If you haven’t read our Divinity: Original Sin 2 single player review then please go ahead and check that out before reading this article.
The multiplayer in D:OS 2 takes cooperative play to a level not seen in recent titles, supporting online, local shared/split screen, drop-in/drop-out and full controller support, meaning this game can be played with almost anyone at any time.
Like its predecessor, D:OS 2 allows its players to roam freely during cooperative play, this is what makes cooperative play unique from other RPGs. Not being shackled to the party means it is entirely possible to approach situations in a different way to the main party, move far enough away from the rest of the group and players will even no longer share quest objectives. Combining this with the sheer number of alternative ways to approach a situation means that players who do not agree with the majority of their team may find another way to complete a quest. Whether an alternative method hinders or aids the rest of the party is entirely up to the player.
During my multiplayer session I discovered an NPC that asked to speak with me privately. Stepping aside from the rest of the party and exchanging quiet words with this shady character revealed that he would be able to help me escape the prison fort we were all stranded on, the catch being that only the two of us would be able to do so. Using a series of spells and teleportation I was able to help my new ‘friend’ outside of the fort walls, only to be betrayed as he left me stranded on an inescapable ledge, leaving me to have to pitifully plead with the rest of my party to come and rescue me. D:OS 2 sets the stage for players and leaves the end result entirely up to their discretion.
As mentioned in the single-player review, combat is intense and tactical requiring the player to think several steps ahead and plan combos in order to achieve victory. Bringing a full party of player-controlled characters takes this tactical combat to a new level. Nothing is as satisfying as successfully executing an ambush, combining elements to ignite flames into the even more deadly necro fire or being rescued in the last second by that perfectly timed protection spell from a friend. During my time playing there were more than several heart-stopping and jaw-dropping moments that had us talking about them for days after. Whilst being a teamplayer has its moments there is nothing quite like going rogue and actively working against teammates. Ducking out of combat and leaving friends to fend for themselves is entirely possible, leaving the player to go and carry out their own nefarious deeds while the goody two shoes fight a desperate fight.
The main campaign contains hours worth of content, but eventually this will end, so thankfully Larian Studios have provided the Game Master mode. This fully loaded map editor and campaign creator provides the would be game master with an impressive variety of tools to create their own campaign. Taking the plethora of features that the base game already comes with, there are added features that support live play such as dice rolls and a dialogue voting system. Add in the feature that these campaigns may be played and edited live with aforementioned multiplayer system, this mode is extremely entertaining and will keep players returning to the game for more player-created content. Include the addition of the Mod features and it becomes clear why I am very excited to see what wonderful adventures will be created by the fans of D:OS 2.
Coming with a pre-made tutorial campaign, the GM can jump straight in and start editing and learning as they go. With its useful sticky notes, it doesn’t take long to pick up on the tools that are on offer. Several intuitively designed key shortcuts are the same as in-game controls. For example, holding ctrl+left click will attack a target in play mode but in edit mode it will delete an object or NPC. I was particularly impressed with the number of preset lighting and weather options, ranging from gloomy graveyard rain to sunny beach day. Other notable features are the ability to possess NPC characters and control them like a player character and the ability to change dialogue options on the fly.
Taking the time to play this mode live with three friends, with one of us taking the GM role, was an experience to behold. The important thing to keep in mind here is that everything that took place during this play session was being edited live by our quick-thinking GM. The premise behind the prebuilt campaign is that our characters have been infected with an insatiable hunger, wanting to devour almost anything in front of us. Our first encounter had us meet with a friendly lumberjack and his pet pooch, dialogue is shared with each player and each player gets to vote on what they want the party as a whole to say. We unanimously voted for “We’re going to eat you and your little dog too”. Shenanigans abound, players misbehaving, demons in the orphanage and of course the inevitable dragon fight occurring at the end quickly sums up our adventures in D:OS 2 Game Master mode.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a playground of well-developed mechanics working fluently together allowing for unparalleled freedom in the multiplayer setting. Hours worth of content to explore and the freedom for users to create their own campaigns with a myriad of tools means that this title is a must have for RPG fans.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Reviewed on Windows)
Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a playground of well developed mechanics working fluently together allowing for unparalleled freedom in the multiplayer setting . Hours worth of content to explore and the freedom for users to create their own campaigns with a myriad of tools means that this title is a must have for RPG fans.