Divinity II: Ego Draconis

I’m just going to preface this post by saying that I have only played 30 minutes of this game. On the other hand, I have played 30 minutes of this game.

This is another game I have had sitting in my Steam library for a while, which I think I bought in the Christmas sales. I hadn’t looked into the game at all when I bought it, just saw the preview with dragons, and figured it would be worth a shot, especially at the price I got it. Sadly I was wrong to think that.

Right when the game opens up for the first time you get a suspicion that something is not quite right. For me at least – the main menu feels unpolished, mouse sensitivity is all out of whack, and nothing is aligned. As with all new games, I first went to change out to windowed mode (as some full screen games have problems with dual screens), but there was no option to. This was the second small red flag that went up in my mind. Nevertheless I carried on and started a new game.

The game opens up into a cutscene which I figured would be a small 5 minute thing to get you into the basic parts of the story, fleshing out who you are and why you are there, what the world is like, what is happening etc etc. None of that happens. Instead of the expected, it opens up with a short shot of some random person, then cuts to a completely different person in a forest trying to stalk a dragon. The guy steps on a twig, the dragon looks up, then flies away well before the guy can get near it. Notice how none of this explains anything. I should add that during this there is no voice over, or any text to explain anything thats happening, just those two short scenes.

Straight after these cutscenes, you get put into the character customization screen. I say customization, I mean chooser. There are three options that you can change. Gender, hair and face. And all of those options are premade, no real customization.

Then the game pulls out the thing in the image above. You can only guess at it being a ship of some sort, due to it being huge and flying. Still there is no explanation as it stops and you are put into your character’s body. This is the first real chance for you to see what the actual game graphics will be like, and honestly, they remind me of a generic MMORPG. Not so much a big single player RPG. You are forced into a conversation with some random woman who apparantly knows all about you and what is going on, but she tells you nothing. To cut it short, she tells you to run up a road and go become a Dragon Slayer. Sure lady, no problem.

The next 10 minutes of game play are just as insane as the first 20 seconds. It uses the short road up to a village to explain the movement controls, but if you were an oaf that didn’t know how to play these games, the control tips would mean nothing. They literally say “To move forward, press {forward}”. Thank you game, I had no idea that would work!

Once in the village, you are forced into more conversations with random people that know all about you (but don’t tell you anything), forcing you to go talk to someone else at a waterfall. So you trod along to go see that person, and within 30 seconds you are suddenly a Dragon Slayer. No lead up, no enemies to kill, still no explaination of why you need to be a Dragon Slayer, or what you’re meant to do with these shiny new eyes, but nevertheless, there you are.

I also noticed throughout these ‘conversations’ that the voice acting is actually horrible. Like Trolls 2 horrible. The worst part with it is not the voice acting itself, but the animations what accompany the voice acting. The animations aren’t bad per-say, but combined with the voice acting they make one horrible mesh of bad. Like Trolls 2.

Skipping past more horrible tutorial parts of how the combat works, you are forced into a class without the game really telling you that it is a class you are choosing. You get the impression that the people are just giving you skills (which reminds me that just after the Dragon Slayer part, some random woman walks up to you and says “Oh here, have some mind-reading powers”) to use throughout the game, but when you leave the village you are told that you only get a single set of these skills, finally making it clear that it is just a horrible way to let you choose your class. Done another way in a different game, this might actually be a good way to let the person choose their class. Give them the base class skills, a few enemies to try it all out on, then let them switch to find the one they want. But in this game, with the little explanation it gives, it is actually bad.

The first actual quest that the game gives you occurs directly after the class selection, while you still have no idea what the hell is going on. But that doesn’t matter, you’re going to hunt a dragon! The way we hunt dragons in these parts though is by walking around town asking people if they’ve seen a dragon. I walked into the town, and the first person I talked to told me where to find the dragon, so figured I had done good. I spoke to a few more people first to make sure that nobody else knew anything, which they didn’t, then went back to the lady who was telling me what to do to let her know where we needed to go. But alas, I get no option to give her the information, only “No, I haven’t found anything!”. Never mind the fact that I knew exactly where it was, facts are silly anyway.

One thing I noticed before I walked into this town was that I could hear multiple sets of footsteps, each as loud as my own. This meant that my speakers just became a jumbled mess of footstep sounds no matter how far away I went from the town. This made me notice the other sounds in the game, and how properly bad they are. The jumping and landing sounds are exactly the same on every terrain, and sound dull, the ambient voices are as bad as the voice acting, and the other ‘town’ sounds are as bad as everything else.

Throw into this mixture some generic MMORPG game play and movement (without the MMO mind), and this little mixture of a game boils down to something that just isn’t worth playing. I sincerely regret wasting the bandwidth on downloading this game, and won’t be playing it again.

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