Divinity: Original Sin 2

A CRPG of unparalleled breadth and dynamism, Original Sin 2 is Larian's masterpiece.

Key events

Larian visited the Eurogamer office to show me the new and improved Definitive Edition of Divinity: Original Sin 2 last week. To do this the developer ran two versions of the game - old and new - side by side to highlight the differences. On one screen we had DOS2 as it exists now, played on a gaming laptop; and on the other screen we had the Definitive Edition of DOS2 played on an Xbox One X dev kit. The difference was striking.

Divinity Original Sin 2 finally has a proper release date on consoles

Larian Studios has announced that its excellent, sprawling RPG sequel Divinity: Original Sin 2 will be heading to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on August 31st.

As previously revealed, Divinity: Original Sin 2 will be coming to consoles in a new Definitive Edition guise, offering a variety of upgrades and additional features beyond those seen in last year's critically acclaimed PC version - although, beyond Larian's assertion that these changes are "about 45 pages long", they've yet to be detailed in any specific fashion.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 unfolds in the world of Rivellon, long abandoned by the gods, where "an oppressive order that wields a forbidden magic is rounding up mages".

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A Definitive Edition of Divinity: Original Sin 2 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One in August - a three-hour demo is actually available now on Xbox One, for free, via Game Preview - and to PC as a free upgrade (although it will be considered a separate game). It's a similar deal to the Enhanced Edition for Divinity: Original Sin 1. We knew that; what we didn't know was how DOS2 will be enhanced, but now we know more.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 review

About halfway through Original Sin 2's campaign, you acquire the ability to talk to ghosts. Cast "Spirit Vision" in any given area of its massive, detailed world, and any nearby souls waiting in the queue to the afterlife will be revealed to you, their transparent outline glowing with a greenish hue.

In other games, this would be a neat gimmick useful in a few specific circumstances. In Original Sin 2, it's like putting on the glasses in John Carpenter's They Live. It changes everything. Suddenly, the world becomes alive with the dead. They wander through the streets, linger amongst revelling tavern patrons, hover over battlefields staring at their own corpses.

You've been given the keys to a whole new reality, and it's going to unlock a lot of doors. Remember that murder you were investigating? Never mind finding the murder weapon or an incriminating letter, just ask the victim whodunit. Looking for a secret passage in a dungeon? Maybe there's another, less fortunate adventurer floating around you can glean some advice from.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 unveils one heck of an undead race to play as

Imagine a playable race inverting the rules of a game, where healing hurts but poison heals, and where non-player characters run away because they're scared. On the upside there's no need for lockpicks because one bony finger will do, and playing dead is as simple as lying down. The undead race in Divinity: Original Sin 2 has finally been unveiled.

The undead look lovely. Any of the game's four other races - human, elf, dwarf, lizard - can be undead, and each is striking to look upon. Skull ornaments can be customised as well as scraggly ghoulish hair both on the head and face.

As with the other DOS2 races, the undead race has a beefy origin story, and this one was dreamt up by none other than legendary character builder Chris Avellone. Fane is the storied character's name and he is ancient, belonging to the race of Eternals who have existed for a millennia. He pre-dates all the other origin characters by centuries.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 confirms split-screen, finally shows skill crafting

Split-screen play - either two people on one screen, or four people across two screens - has finally been confirmed for Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Split-screen is demonstrated by developer Larian in a new DOS2 update video (below), along with - for the very first time - skill crafting! This new system lets you combine skill books, one elemental and one not, to make a new skill. You can even add a Source skill to the mix for a supercharged outcome - a Source-powered outcome. Source is a new resource in DOS2 acquired from Source pools or from Source apparitions, which you can, um, sort of eat, if you're that way inclined.

Runecrafting is also introduced in the video and allows you to - as in other games - craft runes to upgrade your gear with. You can create them from scratch with Pixie Dust, anything wooden, and oil, or you can combine runes you've picked up with any other runes to create stronger versions of them.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 release date set for September

Divinity: Original Sin 2 release date set for September

Early Access build now has new areas.

Larian Studios' highly anticipated fantasy RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2 is slated for a 14th September release.

It will launch with a full single-player campaign along with PvP modes where players can create their own competitive combat arenas. It will also allow for four-player co-op.

Impatient players can play play Divinity: Original Sin 2's first act right now via Steam Early Access, where the game goes for Ł29.99 / $44.99.

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Even after playing the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin 2 for nearly 20 hours I didn't understand why I would want my party members to work against each other. It's one of the big ideas in the sequel, one of the big ways the story will improve on Divinity: Original Sin 1's - this idea that people in your party are in competition with one another. In multiplayer you're even actively encouraged to stitch your friends up, which is something we've written about before. But in single-player, where you control the party members, why would you do it?

In Divinity: Original Sin 2, elves eat corpses. Eat that Legolas! I suppose in Divinity 2 an elf literally would. But anyway. Eating corpses is a racial ability, what elves in Divinity 2 just happen to do, and when they gobble an arm or a head or a leg they learn things about who it came from - discover secrets. It's another option in a game of options. Why go round the houses looking for the information you need to finish a quest when you can scoff a head and do it that way? It's Divinity: Original Sin 2 in a nutshell: a cheeky, subversive fantasy toy box that has an even bigger box of tools than the first game to play with.

EGX Rezzed 2016 announces Divinity: Original Sin 2 developer session

Divinity: Original Sin was a wonderful success, for crowdfunding, for old, deep, role-playing games, and for Belgian developer Larian. With relish, we now await a sequel. And I'm happy to share news that Larian will be presenting Divinity: Original Sin 2 at EGX Rezzed in London in early April.

The thoroughly charming Swen Vincke, creative director and founder of the studio, will take to the stage to talk about the sequel's progress, and about how he's trying to give players pen-and-paper freedom in his story-driven RPG. He's on at 2pm, Friday, 8th April. I don't know what he'll be wearing.

You'll need a Ł13.50 day-ticket to watch him, but of course watching him isn't the only thing you can do at EGX Rezzed. You'll have stacks of games to play and discover, and creators to meet, in the really rather lovely Tobacco Dock building. There will be other developer sessions to watch, too.

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Console Divinity: Original Sin gets a release date

Larian Studios has told Eurogamer the Enhanced Edition of Divinity: Original Sin, AKA the console version, will be released 27th October 2015. The date had been vaguely "October" before now. The Enhanced Edition is coming to PS4 and Xbox One as well as PC, where it will be free to owners of the original game.

New in the Enhanced Edition is split-screen co-op, chiefly, which is offered alongside online co-op. Larian released a video earlier in the month, embedded below, showing how it works. And oh my god there's a line that splits the screen!

In addition, the Enhanced Edition brings fully-voiced and remastered dialogues, new quests, new combat styles, changes to the crafting system and a reworked storyline. It all makes for a very enticing package, building on a superb old-school role-playing game originally released on PC last year.

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Kickstarter and RPGs have gone together like, well, nostalgia and money over the last couple of years. From Wasteland 2 to Pillars of Eternity to Divinity: Original Sin, they've done great business, and resulted in great games. But that was then. It's time for the second wave.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an RPG heretic. It wants you to split the party. It wants you to work against each other. It'll even force your hand, as our team of four mismatched heroes discovered when trying to get into town. Party leader Gwynne got a warm enough welcome, at least as warm as a prodigal daughter last seen being arrested as a corrupt sorceress can expect. Her dwarf companion had no such luck though, being rudely and immediately turned away at the gates by the racist guard. For him, the only way in was to find an alternate route, through a series of caves far from the gates and far from his so-called friends. All of them already questing without him.