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Default Divinity II: FoV - Review @ GameShard

January 20th, 2011, 12:06
GameShard has a review of the Divinity II expansion, Flames of Vengeance. This is one of the few articles that focuses purely on the expansion and the result is a mixed 7/10. Their main complaint is the lack of hand-holding and the limited use of the dragon form - both possibly positives for some readers:
That said, combat doesn't actually play as large a role in Flame of Vengeance as it did in Ego Draconis. The majority of quests require investigative or conversational skills; all about talking to the right people or working out the (sometimes fiendish) puzzles. This would be a lot easier, though, if the quest tracking system wasn't almost completely useless. Quest descriptions are all too often vague, with unhelpful objective markers, and whilst there's a lot to be said for working things out for yourself you do need something to go on. One of the main quests has you looking for five clues, but refuses to give you any idea where to look or even what to look for. Your quest log rather unhelpfully notes that "I need five clues to continue, but I don't know where they are, so I guess I better just look around." Brilliant, thanks for that.

The most crushing aspect of Flames of Vengeance, though, are the almost complete omission of two of Divinity II's most interesting mechanics. Firstly, the Battle Tower, which returns from the first game, is now all-but rendered useless. Yes, you can still visit the trainers and enchanters and storage boxes there, but you'll rarely have any cause to, since all of the above can be done within the confines of the city anyway, and with no new content around the Battle Tower its presences feels superficial at best. The lockdown of your ability to transform into a dragon is less forgivable, though: you're confined to the city because its under aerial siege, which is just about plausible as plot-related restrictions go, but there are no areas in the game - at all - where you can hop into dragon form for a bit of a fly around. Surely we could have had a cavernous dungeon somewhere under the city? Admittedly, the one time you do get to use your dragon form (no transformation, though, you're just teleported to the area and appear in dragon form in the sky) is absolutely fantastic; a dramatic assault on the airborne besiegers spearheaded by a large ship that you have to protect is both challenging, thrilling, and hugely cinematic - though the finale which follows isn't quite so dramatic.
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January 20th, 2011, 12:06
Your quest log rather unhelpfully notes that "I need five clues to continue, but I don't know where they are, so I guess I better just look around." Brilliant, thanks for that.
Yes, brilliant. The most brilliant part is when you actually do look around how you'll stumble upon the clues.
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January 20th, 2011, 13:09
Sounds like the reviewers ideal rpg is WoW or Fable. If you need tight hand-holding there is ten games to a dozen that can serve you.

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January 20th, 2011, 14:14
Seriously this kind of review is hurting the RPG genre!

How is it better that each clue has a huge arrow pointing to it and a big green text saying "CLUE" on top of it? what is the point of even calling it a game in that case? they might as well call it an interactive movie!
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January 21st, 2011, 17:58
Careful, Gothic. You may be infringing on a new Bioware copyright there…
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January 21st, 2011, 20:11
ED/FOV/DKS is a lot of fun. Unlike the reviewer, I really don't care for any of the dragon or platform parts, but the rest of the game is sheer bliss. I love the humor; often it is subtle and unexpected. I enjoyed meeting Tom, Dick, and Harry and coming across the killer rabbit and the rhyming wizard. Nice touches all around. Combat is fast paced and is frequently just one aspect of the exploration. Most of the time there's a small puzzle or riddle to figure out. There are TONS of secret items/places and if you avoid looking on the internet, you can play the game multiple times and not find them all. Too bad the American marketing for this game sucked ass. I wish Bethesda would have published for these guys. It would probably have increased sales 200%. I'm not sure how much, if any, that profit would have made it to Larian though

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January 21st, 2011, 21:15
I do agree with the reviewer and I know not many players agree that the dragon part is THE feature of the game. From multiple point of view, from exploration point of view, and for symbolism, and for epic feeling, and even for fights I enjoyed quite a lot doing stupidly fights for fights with the dragon like in Gothic 2 I was fighting Orcs around the castle just for the fights (and doing so breaking the mood setup by the game).

The dragon best part is definitely the exploration part, stunning, and totally refreshing, and quite well designed despite the clear difficulty of this approach.

But I also agree with many players thinking that the little puzzles, the numerous secrets, and the exploration are also the kicking feature of the game.

About the game release I'm not sure it's so bad it didn't get a good distribution, D2:ED had too big flaws. Such delayed distribution through a better tuned release with DKS isn't a bad thing. I don't think D2:ED would have been a commercial success in USA. North American players are a lot more sensitive than Europe players about extreme polishing, and D2:ED was anything but very polished.
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