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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Divinity 2 - Review @ Game Observer

Default Divinity 2 - Review @ Game Observer

January 12th, 2010, 19:19
"Lacks polish but is incredibly enjoyable" is the summary of Divinity II in Game Observer's review, which carries a score of 90%:
What on the surface looks like a run-of-the-mill European Action RPG (is there even such a thing??) is made unique through the inclusion of the summoned creature system, the Battle Tower, and the truly phenomenal and well thought out Dragon mode. Putting all of this together in one RPG without having the other aspects of the game suffer is truly a monumental feat and one that shouldn’t go unnoticed. If they find the right audience, Larian could make quite a name for itself creating sequels using the same formula. Though it lacks the kind of polish big budget games receive, it still manages to deliver one of the most unique and enjoyable RPG experiences of the past five years. Along with this, Risen, and Dragon Age, I’d have to say that the old school PC RPG is making one heck of a comeback. If ever there was a time to own a top of the line PC and a credit card with a high limit, that time is now.
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January 12th, 2010, 19:19
I've just started playing Divinity 2 and while I'm enjoying it so far, I haven't played it enough to say one way or another how I will ultimatley feel about the game. That said however, I have to say as an American, a lot of the American press is so embarrasing when it comes to reviewing European based RPGs… if I had the time I'd start a website that scored reviews and reviewers… maybe eventually I could shame them into being less of an embarrasment.

European RPGs are like large women. The vast majority of people out there don’t particularly care for them, and if they take a chance and go for one, they usually find themselves unable to get past their own insecurities and fail to appreciate the total package for what it is rather than dwell on the few shortcomings that get in the way.
Huh? The unnecessary insult to overweight women aside, I happen to like European RPGs… in fact, since the days of Wizardry, Ultima, and Bard's Tale, I enjoy them over their American competition including Morrowind, Oblivion and Dragon Age (I still liked these games, just not as much as games like Gothic, Divine Divinity, and Arx Fatalis). American RPGs tend to be better polished, but the European RPGs tend to be far more interesting in terms of gameplay and DEPTH of game mechanics.

I've never understood why, with the American press, that polish provides a super E-Ticket for otherwise very shallow gameplay whereas interesting gameplay and deep game mechanics (but lesser amount of polish) results with insults about overweight women. I don't get it. And the Reviewers opening remarks do not at all represent me.

European RPG enthusiasts would rather have obtuse quest descriptions and overly challenging combat. This small group of core gamers look at features like Oblivion‘s compass based quest marker system with the same level of disgust a member of Al Qaeda would show to a Christmas Pageant.
Hyperbole for the win. So a quest that doesn't practically solve itself is obtuse. Didn't these reviewers ever have an easter egg hunt when they were a kid? Where you had to search around the local park to find that elusive easter egg? I remember how exciting it was to find a well hidden easter egg. According to this guy, there should have been footprints on the ground leading me to each easter egg… all that hunting around for easter eggs on my own was just 'obtuse.' Appraently, I was part of small 'core' of easter egg hunters intent on blowing up easter egg hunts where in fact they did use footprints on the ground to lead children directly to 'hidden' easter eggs.

…European RPG like Divinity 2 gives you features no longer seen in modern titles such as supremely challenging combat and the lack of any “hand-holding” during your questing. No compass markers, no journal hints, and very little in the way of help — that is what you’ll get with this, or any other true-to-form European RPG.
The horror!

I could keep picking this review apart but I've made my case without wasting anymore time. Wish American game reviewers could appreciate Eurpoean games more than they seem capable of. I'd hate to see these styles of RPGs fade away.

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January 12th, 2010, 20:11
As an American and an RPG fan(atic), let me just say thank god for European RPG developers.

Gothic III > Oblivion
Witcher > NWN2, Dragon Age, take your pick

I haven't had a chance to play Risen yet but from the demo I think I'll like it better than any recent American RPG releases.
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January 12th, 2010, 20:40
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
I haven't had a chance to play Risen yet but from the demo I think I'll like it better than any recent American RPG releases.
Risen is a good game and a worthy purchase for any Gothic fan. But the game seemed small in scale to me this time around. On the flip side, PB put a great deal of polish into this title. I'd like to see something larger (maybe 1/2 to 2/3s the size of G3) AND as polished as Risen from PB next. I have my fingers crossed.

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January 12th, 2010, 20:54
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I could keep picking this review apart but I've made my case without wasting anymore time. Wish American game reviewers could appreciate Eurpoean games more than they seem capable of. I'd hate to see these styles of RPGs fade away.
I find your reaction to the review kind of strange. He's giving the game a great review, 90%, obviously appreciating and enjoying it quite a bit — exactly the kind of things you complain American reviewers don't do enough of — and yet you're criticizing him for small stuff, e.g., the fact that his generalizations about American vs. European RPGs don't apply to you individually (generalizations sometimes do that), or accusing him of saying that easter egg hunts should have directions to the eggs (which is a misreading; he is drawing a distinction between the two styles, not taking sides).

