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Divine Divinity
(hx) 02:27 AM CET - Jan,30 2003

I am just amazed on how many people have e-mailed me with a request that I write a review of Divine Divinity. So, I decided to post this late review right now. Divine Divinity is an isometric role-playing game from CDV and little known Belgium-based developer Larian Studios. Before I even started to play the game I went to the Larian's website to look for the official patch (the original CD installation has many bugs), and I happened to run into the forum there. I was really surprised that quite a few of the game designers frequent the board and really try there best to help people with various problems with the game, everything from bugs to system requirements to quest help. That's rare nowadays for the actual designers, look at Electronic Arts :) The game combines the classic play style of the best of the Ultima series with the fast-paced action of titles like Dungeon Siege and Diablo. Well, the game may look like a Diablo 2 clone to you, especially for the first 15-20 minutes of gameplay. However after spending a couple of hours with this action-RPG, I realized that Divine Divinity is not just a hack-and-slash RPG.

In Divine Divinity you take control over either a male of female character (warrior, mage, or survivor /rogue/) whom you guide through a highly interactive fantasy world. Each class has a special move available only to them but otherwise any starting class can learn any skill from any tree. A warrior can cast spells and a wizard can master a sword for example although neither will ever master another class' tree as well as that class. Your goal is to develop your character by making him/her better in a variety of skills, discover mysteries, combat enemies and save the day. So, is it more hack-n-slash or more role-playing? I'd say for the first three quarters of the game, it is about sixty percent of hack-n-slash with the rest dedicated to adventuring, questing, talking to important characters, etc. There's is really a great balance between a Diablo-like hack and slash, and an actual role-playing experience. It will take you hours to explore the numerous dungeons, buildings, caves, and surface world. Divine Divinity features 3 (6) classes of characters, 32 skills per class (total 480 skill levels: 96 skills with 5 levels each), over 100 monsters and creatures, over 150 NPCs with different intelligent patterns of behaviour, interesting background plot with many strands and sub-quests and more.

Divine Divinity is easy enough to jump into and enjoy, but there are several things that took a while to learn. For instance it took me a while to figure out the trading system. Also the combat options are a bit tricky because regardless of which one you choose, you will be dependent on stamina or mana for the more powerful attacks. Each time you use up your mana or stamina on special skills, you'll have to rely on basic melee or archery. This isn't so bad if you are a warrior but running out of mana for a mage is most times deadly.

I'd say the open-ended and interesting set of skills is what really adds some interest to the game. As I mentioned above, you are not restricted to a specific set of skills. You can make almost any combination of skills work in the game. However it also can be a frustrating exercise when you discover the redundancy of certain skills in comparison to others. Also the story in the game is very nicely implemented, good enough to keep you wondering what's next. Even more surprising to me was the amount of humor in the game, which, as far as RPGs go, is actually quite entertaining.

Overall Divine Divinity is an expansive and quite enjoyable RPG. Assuming you aren't one of those people who must have a 3D engine to get any sense of enjoyment out of the game, do not hesitate to go out and purchase this game. You will not be disappointed. There have and will alot of sleepless nights with this one. You can download an older playable demo (400MB).

System requirements: CPU: Pentium II 233MHz or better, 64 MB Ram, Video Card: DirectX 8.0 Compatible, 8 MB Min. , 800 x 600 Minimum Resolution, Soundcard: 100% Direct Sound Compatible, CD Rom: 4xSpeed or faster, Hard Drive: 2.5 GB of free disk space

snd: 4/5 - incredibly beautiful music by Kirill Pokrovsky (most every song in the soundtrack sounds amazing), well done sound effects though would be better with more variety, voice acting is mostly good, 3D sound is not supported via hardware
gfx: 4/5 - beautifully done 2D graphics (isometric), colorful, well done special effects, nicely animated creatures and monsters, resolutions from 640x480 up to 1024x768 (Direct3D, DirectDraw, Glide and Software rendering)
playability: 4/5 - enjoyable, interesting story line, plenty of combat, some puzzles, a lot of NPC interaction, over 100-150 hours of gameplay, fast learning curve, no multiplayer, minor bugs and desktop crashes
genre: RPG
platform: PC, 3CDs
release: September 2002
developer: Larian Studios
the game is similar to: Diablo 2
publisher: CDV
Overall: 81%

last 10 comments:

Locoposted - Jan, 30 2003 - 13:59
Sounds like a cool game. But demo 400 MB !?!

