There’s also a variety of great sound effects surrounded by some well produced music making for a colourful aural palette.

In terms of length there’s a massive adventure here which will take an age to complete and with the numerous side quests to tackle will keep gamers well-occupied and getting their monies worth. There’s also an option to play split screen or with others online which is a cool bonus for those who want to team up for some co-op adventuring.

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is a sprawling adventure that’s filled with plenty of quirks to keep the most ardent RPG fan well entertained. The turn based gameplay won’t necessarily appeal to everyone, but if you’re well versed then it’s an accomplished and delightful game full of options to sink your teeth into.

Score 8.5/10

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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