THERE was a time before consoles got their childish grip on gaming when intelligent role playing games (RPGs) dominated the PC landscape.
Divinity: Original Sin is a satisfying look back at the days of Baldur's Gate 2, Icewind Dale, Fallout and Planescape.
If you remember those games fondly, there's a better-than-good chance D:OS is something you should pick up.
If not, here's how to tell if it's something you're keen on.
If you preferred Mass Effect 1's pacing, story and leveling system over the Mass Effect 2's streamlining, D:OS may appeal to you.
If you prefer chess over marbles, D:OS may appeal to you.
If you think The West Wing is a better show than Heroes, D:OS may appeal to you.
Simply put, D:OS is an isometric fantasy RPG with turn-based combat and a focus on party tactics instead of gun-trigger reflexes. Bringing the genre back to its party-based roots is something tried too infrequently these days, and D:OS shows that having witty banter between characters is still hugely entertaining.
There's easily 100 hours of gameplay here, and the progression finds a near-perfect balance between the crafted feel of linear games and the freedom of open-world games by letting you go wherever you want but punishing you for making silly decisions.
Are old-school turn-based RPGs superior to console-inspired action RPGs?
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Another fun aspect of the game is that you build two characters during character creation. Not only can you tweak the duo to compliment each other in combat but the pair will talk back and forth during the game, and with the ability to choose what they say to each other, you can create interesting dynamics and role-plays.
D:OS isn't going to hold your hand. Many mechanics, such as the ability to combine certain spells and the environment to create unexpected results, aren't well documented. Knowing which choices to make as you level up is also not immediately apparent.
Fans of the good old days will rejoice in the sense of discovery this provides, as well as the sense of superiority a game with built-in 'hard mode' gives.
It's also fun to play a game that doesn't feel like it was designed by an alcoholic in marketing who can't see past their son's Xbox addiction.
Divinity: Original Sin is a boon to anyone waiting for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, and will most likely prove to be the better game in the long run.
What's your favourite story from a turn-based RPG (PC or Pen & Paper)?
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