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Divinity: Original Sin II - RPG Codex Review

by Silver, 2018-03-07 02:55:54

The RPG Codex have reviewed Divinity: Original Sin II.

The man with very few cheeses

The character system in DOS1 was one of the more often criticised parts of the game. It had clear problems when it came to the relative usefulness of various statistics, and it just wasn't very interesting or deep. Let us see how DOS2 compares.

Character creation is very basic. You get to create a single character (or a party up to 4 if you're playing in coop with other folks), assign a bunch of stats, pick a talent and three starting skills. Selecting your background is probably the biggest choice, because there's a total of 14 to choose from. 4 of them are basic races (human, dwarf, elf, lizardman), then there are 4 "undead" versions of the basic ones, and finally there are 6 pre-made "origin" characters, with their own additional in-game stories and quirks. Each background also varies in terms of two unique racial abilities. The last thing to choose are your two character "tags" - such as "noble", "scholar", "soldier", etc. - that you can use to further flesh out your protagonist. The tags are primarily used to unlock new dialogue options, but they have a few other uses as well. Tags for origin backgrounds are pre-set and can't be changed.

A word on origin characters - their implementation is a neat idea. Being able to adjust their stats at the start while keeping the potential quest and story benefits given by their pre-written backgrounds is the best of both worlds. It encourages you to dive in for the additional content they may bring without scaring you away with badly-made or unappealing stat profiles. Also, even though you only create one character (if playing solo), you will still be able to add three more to your party, and the odds of them being origin characters are high, since you get them before you are able to create new custom ones. Their builds can be tweaked to your liking even at the point when they are recruited, which lets you adjust your party profile as you see fit, without making story-related concessions.

This is roughly where the positives end when it comes to the character system.

Sadly, Larian's response to criticism regarding character building was making the system even more shallow and uninteresting than it was in the first game. Almost everything in DOS2, every attribute and ability, has been degraded to 5% damage bonuses and hardly anything else.

To start with attributes - there are six of them: Strength, Finesse, Intelligence, Constitution, Memory and Wits. Strength gives +5% melee damage per point and increases weight carrying capacity. Finesse gives +5% ranged damage per point. Intelligence gives +5% magic damage per point. Constitution grants +7% max health per point! How amazing. Memory at least is something different, because it increases your skill memorisation cap - the higher your Memory, the more skills you will be able to use at once without swapping them out of combat. Last we have Wits, which increases crit chance by 1% and initiative by 1 per point. Looks fairly important, but you have no idea how wrong you are, though I will come back to this in the combat chapter.

And that's it. You might be asking yourself, "hey, where's my chance to evade hits? Movement range? Action points? Damage reduction? Saving throws? Hello?" The answer is "just forget them", because they either do not exist at all, or are attached to specific "class" abilities (like Scoundrel) and increase by 1% per point.

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Information about

Divinity: Original Sin II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released


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