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Larian Studios

Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition is comfortable on console, if a little slower

Nov 03 // Zack Furniss
Split-screen co-op functions much like ToeJam & Earl from back in the day: both players share a screen when they're close to one another, but if they drift far enough away, the screen splits and each player has their own camera to control. This can be jarring if you separate and rejoin multiple times in rapid succession (imagine someone flailing their hands in front of your face really fast to obscure your vision) , but it otherwise works surprisingly well. I also didn't anticipate being able to wander so far away from you partner. There were multiple times in the ten or so hours we played where he would be in town and I'd be fighting enemies on a distant beach. Controlling characters works better than expected in that it actually works without making me want to throw my controller into the toilet in exchange for a mouse and keyboard. You can move your character around with the left thumbstick, or you can click it to create a small cursor. This effectively allows you to maneuver your avatars like a point and click RPG and is blessing when you want to go to the bathroom while you traverse to the other side of a map. Combat is easy enough to handle, with multiple radial menus and shortcuts providing quick-enough means to an end.  An RPG can live or die by its inventory, and Divinity: Original Sin was never exceptionally manageable in the first place. While the presentation is pleasant (little chests, barrels, and gore piles show up as a cute lil' grid when you look through them), picking up items can be a tad tedious. Holding down the X button brings up a search circle around you so that you can look at multiple items simultaneously, which minimizes minutia but still isn't completely ideal. If you hadn't played the PC version before you'd probably think it was a little slow but nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, even with hands-off experience I know how much faster that can be, and in a game as large as this one, poor inventory accessibility goes from a wrinkle to a wound after awhile. Moving items out of your way is probably the offensive activity here. Instead of just clicking and dragging it out of your way, you have to hold down that search button, choose the item, go to a separate small menu, choose move, and then determine where you'd like to place said item. That is entirely too many commas and clauses to complete an action that you'll do often. It does work better if you use the point and click control scheme, which I found myself utilizing often. Overall, I wouldn't call these controls unwieldy so much as inconvenient. But if you can manage to acclimate to these puppets' strings, there's a fantastic game underneath. Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition is one of those rare fantasy RPGs that has charm, charisma, and doesn't feel completely generic. Now that almost every NPC is voiced, the world feels even more alive and personable. The co-op conversations, in which your main characters can agree, disagree, argue, and jest with one another, eventually leading to traits that have a tangible effect, are perfect for couch sessions. Turn-based combat doesn't seem like it would flow as well, but it does. Each time my brother covered an orc in oil and I set him ablaze, we high-fived like a couple of douches. The environmental/elemental battles always find a way to remain exciting. I'm no Chris Carter, so I can't finish a 100 hour game in two days. There's still a garbage dump's worth of shit that I haven't in Divinity. So far, the extra quests and dialogue feel right at home, and the addition of dual-wielding has made my rogueish spellcaster even more formidable. Even after the little that I have played, though, I'm confident in saying that this one's worth your time. Just remember to pick up every shell on the beach and send one to your brother's inventory every time he checks his phone. See how many shells you can send before they notice. Have fun!
Divinity: Original Sin photo
Couch co-op clickiness
While playing through the lukewarm Sword Coast Legends last week, I kept telling myself there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Once I finished my slog through the Sword Coast, I could revisit Rivellon in Divinity: O...

Original Sin 2 photo
Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 cleared all of its Kickstarter goals

$2 million raised
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
In the final days of its Kickstarter, Divinity: Original Sin 2 only had two stretch goals left -- one for a Shapeshifting Mask, the other for a Game Master mode. Both are happening. The crowdfunding campaign came to a close w...
Divinity photo

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is in its final days on Kickstarter

Last call
Sep 28
// Jordan Devore
When we last talked about Divinity: Original Sin 2, it had only just cleared its base goal of $500,000 on Kickstarter. That was last month. Now, with less than two days left in the crowdfunding campaign, Larian Studios is sit...
Divinity redux photo
Divinity redux

Divinity: Original Sin should be the next great couch co-op game

Enhanced Edition coming to consoles
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
If I'm going to play Divinity: Original Sin -- and I'm told that I absolutely should -- I'd prefer to do so cooperatively on a single screen. That's the topic at hand for this Enhanced Edition trailer. To recap, Enhanced Edit...

Divinity: Original Sin photo
Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4

Say goodbye to another 100 hours
May 15
// Joe Parlock
People liked that Divinity: Original Sin thing last year, didn’t they? The CRPG won quite a few awards and was positively received here at Destructoid. Now developer Larian and publisher Focus Home Interactive...

