Divinity II Is A Drag-on.
Numerous Flaws Kill An Otherwise Amazing Game
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If you checked out the demo for Divinity II: Ego Draconis on Xbox Live, like me, and then played this game when it was released, then I feel your pain. Divinity II: Ego Draconis is the sequel to the 2002 Divine Divinity, but the world is pretty much the only thing that links the two games. Otherwise they are worlds apart in everything, including quality.
You're in Rivellon, but the world has experienced a war that lead to the creation of dragon slayers, of which you are one. Like the name states, they kill dragons. A dragon was spotted in Broken Valley and you are off.
At first look, Divinity II appeared amazing, sort of like an Oblivion with lots of dragons. After ten minutes though, some of the game's "glitter" fell off. Twenty minutes later the glue starts to come loose from the edges, and after thirty minutes the game had me cussing like a sailor. I wondered how this title slid by quality assurance testers like a thief in the night. Did anyone even beta test it?
I experienced issues with the game environment, mainly having the floor disappear from beneath my feet. Falling into holes in the code is like being spit out of the Matrix every five minutes.
Also, I became a tad worried while playing once I noticed that enemies were not re-spawning so I couldn't grind to level my character up. I leveled as much as possible by completing main and side missions in the villages, only to then continue the game and venture to the next mission to end up fighting skeleton warriors that straight owned my butt, and make me wonder if the game difficulty switched without me knowing it. You can't compete with them because there isn't any way to get to their level before you get mobbed. There is a finite amount of XP to be had, and if you get it all, you're still well short of the required mark. To compensate, I became a heath potionaholic in need of a twelve-step program!
You get the choice when starting the game to play as a wizard, ranger, or warrior. Well, I started as a wizard only to realize I couldn't do the damage needed, so I scraped that character and played as a warrior. The game has a class-less system (skill tree) so you can choose what powers and abilities you want, but the main class choice made in the first area holds great importance because choosing warrior gives you better ability to fight with these level jumping enemies even on the lowest difficulty.
I really liked meeting the necromancer who will be happy to create your own monster from the spare parts you've picked up from fallen enemies. The more heads, torsos, and bits you collect means more customizing the monster that's at your side when summoned and fighting with you.
Another thing that will aid you is the mind reading gift bestowed on you at the start of the game. This can be done in exchange for experience points to help you figure out hidden agendas and bonus side missions. Are you being charged too much for goblin hearts? Delve into the mind of your enemy, er, merchant, and find out. If you use this too much, it will sap even more of the limited XP from your total, but done sparingly and at the right times, can really give you some serious advantages.
Lastly, I have to mention the dragon. Yes you will obtain the ability to pop in and out of dragon form, but this too has its disadvantages. In dragon form you can only fight flying enemies because you can no longer see the enemies on the ground. This was a real bummer because I was looking forward to becoming a holy terror in the sky, incinerating enemies on the ground as well as in air. You are able to do some damage while in dragon form to enemies on the ground as long as you remember where they were located prior to you growing wings! Come on, dragons can look down. I just know it.
I've read other reviews and noticed a growing trend; the PC version is getting higher ratings than the Xbox 360 version. I cannot verify that this is true. I would however recommend to anyone interested in this game to walk past the console version and purchase the PC one. Save yourself the headaches that I experienced! Even after a major patch, several of the flaws are still in place, though they finally did fix the disappearing save game problem.
Some major play testing could have saved Divinity II: Ego Draconis players a world of pain. As it stands, this seriously flawed game is only worth 2 1/2 GiN Gems.
Kelly is a female gamer who plays a variety of games from RPG, FPS, Puzzle, and Rhythm. She enjoys Xbox 360 games and games on the PC. You can contact her at : KellyAdams@gameindustry.com.