Verfasst: 15. Oktober 2014
This game is a hoot...
'Divinity II: Developer's Cut' is a great game. It is a fantastically fun game. It's a wonderful romp of a game. It is not, however, a roleplaying game. 'Planescape: Torment', this is not. Sure, it wears the moniker of "roleplaying game", but it's a lie. This is the sum of what you'd get if you mixed 'The Legend of Zelda' with 'Diablo': an action / adventure game with some roleplaying elements. It's a singleplayer 'World of Warcraft'. By roleplaying elements I mean, of course, quests, stats and loot. "But it has character customization and skill specialization. I can even choose how my voice sounds..." you say. Nope. Sorry. Roleplaying involves playing the role of a character as though you were that character and making choices that distinguish your playing of the game from, say, your neighbor's. The game simply doesn't do that. In an actual roleplaying game you'd be able to express in the dialogue your distaste for Thieves and Bandits, because you're a Goody Two-Shoes Paladin. You'd be able to grumble at Elves, because you're a racist Dwarf. Or you'd receive a clever dialogue option due to a high Intelligence stat. What you get here in dialogue, generally, is a "normal" response and a "funny response". Unless you're looking to roleplay as a Comedian, I don't think this cuts it. Intelligence has no effect on dialogue options. In fact, outside of the status of quest objectives, nothing does. It's all very static.
Divinity II is really good at what it does. Deep storytelling it surely isn't. Sure, it has a backstory, in-game readables and a bit of a thin (and I mean thin), plot. The game world itself is large enough, beautiful, and whimsical, but it rarely makes sense. There's quite a bit of video game logic where the game world layout is concerned, particularly regarding layout and enemy encounters. It is, sort of, free roam. You have to be able to defeat the enemies in a given area to proceed, and if you can't, then you need to explore somewhere else for awhile. In that sense, it's not entirely free roam - you have to have the goods to venture into new territory. That said, due to enemy scaling, fighting higher level enemies yeilds considerably more experience.
At this point I should mention a factor in the game: mindreading. You can read the minds of NPCs in the game during dialogue. The benefits are sometimes great, sometimes mediocre, and sometimes there is no benefit beyond a bit of expositional text. This is the one part of the game I absolutely hated, because mind-reading is confusing, in my opinion, and creates an experience debt. So, say you have 3000 exp, for arguments sake, your next level up is at 6000 exp, and you just mindread someone for an experience debt of 1000 exp; you have to fulfill that experience debt of 1000 exp before you can proceed to gain experience towards the next level. With that said, it's pretty vital to completing the game that you DO mindreads. In fact, progress in some parts of the game can't be gained without it. I've read of people who have mindread everyone in the game and been selective in other playthroughs and the comparative ends were negligible. Take that for what you will. In my own playthrough, I referred to a walkthrough/faq online whenever I encountered someone in the game. I used the walkthrough only for the mindreads, because, as I said, I found the whole concept confusing and I didn't wanna fudge my game.
Every character in this game is voiced. Every dialogue in the game is spoken. In fact, many parts of it includes narration, like when you're looking at objects or reading readables. I think this is, not only uncommon, but also extremely well done here. You will never hear dialogue spoken in the game and think, "oh, that sounds awful, or cheesy, like they couldn't afford real actors". The voice-acting here is top-notch and there is so much dialogue in the game that it makes it all the more impressive, in my opinion.
The game is hilarious. It truly has a sense of humor. Sure, it's facade is of this epic adventure, but there is so much humor in this game it's almost unbelievable. There are parts that are just laugh-out-loud funny. The humor is easily one of the motivators for my own determination to play it through to the end.
The graphics are beautiful. I had no complaints in the visual department. They obviously built the world very carefully and put alot of thought into it's design. I only found a handful or so of geographical errors, which is pretty impressive given the scope of the game world. Running around and exploring the game's world was always fun and rewarding. The enemies are varied and plentiful. The items to be found are also varied and plentiful.
Here I should mention how much this game follows the Diablo vein of item-finding. Most items found in most chest/barrels/whatever.... are randomized. You can save/reload for a different find. The same holds true for the quest and boss fight rewards. It's to a very large degree randomized. Always saving and reloading looking for better loot would certainly make for a considerably longer game though. There are certain specific chests and rewards that are always going to yeild the same result, but it's mostly a dice roll.
Like Diablo II the game has prefixed items and it also has set items. On top of that some items come with enchantments and can also have charms placed on them. So items will have varying numbers of enchantments and charms (between 0-3 of either) as well as static statistics. So you might get a bow that does 21-43 damage, 2-5 magic damage and health regeneration of .023, as static statistics, but have an empty charm slot and two enchantments (say, additional 100 damage, +5 spirit). Charm slots can only be filled once. Item enchantment slots can be disenchanted and re-enchanted as often as is possible or needed.
The game has no sense of morality. You can rob good people blind. There's even a chapter in the game where you get to choose who out of 4 of 8 people will live and serve you. The other 4 die. Why do they have to die? Excellent question! The game doesn't provide an answer. In one of the more extreme examples there is a quest given to execute a man being held. There is evidence to suggest he's innocent, but freeing him and aiding his escape yeilds no reward whatsoever, but executing him provides considerable reward. In another, more comical situation, you come across vegetables that talk. They were all people polymorphed by a witch. You can restore them to their proper selves, or.... you can eat them. Remember, you're supposed to be the "hero".
The game has mucky controls. It's clearly a game better suited for a gamepad, which isn't supported on PC. The game is so much an action-oriented console-style "rpg" that it even has platforming tropes. I kid you not. There are several instances in the game where you have to be on your "A" game in order to succeed in a platforming task. To make matters worse, the keyboard controls are not the most responsive. So, prepare to be frustrated.
At the end of the day, this is a great game that will definitely entertain. It will also frustrate on occasion. You might encounter a few bugs, as I did, that will test your patience and resolve (just try again or come back to it later), but I can definitely say this game is worth the time and the money. It's not a game I'd be much interested in playing a second time through, but that's just me (I'm more of an RPG purist) and it's so worth playing at least once.