Divinity: Original Sin Collector's Edition detailed

Includes two copies of the game
May 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Only 3,000 of these Divinity: Original Sin Collector's Editions have been created, and half of them were already claimed by Kickstarter backers. So only 1,500 of these exist if you want to try and get your hands on it. In the...
Divinity photo

Divinity: Original Sin exiting Steam Early Access on June 20

The turn-based RPG got a sizable new update today
Apr 25
// Jordan Devore
A year of additional work on its isometric role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin has allowed developer Larian Studios to add, basically, more of everything. Most striking of all is the before-and-after footage shown side ...
Divinity: Original Sin photo
Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin release date set for February 28

Kickstarter money made the game bigger
Sep 29
// Joshua Derocher
Originally planned for release this fall, Divinity: Original Sin has been pushed back to spring. This delay is a result of developer Larian Studios implementing stretch goals which brought in more money to the Kickstart...

A day in the life of a jetpack-wearing dragon monarch

Jul 15 // Fraser Brown
Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC)Developer: Larian StudiosPublisher: Larian StudiosRelease: August 6, 2013 War is happening! It's all terrible and such, because wars usually are. The old emperor is dead, his unlikeable spawn are in charge, and it's up to his illegitimate half-dragon offspring to unite the disparate fantasy races and save the Empire. Units must be constructed, buildings must be selected to augment the many regions under the half-dragon Prince's control, gay marriage bills must be pondered.  Wait. What? As I said, Dragon Commander is full of surprises. While the great war is ostensibly the focus of the fantasy romp, the needs and desires of Rivellon's population cannot go ignored. Onboard the Raven -- the prince's ostentatious flying ship and mobile headquarters -- representatives from the colorful races that inhabit the realm have gathered, and they all come with their own political points of view and agendas.  [embed]257145:49581:0[/embed] There's the frightfully anaemic undead ambassador, a religious zealot; a dwarf in a bowler hat and fox fur scarf, representing capitalist ideals; the lizard spokeswoman, haughty and arcane; the devilish imp representative, who just wants to blow things up; and finally, the elven ambassador, who is liberal and green. Unsurprisingly, it's the latter who proposed the gay marriage bill. These politicians might be caricatures, but their motivations, prejudices, and desires run parallel to those of their real-world counterparts. It was ultimately up to me to decide whether or not to pass these bills and make them laws, and I found myself juggling the pragmatism one might expect from a war-time leader and my own political leanings.  All the stuff that happens between the battles should be fluff, right? This is a real-time strategy game, don't you know? Surely I shouldn't be having this much fun chatting with a one-eyed, one-armed grouchy general in a bar, or listening to the political rhetoric of a god-fearing skeleton -- but there I sat, giggling as I hung around the Raven, not killing anyone or blowing anything up. I did inspire my lizard general to beat up an elderly imp, however; I suppose that counts as violence. As important as all of this is, from the politics, to the hint of role-playing dialogue, and two separate research paths -- the imp's technology and the magic of my Gandalf-like mentor -- it's the strategy and tactics that undeniably make up the meat of this unexpectedly delicious digital sandwich.   Surprise is really becoming a theme here, because the battles were not at all what I was anticipating. I start off by selecting the battle map, which is a real map, situated on the bridge of the Raven, and I can move little pawns around this map, or place cute wee buildings on my provinces. I'm playing a board game, and it's delightful. I can even select cards from my deck, more of which are generated depending on what buildings I've erected, and these can give boons to my provinces or even give me an edge in battle.  Right-o, my half brother has invaded my territory -- as nasty siblings are wont to do -- so it's time to leave the board games behind and dive into some real conflict. Have Larian bugged my home? I fear that they might have. How else would they know that what I always really want from my RTS games is something akin to Total Annihilation or its younger cousin, Supreme Commander. There's that constant stream of mechanized units, pouring out of bases and onto the battlefield. A never-ending torrent of explosive, aggressive vehicles that can be blown to smithereens in the blink of an eye, but recruited very quickly.  There's no time for me to sit back and soak it all in, because by the time I've finished sipping my margarita, comfortably put my feet up on my desk, and cracked my knuckles, I will have lost the bloody battle. What I'm trying to say, poorly, is that Dragon Commander is a very fast game. And yet there's quite a bit of management going on. Not to fret, though. As all of this management is tailor made for the balls-to-the-wall pace of the explosive extravaganza. Turret and building nodes, for example, are captured by proximity. My mechanized assault force of giant zepplins, magical airships, and speedy little land vehicles that sort of loosely resemble tanks arrive at their destination, fight their little steel hearts out, and while they are doing that I'm immediately putting down anti-air guns right next to them to give them some support.  And then I turn into a giant bloody dragon. Maybe I was too hasty when I previously suggested that being a dragon wasn't the most entertaining aspect of Dragon Commander, because it really is ridiculously fun. At the touch of a button, I go from commanding my legion to flying around the battlefield, casting spells, raining down fire and projectiles, rapidly dodging enemy rockets -- it's exhilarating, especially given the pretty, brightly-colored battlefields that make up the dragon's playground. The dragon isn't simply a powerful unit, as the game's mechanics immediately shift from typical strategy fare to an airborne shooter. The joy is short lived, however, as the limited control I have over my units in dragon form necessitates switching back lest I forget that I actually have an army to command. And despite the raw power of the oversized flying lizard, a few AA units can rapidly shoot it out of the sky. The dragon can be respawned, but at a cost -- specifically the sacrifice of units -- shrinking the all important reinforcement pool. It's risky, but dragons.  In the single-player campaign there is the sense that you might have a rather unfair advantage over the AI, considering the fact that they don't have a dragon. An overwhelmingly powerful force can be decimated in seconds with dragon fire, and from what I've experienced, the AI simply doesn't have anything that can compare. Multiplayer, however, is a very different story. Dragon-on-dragon warfare? It's what videogames were designed for.  I'm not sure what anyone else expected from Dragon Commander. It's a spin-off being developed by a studio known for its RPGs, so I'm guessing not a lot. And yet it's shaping out to be really rather splendid. I still have questions, though. I've yet to really pay much mind to the multiplayer, what with the lack of other players -- my peers are apparently too busy writing words to get beat up by me in a dragon scrap. There are also a few niggling issues. If I have to hear the units spew their annoying, extremely loud stock phrases one more time I will kill someone. And research is, to put it bluntly, a wee bit boring. But I'm eager for more. The gags elicit guffaws, the strategy is compelling, and dragons are awesome. I wait with baited breath to see if I continue to enjoy myself when it comes out next month. 
Dragon Commander preview photo
Scaliness is godliness
Does slapping a jetpack onto a dragon sound ridiculous to you? Are you incredulous at such a prospect? You shouldn't be. How the hell does such a beast fly without mechanical assistance? Dragons are big, buff enough to make o...

