The writing is sharp and witty and the interaction between your characters can be hilarious, you can even get into arguments with yourself!
A good example of this happened to me early on in my play through when I wanted to dig up a body to follow a lead in my investigation.
I was just about to start wielding my trusty shovel when my comrade in arms objected.
In situations like this, you can find yourself choosing the dialogue options for both sides of the argument.
I couldn't help but get on my high horse about the sanctity of the grave and disturbing the dead with my second character, whilst my first glared on, shovel in hand quipping about short sighted sensitivity derailing the investigation.
If arguments like this reach an impasse then your comrades will resort to a quick game of rock, paper scissors to resolve the conflict.
This is amazing fun and can lead to alternate paths you might not have considered previously as part of your investigation.
There's your trouble!
As the game opens, you'll find yourself being unceremoniously dropped off on the sunny shores of Cyseal.
It seems a murder isn't the only problem the town is facing. The undead are at the walls and the Orcs are attacking from the coast.
Cyseal is a town with more troubles than you could shake a level 10 elemental staff at.
The Golden Age of the RPG
There are so many outstanding titles out there at the moment, Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun: Dragonfall DC are out, there are new Witcher and Dragon Age titles on the horizon.
It's a good time to be an RPG fan, but where does Divinity Original Sin fit into this hall of RPG fame?
Let's fire it up, build a character or two and find out!
Eye of the Beholder
The graphics do a fine job of enhancing the atmosphere of the game, from dark oppressive dungeons and gloomy rain soaked woodland to bright sunny beaches and the vibrant town of Cyseal itself, everything on screen adds somthing to the isometric glory.
The Road is Long
Divinity is long game.
If you're the obsessive type and feel the need to complete every side quest on offer then you can expect to spend nigh on 100 hours in Rivellon, so you'll definitely get your monies worth with regards to content.
Murder She Wrote
In Divinity original sin you take on the mantle of a novice source hunter (well two novice source hunters, but who's counting).
You've been tasked with investigating the murder of a councillor in the town of Cyseal, It's suspected the source was involved and now, like a sword and magic wielding Jessica Fletcher, It's time to figure out "who dunnit"
Ear of the... Earholder
Whilst some NPC's are voiced, most are not. However, there are enough lines of dialogue scattered around to give the game flavor, most of which are so full of character and voiced with such vigor you can't help but smile.
Lines like "I wouldn't let an orc within 500 yards of my loving nature" and "No one has as many friends as the man with many cheeses!" are great examples of the wonderfully written and often funny dialogue that awaits you here.
With many a winding turn
I hinted earlier that disagreements within your group can cause certain options and courses of action to become closed to you.
To go back to my example, I really wanted to dig up a body, but unfortunately, my rock, paper, scissors skills let me down and I lost the "discussion".
As a result of this, the option to do a little grave-robbery was lost to me. I had to put the shovel away and think of something else and this is where Divinity really shines.
There are so many alternative paths to complete the quests it's mind boggling, maybe leaning on an NPC or two might open up other leads or breaking into and searching a suspects house could be another way to go.
The dynamics of these arguments can change the way you would normally play and force you think beyond and around obstacles you haven't foreseen.
This is such a refreshing approach and I can't overstate how much depth this adds to the game.
The Great Hunt
When you make it into the town, you'll be greeted by a wealth of varied and interesting NPC's. A whistle stop tour of the dock front will start to open up various side quests quicker than you can say "That ships on fire!" and "Do I look like a recruitment agency?"
Don't worry, the in game journal does an excellent job of keeping the ever-growing quest details in order, a feature which I've found invaluable as a memory aid following those frequent occasions where the real world dares to interfere with my investigations.
You Go First!
The game doesn't pull any punches, even before you make it into the town of Cyseal proper, you'll have your first tactical encounter which introduces you to the turn based combat mechanics.
Action points are the order of the day here, each character in your group (up to a maximum of four at any one time) will have a specific number of action points dependent on their stats and equipment. You'll spend these points moving, hacking, slashing and casting your way through these turn based encounters.
Combat in D:OS is a meaty and very satisfying experience, but it's not just about sorcery and swordplay, your surroundings can play a huge part in these battles too.
A game with a lot of character
For a crunchy RPG the character creation doesn't feel as daunting as you might expect.
It's certainly not as initially intimidating as the also excellent Wasteland 2's character creation screen, that's not to say that character creation here is shallow, far from it.
You'll get to create two characters from the start (unless you pick the "lone wolf trait" which will give you some extra perks at the expense of your customised travelling companion.)
Experienced RPG'ers should be right at home here, pick a character class as your starting point, Knight, Wizard, Ranger etc, then tweak your attributes, skills and spells until you've got your perfect novice source hunter, ready to go out into the world and hunt some serious source!
That leads us to who knows where
It's not just the quests which have multiple paths to their completion, solutions to environmental obstacles can also present several options to you.
You're venturing through a dank dungeon, you see a green mist ahead, it seems to be coming from a vent in the floor. You've encountered its like before, you know it's poisonous, you need to get passed it, but what should you do?
Do you have a potion that grants you a resistance to poison? Maybe you could try running through with a backpack full of health potions to drink when you get to the other side, you could try and burn the poison cloud off with a fireball or two... ... or maybe you're over complicating things...
There's a pile of old crates leaning against the cavern wall, could you pick one up and throw it over the vent to block it up?
The multiple solutions to almost all the obstacles you encounter make Original Sin a totally absorbing and truly personal experience.
An Inconvenient Truth
Environmental destruction is par for the course here, and at first, you will probably do as much damage to your own group as you do to the enemy via environmental effects, that is, until you've figured a few things out.
Is the floor covered in oil? then you might want to be careful of stray sparks, a misguided fireball could send the whole lot up in flames, if you happen to be standing in the oil yourself, don't expect the environment to be forgiving, you'll burn along with all the rest.
The game can be punishing at times but you'll learn to use the environment to your advantage as you progress and after a short tutorial battle and dungeon crawl, you'll progress into the town of Cyseal.
It's here that the hunt begins.
Whilst hard and unforgiving at times, Divinity Original Sin is an epic title and one that every RPG fan should have in his collection.
It's engaging, well written, well executed and above all else, it's a role playing game that actually encourages you to role play.
At the start of the review I speculated that we were in a golden age of RPG gaming, if that is true then it's thanks to games like Divinity, A game which can hold its head up high as the vanguard of the RPG resurgence.
Cyceal is waiting for you, there's a murder to investigate and that's just the beginning...
A great power called the source exists in the world of Rivellon, a power once wielded for good but no longer.
The Wheel of Time turned and a great darkness invaded the land leaving the source forever tainted, its users driven to madness and destruction. Now only a brave few stand between Rivellon and this dark power which threatens to destroy it.
That's where you come in.