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Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition doesn’t just patch last summer’s role-playing PC hit and port it to consoles. It adds a whole new layer to one of the best RPGs on the market.
Unfortunately, while the new content should be a huge bonus for PC gamers (who, if they bought the original title, will get this one for free), players won’t find the game quite as accessible or as pleasant on consoles.
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Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition releases today for PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, and PC from developer Larian Studios and Focus Home Interactive/Maximum Games for $60.
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition can take close to 100 hours to play, depending on what you choose to do and who you choose to talk with. I’ll update this review when I’m satisfied I’ve seen the extent of the story (again).
What you’ll like (so far)
Finally: Visit Rivellon with friends
D:OS begged for a co-op option in the first version, and Larian has done a bang-up job of implementing it here for two players, both on the couch and online.
For starters, you’ll enjoy the intelligent split screen for local co-op. Wander too far from your partner and the screen will automatically split.
You can do anything you like independently — one person can tackle a fight accompanied by some NPC buddies from your party, and the other can sell things in town, for example. Does your friend need help? Head back and you can join the battle in progress, the split screen dissolving when you’re in range.
The Enhanced Edition’s multiplayer treatment includes everything almost I love about co-op RPGs. Friendly fire from area-of-effect spells. The ability to steal your buddy’s loot — both before and (using an ability, unfortunately with their permission) after they pick it up. The ability to force your friend into combat by luring enemies back to their vicinity.
Ha. Perhaps I have solved the mystery of why some of my friends refuse to play co-op with me any more.
Regardless, when you’re not busy griefing your party, you can work together to achieve some seriously cool effects. Perhaps your friend makes it rain on enemies and you make it freeze, for example. Or one of you baits melee mobs into water, and the other stuns them with electricity.
It works the same way for story: I truly enjoyed not having to micromanage the game’s NPCs alone. Having a partner to, say, go steal an object while I distracted the crowd with a terrible, terrible rendition of a dramatic theater play, was truly rewarding.
Players can smoothly drop in and out of a game in progress, and I found it easy to invite friends.
A city full of voices
The original D:OS provided voice acting for selected dialogue. Here, let me fix that: “quote-unquote acting.” The success of the first may have paid for the addition of talent to the second: British actors Alix Wilton Regan and Alec Newman join the voiceover cast and do a very nice job.
Larian added more than 69,000 lines of voice-acted dialogue to the game. Everyone talks now. Pass through a town and unnamed citizens have voiced responses to every spoken option you choose, and a good number of them talk to you, each other, aloud, or to anyone nearby.
It doesn’t just add length and depth to the story; frankly, I’m one of those people who tends to speed-read through conversational options. It also contributes to the immersive feel of Rivellon — the concept that all these folks have something to do when they’re not talking to you.
A full 360 beautiful degrees of vision
While the Enhanced Edition keeps the isometric view of the original, it also adds a movable camera. This is priceless not only for the increased ability it gives you to survey the scenery, but also for fixing some of the camera-angle wonkiness that used to make focusing on some of the game’s puzzles truly difficult.
The original’s helpful selectively disappearing walls and structures still remain. If you walk behind something based on where the camera is located, the game will fade out that portion of the wall to show you your feet.
But having the additional camera freedom is a pleasure.