Dragon Commander photo
Dragon Commander

Let's watch 27 minutes of Divinity: Dragon Commander

This game is going to be a time sink
Jun 26
// Jordan Devore
Come for the jetpack-wearing dragon, stay for the combination of real-time strategy with base building, aerial combat, and overarching political role-playing. If it was not already clear before this extended gameplay walkthr...

Jim and Larian are playing Divinity: Original Sin now!

Check us out on one of those live streaming things
Apr 25
// Jim Sterling
I'm online with Larian Studios right now, playing Divinity: Original Sin, the game that's got less than a day to meet its final stretch goal on Kickstarter.  We've put this together as an unplanned last-minute thing and I'm looking forward to giving it a good ol' look and maybe stabbing something with a sword. Enjoy!

Divinity: Dragon Commander gets fiery new trailer

Also, a new website
Feb 27
// Jim Sterling
It's been a while since Larian Studios had anything to show for Divinity: Dragon Commander, but it's resurfaced with a new trailer reintroducing us to a world of strategy, action, politics, and dragons wearing jetpacks. Oh y...

Larian holds GOG's first 'pay what you want' sale

To deal is divine
Oct 10
// Jim Sterling
Larian Studios, developer of the Divinity series and the highly promising Dragon Commander, is teaming up with to hold the service's first ever "pay what you want" sale. You get three Divinity games for any price you ...

gamescom: Dragon Commander SE will include board game

Aug 19 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Larian showed off the multiplayer mode for the first time at gamescom, which sees up to four players fighting for control over the map. Players will move their troops around on the 2D overhead view with each turn, and battles will then be taken to a 3D environment. The cool thing about the battles is that it all takes place in the air. So all your troops are fighting it out in the air, and you can lower or raise your troops altitude levels for different advantages in fights. Part of winning matches involves managing your troops, and using the right cards to strengthen your troops. You can also jump in or out of the battle yourself and play as a giant flying dragon with a jetpack. Dragons can go in and take on the enemy's troops direct that's played out similarly to a third-person shooter. Dragons are very important, so you have to be very careful how you use them. They can die, and while they do respawn, you will lose a signifiant amount of gold.  In the first match I saw, two players had to fight each other for control of the map. This was a three player demo though, and the third person is brought into the match as well. He's only in his dragon form though, and has no troops to command. The third player can go around to attack whoever he likes, or help out one of the players if they pay him. There can be up to four players, human or AI controlled, and there will be a various ways players have to fight each other in the multiplayer. The next battle I saw involved all three players fighting.  Dragon Commander's multiplayer was looking pretty fun based on my demo time. I'm more looking forward to the campaign myself, though. The story sounds really good, and I'm just in love with the character designs.

Larian Studios wants to include a board game version of Dragon Commander in the special edition retail release. They're still looking to find a cheap solution for the production, as right now the options available to them are...

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