Divinity: Original Sin 2 review impressions: Saving the world as a face-stealing skeleton

Original Sin 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to an unanticipated hit. 

Divinity: Original Sin took me by surprise in 2014. For the most part, the revival isometric RPG revival focused on reviving the classics of old—Pillars of Eternity in particular, with its Infinity Engine stylings, but Wasteland 2Tyranny, and Torment: Tides of Numenera didn’t stray too far from the template.

But then there was Divinity, which I once wrote felt like what you’d get “if, instead of dying in the early 2000s, the isometric CRPG genre had kept evolving that whole time.” Built from layer upon layer of systems, Original Sinadded dynamism to the stodgy Infinity Engine formula. Flexible skills and classes allowed for manifold character builds, quests presented half a dozen or more approaches, and a deep combat system reacted to both you and the environment—it often felt like the only limit was your creativity.

That still holds true. Today Divinity: Original Sin II officially emerges from Early Access, and I’m happy to say it’s every bit the sequel you’d expect. Well, at least the first 10 or 11 hours.

The journey of a thousand miles…

Yeah, I’m not done yet. Not even close. We received the final review build of Original Sin II on Tuesday night, and I don’t know how long it’s going to be but the first game lasted me 55 hours so…close to that, probably? Maybe more?

It might take a bit.

Divinity: Original Sin II

IDG / Hayden Dingman

I’ve played the first 10 or so hours though, as I said. That covers the Early Access content essentially—a short tutorial/prologue on a prison-bound ship and then the first main area, the prison island of Fort Joy.

Not included in the Early Access build (as far as I’m aware) is my character, Fane. Like most RPGs, the previous game had you create your characters from scratch when entering the game. That’s still an option, but you can also play as one of five “Origin” characters, each with a custom-crafted backstory and a unique perspective on the world. The four you don’t choose are available as companions later.

Fane’s an undead humanoid who fell asleep sometime in the distant past and awoke in the present day to find he’s the last of his race. From what I’ve heard, Fane is a product of writer Chris Avellone—and it shows. There’s a real Planescape: Torment vibe to Fane’s story so far.