When Larian Studios (opens in new tab) first announced it would be returning to Kickstarter (opens in new tab) for Divinity: Original Sin 2, there was an air of skepticism. The first Original Sin (opens in new tab) was a glowing Kickstarter success, and many wondered why the studio would need to return (opens in new tab) for more crowdfunding. However, after playing a pre-alpha build of Original Sin 2, I can't help but think that another Kickstarter success could help make it one of the most engaging RPGs to date.
We got a chance to sit down with Swen Vincke, the Creative Director and CEO of Larian Studios, and play a pre-alpha build of Divinity: Original Sin 2, which already has noticeably more ornate graphics and a few new systems—despite using a large amount of placeholder assets from the first game. The sequel will support up to four play co-op and have a competitive mode (opens in new tab), available both in and out of the story mode. But the most impressive thing is the shear amount of choice you are given, and how every one of those choices fundamentally affects how your characters can proceed.
Choosing a backstory is now part of the character creation process, and the history you choose will alter how your character can navigate the game's overarching plot. You may be the child or friend of a certain NPC, while one of your co-op partners is secretly on a mission to kill that same person. The interaction and conflict between every possible backstory and character choice is what will set Divinity: Original Sin 2 apart from its predecessor, and a successful Kickstarter could help ensure that by enlarging the list of possible options.
You can watch the video above to hear Vincke talk about the game while playing it firsthand.
Here are some important moments in the video:
01:25 - Some of the new character models.
05:57 - The new source skill system.
13:58 - An example of how differently characters are treated based on their race/backstory/etc.
22:38 - A very large source explosion.
29:40 - How to trick your allies with poison (and some joking about pay2win).
37:35 - Some "enhanced" interrogation techniques.
44:52 - The new skill-crafting system.
47:40 - A VERY LARGE (and sad) DRAGON.
49:28 - Some inter-party betrayal.
And you can watch a full match of the competitive arena mode right here (opens in new tab). The kickstarter is live now, and has attracted more than $100,000 already.