BlackSheepposted - Jan, 30 2003 - 19:25
I think the best aspect of this game is the fact, that if you wanted, you could go the hack'n'slash type all the way. But if you like questing .. there are quite a hoard of them with little fighting

Golden Bearposted - Jan, 30 2003 - 20:49
Does this game have multiplayer?

hxposted - Jan, 30 2003 - 21:13
Golder Bear: See playability: 4/5 - enjoyable, interesting story line, plenty of combat, some puzzles, a lot of NPC interaction, over 100-150 hours of gameplay, fast learning curve, NO MULTIPLAYER...

Golden Bearposted - Jan, 31 2003 - 09:18
shows how much i read, thanx hx =)

BLOODUKposted - Jan, 31 2003 - 15:06
This game IS AMAZING I recommend everyone who hasnt tried it to try it now!

got beerposted - Jan, 31 2003 - 23:09
boring slow game bugs bugs bugs bugs crashes crashes crashes

Scoutposted - Feb, 01 2003 - 18:48
This game is so cooool !!!!Alot of weapons and other cool stuff.

Mikeposted - Feb, 02 2003 - 00:40
Great game, I beat it and I'm going to replay as a survivor this time instead of tanking as a warrior. Couple problems with broken quests (must do some things in right order) and crashes led me to frequent save games. Great online forum, too.

no nameposted - Feb, 03 2003 - 06:53
It's good, but kind of simplistic for an rpg.

Gazposted - Feb, 03 2003 - 16:12
I played alot this game if u liked Ultima series you will love it. Util you get close to end the game you will really enjoy, the history the quests itens etc... but the game developers had to finish the game fast bcause of project end time so the end sux.... p.s. Amazing music, after playing u will try to find the Music cd out there...

jimmy swingerposted - Feb, 03 2003 - 22:16
i loved/hated this game! just completed it last week, took about sixty hours. this is after i invested forty hours into one character, then a bug killed that game, i had to reinstall the game, start over and on and on... if you check the tech boards, you'll see TONS of frustrated people are flaming the developers. HOWEVER, the game is simply fantastic when it works! it is content rich, really pretty, fun to listen to, the skill system is pretty cool and the ending sucks a big one, for saving the world from evil, they sure don't give ya much to chew on. i'd consider playing it through again regardless. if you're willing to put up with some BS, this game pretty much rocks.

General Leeposted - Feb, 08 2003 - 03:48
Demo is huge and totally addictive- had to purchase game immediately upon completion. Having no strategy guide was nice but, eventually had to seek answers from web site.Continued to play with great enjoyment... until about to enter final area and BUG; character immediately dies for no apparent reason,(after approx. 40+ hours of gameplay.)Several posts on site had similiar problem but no resolution. Oh well, back to NWN!

PollytronManposted - Feb, 11 2003 - 22:22
IF you liked Ultima VII series, this is like them. This game have several bugs also. Lot of fun if you play it to the end. One of the best in this genre imo.

harold josephposted - Apr, 23 2003 - 00:21
IF you like watching movies go rent a movie and don't buy this game. This game is like a bad disney movie. Its sooooo like "1998" like. common people lets get an old cookie throw some jelly on it and call it "new".

DarkAngelposted - Jun, 07 2003 - 18:03
this game is so cool but where can I get the walkthough???

iburnangelsposted - Jun, 08 2003 - 05:17
look around you should be able to find the walkthrough,why ask that question? do you have trouble finding stuff? try using GOOGLE . as for the game well i dislike the game. its too hippy like.

hxposted - Jun, 08 2003 - 09:25

artemisposted - Jun, 19 2003 - 02:47
this has to be one of the coolest games i have ever played , so fun , endless shit you can do like (turn into a spider kill shopkeepers and then turn it into youre ouwn house and shop) and the game is so litmitless, you can wear a pan as a helmet and fight with brooms, this game rules and if you dont have it , buy it , oh and one more thing,. its only fun if you play it with friends, like taking turns , now i know some of you might not have freidns so this game isnt for you , lol

im a loserposted - Jun, 21 2003 - 20:24
yeah i don't have friends. thanks for the advice. i think i won't get it.

Hundenposted - Sep, 03 2003 - 17:07
Hmm the walkthrough are not complete... But the game is wery good if you want to play SP but a little hard to newbies... But the game is good...

Sexy Tylerposted - Feb, 28 2004 - 18:56
Somebody pleast tell me where can i download a saved game trainer file PLEASE SOMEBODY I know there is one

Blinkposted - Jun, 30 2004 - 22:07
This game is one of the best games i have ever played! I want Beyond Divinity too!

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