Old Time Rock and Roll
Something interesting happened this weekend, I was hit with a critical case of nostalgia. This all started while playing Wasteland 2 the other night, and seems to be continuing on today as I search for more games to give me that classic PC role-playing game experience. I said yesterday that I was in a bit of an existential funk, and that seems to continue. While I like the concept of playing Wildstar and Elder Scrolls Online… for whatever reason right now they are just too fast paced for my current mood. Essentially I am needing games that are a bit more prodding and deliberate, and preferably without other players bothering me. I am going through one of my retreating phases, and I right now I just want to be lost in my own little world.
Divinity II: Directors Cut
I’ve had this game in my steam inventory for quite some time, but for one reason or another I never actually fired it up. I had heard really good things about the Divinity series and the other night my friends Tam and Ashgar were off playing the brand new Divinity: Original Sin. So when I cranked this game up I was expecting a Baldur’s Gate esc game along the lines of the original Divinity and Original Sin. What it is instead however is something more akin to Knights of the Old Republic. The control scheme is a behind the back pseudo action combat setup that still somehow manages to feel old school at the same time. The controls are a bit prodding at times, but this is not exactly a high action game that allows you to dodge out of combat here and there to avoid enemies. Instead there are minor flourishes that you can do here and there to improve your success, but for the most part it is stand up fighting.
The character creator is adequate, as I was able to create something that I liked, however there really are not a lot of options. Essentially you can be blonde or brown haired, and with a few different facial and hair choices for each color. This allowed me to create something I liked enough to make me happy, but there really is not a lot of configuration available. Thankfully in Divinity: Original Sin the newest game they seem to have fixed all of this and given players a bajillion different options. I would say the customization is “passible” if only because it allows me to give my character long hair and a beard, which is “close enough” to the Belghast appearance. The limited appearances makes me really glad the game is not Asian inspired, because I am pretty sure I would not have been able to create any character that I could stand.
The game utilizes a silent protagonist with text dialog options for most of the interactions, and quite honestly I am happy with this. I always find it jarring when my character has a voice that is not my own. So if I am given the option of a well voiced character, or a silent one… I will almost always choose the silent one. These games are about me inhabiting the space of the character, and not about watching the lives of someone else. So in a game like Uncharted… I am watching a movie unfold in front of me that I am not a part of, this type of game however… it is all about the character being an extension of me. The dialog is charming at times, but nothing I would call spectacular. But then again I am not really playing this sort of thing for the dialog, I am playing it for the overall adventure.
The game is several years old at this point, but it still looks extremely good. This is no Skyrim mind you, but the world definitely looks believable and something I don’t mind spending a significant amount of time in. Occasionally there are some really nice vistas and lighting effects like this one that I find really nice looking. During some of my screenshots I was running on the default settings, but once I cranked everything up to max the game started to look extremely beautiful. The visualization options like the mini-map and where we are supposed to go for various quests is pretty much non-existent. The end result means you need to pay attention to the dialog and spend a good deal of time wandering around in order to figure out how exactly to complete each of the quests you are given by townsfolk.
I’ve not really played enough to get a good handle on how exactly character progression will work. However when you first start the game you are set up as a Dragon Slayer, and as part of the ritual that gives you the powers of a dragon… it also wipes your memories, giving you a clean construct for picking a brand new path for your character. You essentially have the choice of following the path of the melee warrior, the ranger or the mage. In the first town you can freely switch between them, but once you leave the village your choice is locked. There is thankfully a little testing ground that allows you to try each of the combat styles and see what fits you the best. I of course went with the melee warrior, but I feel like the ranger would probably be extremely fun as well. Mage on the other hand… felt odd because there was a significant cast timer on each of the attacks.
Admittedly so many times with these Steampowered Sunday games, I play it for a little bit but then never return to it. I don’t think that is going to be the case with Divinity II. This honestly seems like about the perfect game for my current mental state. It feels the right speed, and I can cocoon myself in this fantasy world and explore it without the need to feel like I am letting anyone down in the process. So while I have taken a break to knock out my morning blog post, as soon as I finish writing I am going to return to clearing the goblin camp I was working on when I paused the gameplay. Right now on the summer sale this game is only $8 for the directors cut, and so far I am loving it. If you are looking for an old school Knights of the Old Republic style adventure, then it might also be the game for you.
Enter the Waffles
This is the first show to include Warenwolf, another one of our multi-year old chat group, also lovingly referred to as Waffles thanks to Mumble pronouncing his name oddly a few times. In addition to Waffles we are joined by Dallian once again who is the best fill-in guest ever, and pretty much is just now our regular “5th man”. We talk about the Steam Sale, Wasteland 2, Saints Row IV, Lego Minifigures Online, Wildstar, and Warlords of Draenor alpha among other things. We ran a bit short this week due to some technical difficulties causing chunks of the show to get edited out, but I hope you will all still enjoy the results. I believe next week we should be returning to our regular format.
#AggroChat #SteampoweredSunday #DivinityII