Take note - this review is being done from an RTS fan who played it casual just to try it out, and hasn't finished it yet...
That being said, don't judge when I say that this game is awesome!
Divinity - Dragon Commander is the second sequel to the famous Divine Divinity RPG game from way back in the day. If there's one thing that Larian studios has shown it's a sort of inconsistency in genre of their games, but not in a bad way; with each follow-up they take advantage of the new wave of technological advancements open to them, and they've done a hell of a good job with this one. Don't expect a hack and slash RPG like Baldr's Gate or Diablo like the original; this is a Real Time Strategy game...but surprisingly not at its core.
For the short version, check below, and beware; the long version may have spoilers:
The story takes place in Rivellon like the other games, though whether it takes place before or after the events of the second games is unknown (at least to me). You play as the illegitimate son of a murdered Emperor and a female dragon, and have been chosen by the king's greatest advisor to be the savior of the empire; an empire otherwise riddled with your own half-crazed siblings all of whom want a piece of your draconic flesh. You can't do this alone of course; you have generals there to help guide you, and advisors to help you keep the people happy...at the cost of potentially others under your care. Fear not though, for you even have a wife whose marriage ties can give you great benefits with her chosen race, though even she has drama; after all, the worries of the common folk are nothing compared to the worries of the royals, and as the son-born-out-of-wedlock of a dead emperor, your worries are pretty big indeed.
The plus is story and character development; each of them being amazing individuals. Of course, there is one downside; some of them have drama isssues that you need to take up in order to ensure the safety and well-being of your empire, and the issues, unfortunately, can end in two completely different extremes. For example, Scarlett is one of your generals; young, springy, and itching to fight, she's well worth having in times of need. But you get hints that she's a little more than what she seems...and it turns out that she's been hiding a very controversial secret about herself...no spoilers, but you get the idea. I agreed and disagreed with some of her viewpoints, and feared I could either lose her or risk getting my pants set aflame by some very opinionated advisor nobles for agreeing with her. In the end though, I found a compromise that I actually liked, and she turned out the better for it.
Then there's Catherine...*facepalm* where do I begin with her? Well, she's feminist; formerly a queen of her own country which was a very strict Amazonian society, where women rule and men serve only to hold up the society and help make babies. In short, any extremist Feminist's pipe dream...and dear Lord, I wanted to have the option to boot her off of my ship in mid-air. The trouble was, I agreed with some of her plights; she had issues going on that were important, and I'm the kind of guy who respects women and am totally for equal treatment...now, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that whenever she approached me regarding this...she did what any feminist does; acts like it's my fault because I have a pair of...well, let's be polite, because I'm male and because she's female. Automatically an issue I had no clue about was my fault just because I was a man...Word to the wise, unless it is their fault, never approach a stubborn man and tell them something is. If it were up to me, with the stuff she pulled, I would have had her court martialed, flogged, and stripped of title and rank and forced to work a scullery maid, and that's if she was LUCKY...geez...
Anyway, that aside, this is a good game. I can't wait to finish it, it's going really well thus far. I definitely recommend giving it a go, full price or otherwise, especially since it's graphically beautiful as well as fun. Getting to play as a dragon in between commanding armies to fight one another is an amazing breath of fresh air, and one of my favorite parts of this game...
So, short version: pros and cons
+ Great Story/Setting
+ Great gameplay mechanics
+ Awesome graphics
+ Great sounds, soundtrack, and voice acting
+ Awesome characters
+ Never a dull moment
- Extreme left or right decisions in politics
- Puts some modern issues in the extreme a little too up front (e.g. Yorrick's pious religious attitude...we religious folks aren't all like that just so you know)
- Some of the interactions between yourself and your queen end a little too quickly...got done with the Dwarf queen before I even finished killing off the first enemy faction, two more to go after that.
All in all, I give this an 8.5/10