The first Divinity: Original Sin stands as one of the best PC RPGs of recent years. The title, from developer Larian Studios, was one of the big success stories of Kickstarter, with crowdfunding helping to get the game into development. The end result was phenomenal, with compelling turn-based gameplay and a marvellous fantasy story.
A lot was expected of the game's sequel and Divinity: Original Sin 2 was perhaps even better than the original. Because of this, many were wondering if the title would follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and also see an updated console port. This was eventually announced, and with it came hope that this further Definitive Edition would provide another example of a computer RPG successfully launching on home consoles.
Rest assured, this is definitely the case. Larian Studios has once again shown dedication for its console conversion, providing those that missed the game when it launched for PC last year with another chance to play it. What's more, Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition gives numerous obvious improvements on the base game.
Given the strength of its origins, this Definitive Edition was always going to be a good game as long as Larian Studios ensured the title's controls converted successfully to consoles. After all, Divinity: Original Sin 2 was a stunning game. It was easily one of the best video games of 2017, doubling down on what worked in the first Original Sin.
Part of what makes the game so enthralling is the plot. The overall story is phenomenal, an epic tale treated with the utmost of care. The world of the Divinity series, called Rivellon, is a complex one, with lore that twists and turns over the course of thousands of years, and given the stop-start nature of the development of the franchise it's always been important to make the series accessible to newcomers.
This was made easier with Divinity: Original Sin, given its status as an out-and-out prequel, but its sequel also manages to be quite comfortable for newcomers. Original Sin 2 provides tentative steps for the player to get to grips with the world, lax enough to avoid being a jarring information dump while brief enough to stop from annoying veterans of the franchise.
Within this there's a welcome depth of characters. Players can choose to create their own avatar from a variety of different races and origins, but part of what makes the title work so well is how real other characters feel. Much like in the best of the Dungeons & Dragons games, or Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity titles, it feels like a living, breathing world to explore, a slight of hand that works so well within isometric role-playing games.
Beyond narrative flourishes however, the core of gameplay in Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition is fantastic. It's a turn-based RPG with a heavy emphasis on tactics, and each battle has a weight behind it in this regard. Unlike other titles such as the Diablo series, combat feels like it has a genuine impact, and it compliments the much larger scope for freedom that the rest of the game provides.
Within this gameplay is where the real work of conversion happens. Larian Studios has already proven its deft touch at changing this turn-based combat into a method that works well on consoles, but other elements of the title work much better than the console edition of the first Divinity: Original Sin. Much like its predecessor, there's a seamless co-operative play mode, and here it's been made even better with the local split-screen option improved and hugely beneficial - particularly since it allows two players to forge their own path through the story.
This isn't the only way in which Original Sin 2 has been improved, though. The game world feels significantly fuller in Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition, from characters and plot through to better variety in terms of battles. From beginning to end, it's a more fleshed out experience than what was already a hefty game, with maybe just enough tweaks to warrant a second playthrough from those who had previously beaten the title.
Bringing a traditional C-RPG outside of its PC comfort zone is always challenge; after all, it's almost the inverse of what has worked historically on consoles. However, Larian Studios has built it well. There's more flexibility here, giving players time to adjust if they're not used to the rigours that an RPG can bring, with one notable example being a Story difficulty level that can help gamers adjust to a mode of play that they might not be familiar with.
It's just another example of the sheer amount of care that Larian Studios has shown. As far as expanded editions go, Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition is meticulous. C-RPGs have been finding their feet on home consoles over the last few years, but this is perhaps the best example yet.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition releases on August 31 for PS4 and Xbox One, and as a free update for PC users with the original game. Screen Rant was provided with a PS4 copy for the purposes of this review.