Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition (DOS2) is an isometric, tactical, turn based RPG set in the world of Rivellon. The game has plenty of decision making for players and has an credibly deep, well thought out combat system. There’s fascination and frustration to be had to a point that this has become one of my favourite games.
The plot follows the idea of Source. The player is one of six premade characters or a custom character who has to escape, battle and ultimately decide the fate of a group of Source Hunters. The story is slow paced with plenty of bits of lore, characters and quests that can be easily missed. Allies can betray you and there are a few shocking twists. Each premade character has their own story to follow which you will always see some of as you can have a group of four to adventure with.
Combat in DOS2 is incredible. Be a melee fighter with sword and board, dual wielding or two handed weapons. Be a mage, covering the screen in bright colours as elemental attacks combine to cover your entire screen with elements interacting for different, powerful effects or even try necromancy to bleed your enemies out. Be a summoner at the edge of a fight, let your monsters do your bidding. Obviously all this is turn based so not as chaotic as it seems but everything can be useful when you’re spending turns observing the changing battlefield. DOS2 brings in an armour system which takes away the random dice rolls for resistances that many games have, I like this system as it’s clear why my characters are stunned or frozen to miss a go, rather than the randomness that I’ve seen before. There are high ground advantages and many other ways to increase your teams damage output which thorough research could find online but the real fun is playing normally until you get an “oh my god, that’s so broken” moment.
This version of the game has plenty of quality of life features like a bedroll for fast healing outside of combat, a simple stat-based persuasion system and all character inventories viewable at the same time. Teleporter pyramids and waypoints are a free, easy fast travel system. The map allows for many custom map markers to be set. Characters walk freely if players wish but can also be directed in a more computer friendly point and go manner, only the combat is forcing turn based action. The UI isn’t too crowded and menus are decent enough.
DOS2 has some major issues as a game, from gimmicky fights to problems with the turn order I found myself shouting cheat at my TV more often than I’d have liked. The problem is that everything is about prior knowledge, there’s so many ambushes or specific situations or win conditions that a party wipe and reload is often unavoidable. The game is winnable but the player needs to not only understand their own strategy but be prepared for all the stupidly vague or unexpected fights and puzzles that come at you. There are guides with all possible information online to make the game easier, however playing good and fairly seems to put the player at a disadvantage (I did play mostly fairly, what a pain it was).
Overall, it’s rare to find a game so perfect in so many ways. I’ve had this game for a long time and have beaten it once after countless restarts due to bad choices and a massive difficulty spike in the late game. This game can be played for long stints or in short bursts but needs some dedication to properly understand. For me DOS2 hits that sweet spot of being beaten but wanting to try again as it works so well. DOS2 can take a bit of time but if you let it, it’ll grow on you until you possibly see it like I do as one of the best games ever made.
Just be careful if you do look online because people who have hit that “broken” moment like to call the game easy, which it isn’t. There are different difficulties and the hardest will push more “broken” strategies to be necessary but it’s got modes that are easy enough for anyone. Enjoy it your way.