Larian Studios’ genre benchmark RPG title Divinity Original Sin 2 has made the journey from PC to consoles, with a release for both PS4 and Xbox One in the form of a Definitive Edition. We took a look at the Xbox version.
That Larian would be bringing Original Sin 2 to consoles wasn’t exactly a surprise after the previous game undertook the same route a few years ago, but it was a conversion that was looked forward to after Larian had done such a good job with Original Sin’s “enhanced edition”. It’s, to this date, still one of the finest examples of an RPG on consoles – and fans of the genre have had a good week since Martyr also recently launched on console. Original Sin 2, however, is the superior and more polished of the two.
As was the case with the original’s enhanced edition, console gamers are getting all of the tweaks and improvements that were added to the PC version post-release. That may sound like just a few bug fixes and optimizations here and there, but Larian’s actually added extra characters, story content and dialogue options as well. There is also a “story mode” now, which is basically the “super easy” mode where you don’t have to worry about combat challenges and can just enjoy the (excellent) story the game offers.
Since its richly detailed game world, fully narrated story and seemingly endless story paths are obviously also present, this means you’re jumping into the game at the best possible moment if you get the Definitive Edition – either on console or PC, which is also getting the new version on Steam. Speaking of which, our original review of the PC version is also still up, giving you a better idea of what we like about the game rather than focusing on console-specific features (like we do in this review).
One of the biggest questions surrounding any conversion of a PC-based genre to consoles is how the controls were handled. It’s true for city builders like Skylines, but it’s true for RPGs like Original Sin 2 as well. Larian has clearly benefited from their experience with the previous title, as the gamepad controls for the game are about as smooth as they can be without the use of a mouse and keyboard. Radial menus give you quick access to a plethora of options, removing the need to navigate through layers upon layers worth of options. There is also a clever new way to engage with objects and loot in the game world – drawing an invisible circle around your character and then engaging with all the objects therein in an inventory management-like fashion. It’s a little more time-consuming, but it beats the old methods of just hammering the ‘pick up’ button and cleaning up your inventory every three minutes.
Divinity Original Sin 2 certainly looks the part on console as well, which excellent lighting effects and a vast, vibrant world to engage with. The frame rate is lower than it is on PC, but it’s a non-issue for a game of this type and I didn’t notice any slowdowns during gameplay. I did have a few cases where textures popped in a second too late (something I didn’t see on PC), but it’s something you get used to.
It feels odd to say this about a game that’s originally from 2017, but Larian’s Divinity Original Sin 2 is definite contender for one of the best console games of 2018 – most certainly in the RPG category. A must buy if you enjoy the genre.