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Fun in Fort Joy: Divinity: Original Sin 2 Review

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Ifan Logo

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the long-awaited sequel to Divinity: Original Sin, and with the first game being heralded as a true masterpiece of RPG game design, the sequel had quite a bit to live up to. The hype is and was real leading up to its release, and it lives up to it in the best way possible.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam [Reviewed], Xbox One
Developer: Larian Studios
Release: September 14, 2017
MSRP: $49.99

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is, without spoiling anything, a masterpiece of RPG design. But, let's back up a bit. Visually the game takes a much more mellow approach to the color than the first one did. The first Divinity: Original Sin game was colorful and quirky, and this transfers over easily to the visual design. Bright, thematically appropriate color design made the first one a true joy to look at. As a microcosm of the entire game, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is more subdued and nuanced. The game is still presented colorfully, but there is a difference in the design.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Exploration

Divinity: Original Sin 2's audio presentation is essentially flawless. Footsteps are fitting to the ground texture and are satisfying to listen to, the voice acting is superb, and the music is excellent. This is all not to mention that for the first time in my memory, the player can choose what instrument highlights their journey and battle music. This is an entirely new system it seems, and one that makes each playthrough truly unique.

In Divinity: Original Sin 2, the true pleasures of each playthrough are the RPG mechanics. This game takes a much more gradual approach to improvement than its predecessor. In the first game, powerful weapons and armor had to wait a while, and the default gear was often your best until a decent way through the game. This is not true in the sequel, as by the end of the first area you will be far more powerful, experienced, and skilled than when you started. That being said, the game is balanced around this progression, but think of it as more like a series of steps that walk you towards the climax of the game. With each step you get more powerful, acquiring more options in combat, but if you try to skip a step you will be punished.

Speaking of combat, Divinity's combat has always been unique. It combines aspects of XCOM's strategy with interactions between elements that are not seen in any other game. Poison will explode upon contact with fire, water can freeze, and this all serves to create a truly dynamic combat system. Encounters are well balanced and you feel like you are truly making decisions with every step forward. Do you equip a healing ring to help your team, or take raw stats instead? Divinity: Original Sin 2 revels in this sense of decision-making and player agency. Every bit of your character can be customized, but everything is also designed to make a first playthrough easy and immersive.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Fort Joy

Immersion is the key aspect of Divinity: Original Sin 2 that sets it apart because in all other ways it is simply a top-down RPG, akin to Baldur's Gate or something similar. But, the writing is absolutely superb and draws you into the story from the first time you set foot into Fort Joy until the end of the game. There is nothing to collect that seems overly gamified, as it is a true character-driven objective-focused story with excellent writing that is augmented by the stellar performances of the voice actors.

I found myself gripped with that "edge of your seat" feeling until the end of the game. And, once I was done, I wanted to replay the game with different companions, each of whom has a special story to be discovered. The story is significantly darker and grittier than the first, but also more nuanced, as a sequel should be.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Combat

Companions are important since the game is also fully multiplayer. Your party has 4 slots, and if you want, all of these can be filled by a player. It can be chaotic with so many people running around, but it's also brought to its fruition in combat where you will find yourself strategizing and working towards a goal with your friends or family. This is truly a special experience to be savored for as long as it will last

My biggest problem when playing this game was burnout. I wanted to play this game and nothing else for weeks because the story was that good. Every nook in Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a special secret, and the special secret of the RPG genre as a whole is that this game exceeds expectations to an absurd degree. I cannot recommend it enough, just remember to pace yourself.


  • Excellent presentation
  • Excellent music
  • Addicting RPG gameplay
  • Compelling, dark story
  • Challenging, well-built encounters
  • Combat is dynamic and fun
  • Available on many systems
  • Immersive world
  • Fully multiplayer


  • Game is divided into chapters that are long and can be a bit tedious
  • Quest book is hard to use
  • Game is very long, much like the first
  • Some classes and abilities are better than others




Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

About the Author: Collin Westbrook

Collin Westbrook joined in 2010 to help with Zelda Castle, and has since rejoined the staff multiple times throughout Nintendo Castle's existence. He is a lover of strategy games, platformers, and everything Nintendo. Look out for him editing guides, writing articles, and helping the site in whatever way he can.

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