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Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga: Ego Draconis Review

PC

The history of the Divinity 2 games is slightly confusing, the initial release of Divinity 2: Ego Draconis in November 2009 was met with mixed reviews to address some of issues Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga was released a year later, this includes a re-mastering of the Ego Draconis story and also adds in Flames of Vengeance an additional campaign.

I have now completed the Ego Draconis campaign, and have some thoughts. While the game is significantly better than I really expected it is not without its flaws.

The story is your fairly generic fantasy fare but it does its job, most disappointing is the main villain who is never convincingly evil coming across as a mix between pathetically morose and camp enough. Shortcomings here are made up for by a decent sense of humour that manages to walk the line between trying too hard and being amusingly surreal. When you finish the story of Ego Draconis it rolls straight into Flames of Vengeance keeping your level and items and I only realised it had happened once I started receiving tutorials again, this probably says something about the ending of Eco Draconis. Had the game finished here I don’t think I would have been happy, while there is no lack of content and the several plot points are tied up it still leaves too much to be resolved and I would have felt cheated of a complete story. Whether I will be satisfied at the end of the next part remains to be seen but I want to get there so it can’t have been all bad. One of my favourite things in the game is the seemingly organic conversation between NPCs I don’t recall ever seeing it with this degree of detail between named characters that say things specific to them not just stock responses.

Graphics are achieved on the Gamebryo engine better known for Bethesda’s Oblivion and Fallout 3 and in several regards it surpasses them, the animation while not brilliant are is significantly better though retain the sense of detachment from the environment you are moving though. The game pulls off faces significantly better showing that the myth these flaws were inherent to the engine are not entirely accurate. Rather than a true open world the game is made up of a several large areas that have some variety and numerous dungeons leading off them.

Combat is too level dependent rather than skill based an enemy a level higher can prove a frustration but an identical enemy of a lower level is easy makes the difficulty seem artificial. You can turn into a dragon there are several specific skills tied to this as well as some armour items flying seems fine for the most part again the physics of the engine seem weak as you don’t have any feel of momentum but it adds a nice change of pace and makes getting around the several large areas pretty fun. Air combat as a dragon is simplistic but with a few skills to use including heal and some special attack moves though it’s mainly about taking down enemy defences. Levelling is much like Diablo with some stats related to resistances, damage and health as well as a number of skills you can respect for a cost once you have progressed to a certain point if you went the wrong direction in the early game. Mind reading mechanic that sacrifices experience to be able to tell someone’s thoughts that often helps solves quests or gives information on things that can help you out. There are a few quests early on in the game which simply require your snooping to initiate and these are great at immersing you in the game world as you mind-read, break into the basements of the starting village and discover the villagers sordid secrets.

While quests are generally fetching items or killing something it kept interesting with a number of different locations and a continual but not overwhelming amount of loot. Like many open world games structured quests are not the whole focus some of the best bits are found though exploration there are entire areas whole floating fortresses that are entirely optional to clear out. Worst feature majority of quests lack a marker on your map which it ended up with me simply using a guide so I knew where to go next.

It’s hard to recommend this game but I enjoyed my time with it so if you desperately need to pretend to be a dragon this game could be for you.