Have you ever wanted to be a dragon? Breathe fire on people and fly above the clouds? Sounds pretty cool, right? Well in Divinity II: Dragon Knight Saga, you can do just that and a lot more.
You play as the newest recruit to a divine order of dragon slayers known only as Slayers. They use the powers of their enemies, the Dragon Knights to protect the world from their wrath. After the initiation, your team spots a Dragon heading toward the Broken Valley region. You and your team travel there to kill the last known Dragon Knight in existence.
The game is a 3rd person, open world, action-based RPG where you control your character and attack in real time using standard attacks, magic abilities, and other types of ranged and melee combat techniques. Depending on which “class” you take in your initiation, you will begin to learn the ways of the warrior, mage, or ranger. Each has their own unique play style and abilities. The good thing is, you are never stuck with a certain class. After initiation, you can choose what skills you want to learn and improve. So, if you want to use a good amount of magic while at the same time be a decent warrior with a blade, you can.
The RPG elements in the game are fantastic. Because of the way you can cross up your class abilities, there is a ton of customization to your character. You gain experience from quests, killing monsters, and other accomplishments. After leveling up, you are given 1 skill point and 5 attribute points that you can use to upgrade your character. The attribute points will increase vitality, mana, strength, and other characteristics that affect your effectiveness to attack, improve health, and increase chance for critical hits, to name a few.
The combat itself is where the game is somewhat lacking. You can map certain attacks and skills to the face buttons. Your standard attack will suffice for the early battles, but you will soon find out that you’ll need to use strategy and task management to win later encounters. The game allows the player to pause time, much like Dragon Age, and order commands to your character without fear of getting damaged. The problem isn’t the actual combat, but the encounters that you run into. Early on in the game, you will run into maybe 2 or 3 trolls. You can take them out no problem. Eventually, you will have a big team of them to take on. It’s not too difficult, but will add a relatively decent challenge. Then, you will suddenly begin to run into bigger and stronger enemies that will completely destroy you, not to mention that they travel in packs of 4 or 5 at a time. You can’t take on that many enemies without getting killed.
What ends up happening is you will aggro a whole band of enemies, kill maybe one or two, and then have to run away far enough for the others to basically stop chasing you. Then you will heal up, run back to where they were, and do that process all over again until they are all dead. It just becomes monotonous after a few hours.
The game doesn’t hold your hand at all. Sometimes you will get a quest that tells you to go somewhere without giving you an idea of where to find it. The game really wants the player to explore, but when exploring, you will run into brutal enemies that will destroy you if you don’t take caution and use strategy while traversing the environment. It’s a hard balance between getting to where you need to go and surviving long enough to get there.
Leveling up and acquiring new weapons and armor, as well as enchanting your equipment, is essential to the player’s survival. Luckily, there is a ton of ways to customize your gear and character to become a powerhouse, but it will take a good amount of time.
One of the nicest features of the game is the mind reading. After your initiation ritual, you will gain the ability to read anyone’s mind during conversations. Reading someone’s mind uses up some of your experience, but by doing so, you may learn valuable information that could help you on your quest, or even locations to hidden loot and gear.
Later on in the game, you will finally gain the ability to turn into a dragon. This is where the game gets pretty awesome. You basically become a killing machine that can fly pretty much anywhere, destroying anything in your path with fire breathing and rushing attacks.
The areas are quite vast and look decently detailed. Each area has its own look and you will hardly ever see a completely reused dungeon. The characters are detailed as well, and the animations are well done.
The story itself is rather compelling and keeps the player interested in the mythos and history of the game. There are a few plot twists that will grab you, and the dialog and voice acting is thought out and well done. While the game takes itself seriously, it poke fun at itself as well. There are a few things in the menus and dialog that gave me a chuckle every once in a while. It’s good to see a game with a sense of humor.
One of the biggest problems is the auto-save feature. The game does have an auto-save, but it rarely ever saves on its own. There were many times I had died and had to reload a save that was from over an hour ago. Granted, this is somewhat of a user error, but still, in this day and age, there should be an auto-save when the game loads a new area at least.
Dragon Knight Saga is not only Divinity II: Ego Draconis, but also the expansion that was released, called Flames of Vengeance. The expansion offers up more story, more quests, and about 15 hours of extra game play. The expansion takes up where Ego Draconis left off and adds to the overall package.
In the end, Divinity II: Dragon Knight Saga is a huge package for the price. The combat may be on the wonky side, and the difficulty may drag you down a little, but the RPG elements and overall story is actually really enjoyable. The game, as a whole, surprised me. I will recommend this game to the hardcore RPG players. Just keep an open mind, save often and most importantly, be patient. If you do those things, you will have a pretty good time with the customization and level progression.
Review copy provided by publisher.