Ranting While Playing: Divinity II Ego Draconis

In Divinity II (Dragon Age: Origins) you’re a member of an elite order known as the Dragon Slayers (Greywardens) whose sole purpose is to wipe out the Dragon Knights (Darkspawn).  The ritual for becoming a Dragon Slayer (The Joining) involves forcing Dragon memories (Darkspawn Blood) into your body, and some are driven mad by the process (some are killed when they drink Darkspawn Blood).  I’m not trying to draw any connections here (yes I am).

Here’s a difference: The story in Divinity II is uninteresting and the dialogue is tedious.  I don’t think I’ve ever found myself skipping so much of it while still fully understanding everything that’s going on.

Oh sweet jesus, this wizard has gold robes, a long white beard, and a blue pointy hat with stars on it.  It would be an offensive stereotype if they were real.

You know that trend where western RPGs will have a marker on your compass or map that gives you an idea of where to go? None of that here.  Half of the objectives in this game are just “kill THAT guy…he’s somewhere in this continent.”

I find myself to be strangely hooked to this game despite its many, many flaws.

Autosaves are about as frequent in this game as solar eclipses.  By the time each one happens I’ve pretty much forgotten they even exist.

I was fighting skeletons in a tower…and now I’m below the tower? Falling through levels…yay? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obTENqslslg)

You can slaughter every rabbit, chicken, or duck you encounter…but deer are invincible.

This game loves to throw puzzles at you, but it never gives you any indication that it’s puzzle time.  It often takes minutes of confused fumbling around and thinking that you’re lost for you to realize there’s a trick you’re supposed to solve.

This slayer freaks out about fighting a woman, claiming that it’s against the Order? What? The first slayer you meet is a woman! How could fighting women be against anything if they let women join?

Whenever a character is more than teen feet away from yours their animation frames drop considerably and they become incredibly pixelated.

This whole soul-forging story mechanic seems really inconsistent.  That one guy was soul-forged with a chicken, I killed the chicken, and he died.  Now Laiken is soul forged with an immortal demon, so he’s immortal? Wouldn’t the soul forge just make it so that the demon dies when Laiken eventually dies naturally, therefore making the demon mortal?

Bah, screw it. I just want to stab stuff.

Ruh-roh…looks like someone copy/pasted the design for Alien when they made the demon Razakel.

Damien’s attacking my Tower…but he was just inside it with me for a short dialogue. What was the point of him coming in at all? This narrative makes no sense!

I think I just suffered through some hardcore penetration via the Dragon Stone. Hooray, I’m level 18 and just now getting to turn into a dragon! You know, the feature that’s the main advertised point of this game!

My trackers are named Tom, Dick, and Harry? I can’t tell if that’s meant as a joke or if they were placeholder names that they forgot to replace.  Do they know John Doe?

Ground units vanish whenever you’re a dragon and air units seem to do the same whenever you’re on foot.

I’m pretty sure that Ba’al is a Zerg.

Loading auto saves tends to glitch out and freeze the game…

The sequences where you take out the flying fortresses as a dragon could have been much more fun if it weren’t for the fact that half the enemy attacks home in on you.

Damien is supposed to be all powerful, but whenever you see him he just sends a few generic enemies at you and walks away.  If he’s so powerful why doesn’t he just kill me?  You never actually get to fight him or really see him do much of anything in the entire game.

Your mentor that tries to kill you at the beginning of the game shows up again toward the end in the Capital City, but is escorted away to avoid a fuss.  You never see her again.  Utterly pointless character and scene.

The “kill THAT guy…he’s somewhere in this continent” issue becomes significantly more prominent in the second area, which is a winding fjord jam-packed with small caves and doorways along various cliff sides at differing elevations.  It doesn’t help that several locations look roughly the same and the enemies have unpredictable changes in level, which lead to plenty insta-deaths and reloads.

You spend half of the game trying to get into the Hall of Echoes, and what do you get once you’re inside?  An easy and short arena fight against boss characters that you’ve already beaten earlier in the game.  Some of them aren’t even major bosses…one pair in particular was just a couple of characters with no significance to the plot that you killed off in some random building.

Terrible, terrible ending.  It turns out that the dragon that possessed me in the beginning was actually Damien’s wife, and that I was tricked into resurrecting her.  I’m imprisoned within a crystal for eternity to watch as Damien destroys everything.  The ending itself is already pretty lame, but it’s made even worse by the fact that you don’t even get to see any of this happen.  The Divine just explains everything in a monologue and you don’t get a single cinematic.  It’s like they said “fuck it, just give them a few paragraphs to read. I don’t want to code for this shitty game any more.”


One Response to “Ranting While Playing: Divinity II Ego Draconis”

  1. I’m playing through Divinity 2 right now (just began really) and it’s pretty bad. But so bad it’s almost good. I’m choosing to see it as the devs not taking themselves too seriously rather than just laziness.

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