Divinity II: Ego Draconis

There are two kinds of people in the world; people who think dragons are the coolest and people who are just plain lying to themselves. Divinity 2: Ego Draconis, released on PC and X360 back in 2010, is a fantasy RPG that lets you play as  Dragon Knight complete with the ability to turn into a big, fire-breathing dragon.

Divinity 2’s story starts off with the player at the end of his life-long training to become a Dragon Slayer. Shortly after your initiation, the universe quickly decides that it would be funnier if you were turned into the creature you’d dedicated your life to eradicating. Except it turns out being a Dragon Knight isn’t so bad after all and from there you set off on a quest to save your home realm of Rivellon from a greater evil, an organisation called the Black Ring run by some guy named Damian.

As per the fantasy RPG checklist, the game has a multitude of side quests scattered throughout the different regions and are quite varied from saving a local pig farmer’s favourite pigs to bounty hunting to infiltrating and destroying a Black Ring general’s flying fortress. These side quests often have several different ways to complete them as well as having different outcomes. One example involved choosing to free the souls of a tyrannous lord or his subjects damning one or the other, or you can just choose to let both suffer. The amount of decisions the game gives the player contributes to the game’s atmosphere.

Divinity 2’s dialogue system is nothing new with the player given a list of dialogue options. The actual dialogue itself does have its moments, giving players plenty of opportunities to sass and antagonise NPCs as well as further explore and open new approaches to quests. One of your abilities also happens to include mind-reading which can not only prove amusing but also extremely useful. Mind-reading can increase your knowledge giving you experience, get you discounts or lead to more questing.

Divinity 2 has a basic hack-and-slash combat system complete with a myriad of spells, skills and weapons. The game offers the usual warrior, ranger and mage classes but instead of sticking to one, as you progress you can freely combine and switch between the combat types mid-combat. The game’s progression system is by levels and skill points so as the player advanced, you can ‘buy’ more skills or more powerful versions of the skills you already have. The skills have a decent variation with conjuring spirits, debilitating ranged or melee attacks as well as your Dragon Slayer and Dragon Knight abilities.

Being a Dragon Knight also coincidentally allows you to turn into a dragon! The ability is an important (and fun) mechanic actually used throughout the rest of the game rather than just being thrown in as a cool gimmick. For example, the aforementioned flying fortresses are just that. Each fortress is comprised of giant, floating rocks with actual fortresses on each of them with ballistae and nest-towers scattered everywhere trying to bring the player down. Once you find a place to land, you’ll more often than not have to fight your way through a small army.

The game is based on level progression so theoretically the difficulty curve naturally and steadily increases however if you do wander into an area even just a little high level for your character, you’ll find out swiftly and painfully. Even fighting opponents that are the same level as you can require more than just running in a mashing the attack button. Being an RPG, XP grinding is nothing new but multiple deaths in the same place can become frustrating if you’re one of those people who forget to save often.

The graphics are decent, nothing extravagant but the world has nice details scattered throughout. The player’s adventures through Rivellon will take you through some pretty standard fantasy settings including a forest-y valley with a small village, a mystical island, scenic fjords and of course several monster-infested caves. The main areas offer wide open spaces which you can make the most of in your Dragon form with objectives and secrets hidden high and low.

Beyond the occasionally frustrating difficulty curve, Divinity 2 has varied quests and solid gameplay making it a decent game to sink a couple of weekends into. Did I also mention you get to be a dragon?

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