This has also been a pretty big week for news pertaining to Larian Studios, and not just because its producers were hamming it up at E3. Their upcoming RPG, the Ultima 7-inspired Divinity: Original Sin got a fair bit of coverage, including an extensive preview at IGN and another at Destructoid, the latter of which gives some gloriously delicious details about just what the game’s engine lets you do with the world around you as you play:
Fans of Divine Divinity have a lot to look forward to with Original Sin, as Larian is intent on finishing what it started with Rivellon’s original story. I was told that the studio felt it had to abandon Divinity II’s style and return to its roots in order to provide the experience that it almost got right with Divine Divinity, but never quite perfected. Original Sin is an effort to achieve perfection, and the effort is hard to miss.
Those players simply glancing could easily mistake Original Sin for a Diablo-style hack n’ slasher, but the differences are made abundant within seconds. For a start, the ability to rearrange the environment is back, with barrels, tables, and chairs all ready to be chucked about with some simple mouse clicks. While good for a laugh, there is a lot to strategy to be had with this feature.
Item combination also plays an integral role. Dozens of items can be collected and used in inventive ways — for instance, you can combine a poisoned mushroom with your sword to create a poisoned weapon, or mix an apple and a potion to create a detox potion. Homes and dungeons are full of these bits of rubbish, and experimenting with them ought to yield some fun results.
Larian Studios are also cautioning that the game’s intended co-operative play mode could get you in trouble with your girlfriend, since in co-op play mode it does rely on input from both players to navigate conversations and resolve situations. Enough said.
Of course, Original Sin isn’t the only game that Larian Studios has in the pipeline at present, nor the only Divinity game they have in the works. There’s also Dragon Commander, their hybrid “board game/card game/real-time strategy with role-playing elements and third-person action dragon piloting” title.
Oh, and the dragons wear jetpacks.
I know, I don’t get it either, and I’m baffled at Larian’s attempt to cross so many genres and playing styles at once, but…Swen Vincke’s explanation of it does kind of make sense to me, and I do find the basic concept interesting. Of course, the game touches so many genres, I’m having a hard time deciding whether I’m interested in playing it or not, but…whatever. It sounds interesting, at least.