Divinity: Original Sin announced, top down RPG to "address frustrations with Divine Divinity."
Divinity: Original Sin has been announced by Belgium's Larian Studios. It's an isometric RPG inspired by Ultima VII, having jettisoned the third person viewpoint of Divinity II: Ego Draconis. It's closer in style to the studio's first game, Divine Divinity: so close in fact that Original Sin will end where 2002's Divine Divinity sets off. So close that Larian head Swen Vincke told me that he wanted to make Original Sin specifically to "address frustrations with Divine Divinity."
But this is more than a remake. Divine Divinity looks like a much prettified version of top-down roleplayers like Neverwinter Nights, but Larian are adding some advancements: both modern, in a dedicated co-op story, and older, in turn-based combat. We've got more details below.
Vincke, keen to have an RPG he could play alongside his girlfriend, has ensured that Original Sin was built for two players. The game's two protagonists are, fittingly, a man and a woman. She's an amnesiac murder victim, somehow resurrected from the dead with the child-like wonder of someone who's never seen the world before. He's a hulking mass of muscle once consigned to a life of eternal torture. Which, you'd assume given you can play as him, he's escaped from. They begin the game in the ruins of a tower, the remnants of a magic battle between orcs and not-orcs swirling around them. Somehow they've survived the maelstrom - the game sets out to find what it is about each that let them do that.
Functionally, conversations are built around two players. Responses are traded back and forth. Disagree on a punishment for a drug dealer, as in the example I was shown, and you'll get a chance to agree with your partner. Disagree again and you'll hand the choice over to your character sheets, charisma scores deciding your quest fate.
Combat, too, is built for partnership. Waddle into monster-slapping range and the game flips into a grid, allowing turn-based battling where each participant has a pool of action points. Your partner can either choose to get involved in the scuffle, or skip off around the game's forests and townships, carrying on his real-time business as his partner exists in a turn-based plane.
I saw the game a few weeks ago, and we've got a hefty feature in the next issue of PC Gamer UK, on sale June 5th. Stay tuned for more Divinity: Original Sin details here at PCGamer.com tomorrow.
In the meantime, let us know your memories of the original below.