Year of the sheeeeeeeep

 

My first game of the new year is Divinity: Original Sin and I already stink at it.

One of the few things I hated about Torchlight 2 is that it still relies on Diablo’s control scheme (clicking all over the damn place) without giving you the alternative of controlling your character with the keyboard. Divinity has that, but also has a lot more stuff on the screen to be clicking through. Like Skyrim, looting a chest will bring up a little loot screen for you to choose what you want to loot, rather than automatically dumping the items into your bag. But since most lootable items (vases, pots, etc) hardly ever seem to have anything at all, what you end up doing is scrolling through windows of empty containers.

There are a lot of things like that, that make me wonder if the devs actually played their game and noticed these weird inefficiencies. For example, your character and inventory screen is just slightly too big to display on the screen: you can drag it around, but it either gets cut off a bit at the top or the bottom. Or another one is the character creation screen, where you can customize a character’s appearance but then have to separately choose your toons’ avatars, which have far fewer choices and don’t necessarily have to look anything like your actual toon. Why aren’t these automatically generated? Nitpicks, yeah, but there are so many small, baffling quirks to this game.

It’s also weird that you can’t bring your character over to another person’s game, a la Torchlight or Diablo. Instead, the host rolls two toons to play, and the person joining plays the second character. It’s just weird, why not just have everyone roll one toon and be able to bring them over to multiplayer sessions? Stuff like that.

Also ran into a few connectivity issues at first, but they magically ironed themselves out after a while. Don’t know what’s up with that. A couple of bugs, once when I died and couldn’t be rezzed because I had glitched underground, and one CTD during a loading screen. Neither bug was too awful since I quick-loaded to the spot almost immediately before each point, but it’s still also not ideal.

I must admit I don’t quite see the appeal of this game, at least not yet, but goddamn are these sheep totally adorbz.

In order to make the game playable for me (i.e. make it so that I wouldn’t rip my hair out with frustration) was to download this mod to increase movement speed and turn the gamma settings wayyyyy up. The exploration part of this game is pretty tedious with normal speed, and characters have a weird way of slowing down to a crawl the closer they get to their destination. The default gamma settings are also way too dark to make anything out. Exploring is still boring compared to fighting, but these two fixes at least make it so I don’t go out of my mind.

I have yet to figure out how the quest system works. I don’t know whether to be appreciative of how the game doesn’t hold my hand and point in giant arrows YOU HAVE TO GO HERE NEXT DOOFUS, but at the same time… where the hell am I supposed to be going, anyway? Wandering around the countryside and slaughtering random monsters is pretty fun though, so I’ve just been doing a lot of that.

I was hoping for something a little more cohesive, Divinity just feels weird and a bit scattershot to really get into properly. That said, it is a decent little time sink. The turn-based combat is surprisingly fun, and the graphics are pretty enough. I might have to digest this in smaller chunks to really appreciate.