It’s good that there isn’t extensive handholding and Larian allows players to experience much for themselves, however, a little more pointing in the right direction would go a long ways towards making the game more approachable. Certain elements are instantly familiar to anyone who’s played D&D (or possibly even Baldur’s Gate), but for many other players, it may feel a bit like jumping into Dark Souls for the first time.
Originally, we were told Divinity: Original Sin would support up to four players online or through a LAN connection. The final product, however, only supports up to two for the entirety of the game’s campaign. Four players are supported through mods to the game, using the Divinity Toolkit that comes with it, but so far there aren’t any mods with that feature. In the end, this may be a good thing as progression through the campaign and any experience/loot you acquire is only saved to the host’s game, meaning anyone who joins you will not reap the rewards of their efforts back on their side. This also means you’re basically scheduling your play time with the game in order to progress with your friend. Doing this with one friend is relatively easy, but coordinating four peoples’ schedules usually means someone is going to get left behind.
All of that aside, teaming up with friends to tackle foes and lose yourself in a fantasy world that is, in part, of your own making is fun; and that’s really the intent behind Divinity's co-op. There aren’t any special team up attacks that become available when playing with friends, or better loot drops; you just get a friend to join you in your quest and share in the victories. The only actual in-game impact is seen through the cooperative dialogue choices.
Throughout the course of the game the two main characters will engage in dialogue with a variety of NPCs, their mercenary allies, and each other. Many of these conversations will allow you to shape the type of people you wish the Source Hunters to be by choosing their responses separately. Maybe one decides that the man stealing a fish to feed his family has every right to do so, while the other hunter believes it is wrong no matter what the circumstances. When playing with a friend, these decisions are made separately; you make your choice, and your friend makes his or hers. If you disagree, then prepare yourself for mini-game that is the ultimate decider of worlds and fates: rock-paper-scissors. It’s an odd mechanic to include (should this person live or die? best two out of three to determine), but one that can be skipped in favor of randomized dice rolls.
The choices each character makes have in-game effects, as well. If you find your choices lean towards more the Spiritual side than the Materialistic, your character will be immune to Fear. If you’re more Righteous, your Leadership ability is increased. Heartless? Enjoy a backstab bonus. It’s a small mechanic to toss in, but it’s one that really lets both players get into the spirit of things.
Divinity: Original Sin is all about the experience of the game. That experience can be done alone where you craft and shape each of the Source Hunters into the kind of people you feel they should be while at the same time devising your own strategies for how to overcome the myriad of foes that await you. Or, that experience can be cooperative, with each player expressing their own thoughts and feelings onto the Source Hunters. That cooperative aspect is what’s helped to make Dungeons & Dragons such a popular game over the years. What better way to tackle incredible enemies than with a friend?
The Co-Optimus review of Divinity: Original Sin is based on the PC version of the game. A code was supplied by the developer for review purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with another player to fight and explore the world of Rivellon together. Player progress and development is saved only to the host's game. Future mods for the game will support up to four players, but the campaign is two player only
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.