Divinity: Original Sin is a mixed bag. There are plenty of positive reviews out there. I personally enjoyed the game enough to beat it, but I will be focusing on the negative. The main reason for this is there are many mechanics in the game that are frustrating as a player and I think people should at least be aware of these issues. And if RPGs already aren't your cup of tea, these issues are probably enough to make it unenjoyable.
Divinity: Original Sin goes out of its way to be misleading, time wasting, and obtuse. If you're someone who enjoys not looking at a wiki when playing a game, you'll be hard pressed to do that with this game. I'll begin with a list of scenarios that have happened to me and then go into more depth. This may come across as nitpicky, but the more you play the game the more you realize scenarios like this are fairly common.
In one particular boss fight, I struggled for 2 minutes trying to align my mouse perfectly so I could actually hit the boss. The hitbox of enemies doesn't match the actual sprite, sometimes it is much smaller. This is a problem when the screen gets cluttered and you have multiple people wailing away at a boss. Sprites also move in an "idle" animation while the game is waiting for you to make your moves, causing the tiny hit box to move around while you're trying to click. If you click at the wrong moment (very easy to do), well you just moved your character, perhaps took a reaction attack from the opponent, moved through poison or fire, and now you can perform fewer actions as you move back to your original spot to try again. Eventually, I figured out the hitbox was essentially a 2x2 grid (almost down to the pixel) centered on the persons head, but it required so much precision I got so ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off trying to stab this boss, I just simply reloaded the game and waited for them to move out of the bush before starting combat. You can rotate the camera or press "b" to do a top down mode, but sometimes this doesn't help either (though top down works ~99% of the time, but it took about 60 hours and a friend to find out this particular camera angle usually works).
I decided to do a temple of trials for a particular quest line. Halfway through I realized the opponents in the temple are too strong for me to deal with at my current level. But there's a certain set of switch puzzles that took an infuriating amount of time. The game leads you to believe that if you try enough pots, barrels, and boxes the switches will open- but no, you can only use activate two of the switches with those. You need a very precise weight to trigger all the switches. That's okay, if I hadn't tried about 100 pots/barrels/boxes before looking at a Wiki to realize the game was just screwing with me at this point. Now you usually can leave areas without any real penalties, but my party contracted rot- which is essentially incurable by normal means and requires a rare item and ticks down your health by 1 health per turn until its cured (to a minimum of 1 health). Now you can use a rare item later in the dungeon, but considering I had to reenter the temple and reaquire rot to finish the quest later, I decided not to. But this required me to run around the game for 5 hours until I found the relatively rare item to cure the condition (and it only happened because my friend happened to tell me where two were that I missed). In the meantime I had to heal my party about every minute so the rot didn't chunk my health.
There's a perception stat that helps you see hidden things, along with making you have a higher crit percent. If only it actually helped you be more perceptive against enemies. I was derping around a cave and sort of knew some enemies were coming up, so I casted increased sight. Shame it didn't matter, the invisible enemies lurking in the bushes don't trigger until you trigger an enemy in broad sight further up no matter how perceptive your character is. They also can't be hit until they move once. So if you took the main route and kept your party close, you're now horribly flanked regardless of what statistical and personal decisions you made. Your only option is to reload the game and keep your party further back and then agro with a ranged weapon. Why not reward the player for actually planning instead of running semi-scripted battles and reward reloading the game because now you know how its scripted? It feels like most of the challenge from ordinary fights is from these scripted events given where I'm at in the game, and not the actual fight itself.
Other major complaints:
1. Nearly every fight in the first map involves fire and/or poison. Contracting one of these twice is enough to kill a party member early without healing, and if they come into contact with each other they explode. The end result is you spend a disprorptionate amount of time running away to remove poison/fire early in the game. There aren't any real countermeasures available early, at least not ones you can afford/waste skill points on. It's nice in small doses, but it seems like the later in the game it gets the more prone my screen is getting coated with hazards from magic spells. If I had a rain spell I could just clear it, but I don't (party choices- too late to turn back, and I can't find a skill book).
2. Vendor randomness severely limits your spell and equipment choices. You don't learn spells/skills like a typical RPG where you level up and learn them- you need skill books. Which would be fine, except vendor loadouts change when you level, and if something isn't there, it isn't there. There are some presets or high probability skill books that are almost always there, but the rarer stuff is hard to get. Later in the game there's more vendors which helps alleviate this problem, but you can go through the game and not know a spell even exists until a boss smashes you with it. Some people would argue this increases the replayability of the game, but if I don't read a wiki I don't even know what I'm missing. There's also not an awful lot of choice in the early game, because what you have often comes down to what drops/spawns in dungeons. Isn't this typically when characters start to differentiate? Leveling didn't feel particularly rewarding as a result.
3, The AI is extremely hit or miss. If you reload a game and play a fight, sooner or later the enemies do really derpy things. An example is my friend ignited an oil barrel which caused a plume of smoke around the boss. The boss sat still and burned to death because it couldn't see outside the cloud and the skeletons refused to cross the fire. A boss just sits there while eating projetiles and spells because it can't see? Another fight later has a boss that can summon a quasi-AOE fire spell that can do like 300 damage. Turns out the best way to beat him is to reload until the boss sits around ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ its turns on other stuff and just pray to your deity he doesn't ever use it. I can't help but feel something is being lost when that's the extent of the AI and how I'm using the save/load system.
4. I feel like for being a fairly open game, it goes out of its way to force me down a certain path, Which would be fine, but having to wander around until you find monsters that are about your level and just reloading/running away when you don't feels ham fisted. Enemy level spikes don't feel natural, and often I'm unsure where to go becaues its possible to have 10+ concurent quests fairly easily. The game really doesn't prime the player enough by having difficult but barely possible fights to let them know it might be a bad idea to keep wandering down this road.
I could go on, but I'm running out of space. Suffice to say there's a lot of flaws in this game, and it tends to compound as the game goes on. There's so many simple improvements that could have been made.