I got to sit down with Larian Studios Producer David Walgrave to talk about Divinity: Original Sin, their upcoming party-based 4-player prequel RPG. Our quick look at the game made me pretty excited to play the game, despite having never played the two previous games. Let me tell you why…
Our demo kicked off with two players in co-op mode. Our male and female characters are recently resurrected – the female is some sort of mystic, and the male is a warrior that remembers only pain. They are both able to control and resist what is being called “Source Magic”. This magic is what is being used by the Orc faction to try to take over the world, but we can use it to control the elements. Making it rain and calling lightning were the most obvious applications.
[singlepic id=7986 w=320 h=240 float=left]The isometric RPG features one of the best hallmarks of the games I play – that being “if it isn’t nailed to the ground, or unreasonably heavy, you can move it or destroy it. This even includes the little rabbit we saw hopping around. Our character is looking for a man named Robert for the purposes of our demonstration. He is responsible for creating the mechanically enhanced undead creatures that are maurauding through the area. As they assisted the Orcs in their attack, we’d like to have a quick chat with Robert and end this issue at the source. Before we can find Robert, we’ll have to have a chat with Sarah.
Sarah is a local whore that has supposedly slept with Robert and just might know where he is. Unfortunately Sarah has been visited by an evil minion – a suicide bomber creature that’ll kill himself and Sarah if we even try to get close. We’ll have to find a different solution. Using dialog options brings up choices on both player screens. They’ll either agree or disagree based on the context, and if they disagree there will be an internal dice roll to determine the victor. In this case, we distract the bomber long enough with conversation to unleash a summon ice dragon skill. This dragon freezes the bomber in place, allowing Sarah to reach a safe distance before we shatter the little beast.
After we save poor Sarah she is eager to divulge what she knows. It turns out that Robert is actually a “Wollock” – a demonic creature that seduces women and then kills them with these bomber creatures. Sarah reveals that Robert is waiting for us in a lair to the South.[singlepic id=8007 w=320 h=240 float=right]
Demonstrating the “Attitude system” we proceed to press on Sarah’s good nature by taking items out of her house. This means that you can’t follow the Zelda mentality and barge in, smashing and grabbing everything in your path. Well, that’d be true if you didn’t have a second player – one can provide distraction while the other snags everything in sight.
]Back on our path to find Robert, we grab an apple and some mushrooms along the road. Eating the mushrooms causes us to become poisoned, but using that same mushroom on a sword makes the blade toxic, at least for a few applications. Combining the apple with a health potion we create a detox potion and cure our self-inflicted malady. Everything in the game, no matter how seemingly innocuous or mundane can combine to provide unforeseen benefit or hidden purpose.
[singlepic id=7991 w=320 h=240 float=leftOur health restored, we descend into a dungeon and get our first glimpse of real combat. The turn-based battles are (as of this point in development) hand-placed and serve as challenges in the environment. In this case, we have a pair of skeletons and a bomber to take down. Grabbing a nearby barrel filled with oil, we use some of our action points to toss it into position near the enemy. Using a few more points, we smash it open with our warrior’s sword. The oil spills onto the ground, making it slick and flammable. We stick the ground with a flaming arrow that finishes off the enemies, but the demonstration is clear – the environment is your weapon. Flaming arrows set things on fire, rain can put it out. Fireballs will turn snow into water, and lightning on that water will electrify it.
Pushing further into the dungeon we encounter a far larger set of bombers. Using our charisma stat we convince the dangerous little beasties that it is their destiny to blow themselves up – the chain reaction is glorious.[singlepic id=7983 w=320 h=240 float=left]
Our final encounter is with a set of skeletons, bombers, and a huge robot with spinning claws and lasers. Using a chain reaction with two barrels, and then electrifying the water puddle underneath him keeps him stunned for several rounds. Summoning an ice elemental gives us the opportunity to control the creature personally. We freeze the robot with the elemental, giving our second player the chance to take down a Wollock Shaman and wear down the mechanical beast.
Our demonstration for Divinity: Original Sin was fairly short, but it is already clear that the folks at Larian are injecting quite a bit of depth into this third-person isometric RPG. This depth is being built with the editor that will be included with the game when it ships. This means that you’ll be able to create your own adventures, complete with triggers, characters, dialog, and more with a human-readable editor that anyone can use to create worlds that can be played with their friends. We love covering titles that fall outside the over-hyped and underdelivered titles that hit like a landslide each year, and from what I’ve seen this title from Larian is one to watch.