I don't know, I thought it was a pretty good review. I'm glad he appreciates this sort of RPG.
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January 12th, 2010, 21:59
"…European RPG like Divinity 2 gives you features no longer seen in modern titles such as supremely challenging combat and the lack of any “hand-holding” during your questing. No compass markers, no journal hints, and very little in the way of help — that is what you’ll get with this, or any other true-to-form European RPG."

You can actually flag locations on the main map, and then they give you a way-point on the mini-map so you can move towards your goal without getting lost.

For the noobs out there
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January 12th, 2010, 22:23
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
I find your reaction to the review kind of strange.
I don't like the whole MTV-ization of the American gaming press - my reaction to this article isn't limited to this one article, it's a sort of on-going reaction to the American gaming press overall. Yeah, the reviewer puts a postive spin to his assessment by the end of the article. But along the way, he plays on a lot of biases.

This review hits a bunch of stereotypical chords that I believe can damage the RPG genre type put out by European developers if they take them too much to heart. There's this sort of snarky tone injected into the compliments. I don't really go for that sort of thing and find it unprofessional.

The European RPG developers are the last of their kind and the only games around I'm really interested in playing this days, hence my defense (and perhaps, maybe a little bit, overreaction) for them.

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January 13th, 2010, 00:11
Originally Posted by LuckyCarbon View Post
As an American and an RPG fan(atic), let me just say thank god for European RPG developers.

Gothic III > Oblivion
Witcher > NWN2, Dragon Age, take your pick

I haven't had a chance to play Risen yet but from the demo I think I'll like it better than any recent American RPG releases.

I agree LuckyCarbon, quality US RPGs have been few and far between recently.

Btw: Dragon Age was not developed in the US.
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January 13th, 2010, 00:54
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I agree LuckyCarbon, quality US RPGs have been few and far between recently.

Btw: Dragon Age was not developed in the US.
Oh really? I thought it was. I stand corrected then.

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January 13th, 2010, 00:58
Thank God we don't have any fat women in America.

"For Innos!"
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January 13th, 2010, 01:33
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Oh really? I thought it was. I stand corrected then.
BioWare is Canadian. Or does that count, too?

Anyway, I largely agree - the "large women" comment is puerile.

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January 13th, 2010, 03:15
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
This review hits a bunch of stereotypical chords that I believe can damage the RPG genre type put out by European developers if they take them too much to heart. There's this sort of snarky tone injected into the compliments. I don't really go for that sort of thing and find it unprofessional.

The European RPG developers are the last of their kind and the only games around I'm really interested in playing this days, hence my defense (and perhaps, maybe a little bit, overreaction) for them.
Okay, fair enough. I guess I have a lot more tolerance for snarky comments in reviews, I almost expect them. But I understand how you might react that way, if you love the subgenre and feel it's being unfairly characterized.
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January 13th, 2010, 03:15
As a transplanted Canadian, it's an insult to lump Canada and the US together as being the same!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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January 13th, 2010, 08:02
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
Okay, fair enough. I guess I have a lot more tolerance for snarky comments in reviews, I almost expect them. But I understand how you might react that way, if you love the subgenre and feel it's being unfairly characterized.
I've been around a while and have been a computer nerd for even longer. It's a miracle I'm a husband and father.

I still have gaming magazines from back in the 80s. In those days, video gaming was geeky and nerdy but it was ok. This 'way of life' showed in the reviews and editorials of the print mags of the time. But Video gaming also had an innocence and charm that I miss.

I can't help but bump that up against the locker-room trashy talk of many of today's videogame media. Guess I'm really just an old dog now.

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January 13th, 2010, 10:19
I don't get all this US vs EU thing and there are no standard recipes of doing a game MW didn't had a quest compass but Risen does .
As about OB's compass there is no small group of haters , wth nobody reads Beth's forums before posting inaccuracies ?
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January 13th, 2010, 13:26
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
As a transplanted Canadian, it's an insult to lump Canada and the US together as being the same!!
Lumping Canada and moose together, on the other hand …


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January 13th, 2010, 15:56
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I've been around a while and have been a computer nerd for even longer. It's a miracle I'm a husband and father.

I still have gaming magazines from back in the 80s. In those days, video gaming was geeky and nerdy but it was ok. This 'way of life' showed in the reviews and editorials of the print mags of the time. But Video gaming also had an innocence and charm that I miss.

I can't help but bump that up against the locker-room trashy talk of many of today's videogame media. Guess I'm really just an old dog now.
I'm probably your age, but I've only been around gaming since 2000. Still, I can relate to your feelings of having lost a time when you had a smaller subculture which was geeky/nerdy but filled with serious enthusiasts and a certain quality of innocence. For you, that was gaming; for me, it was science fiction fandom, with mimeographed fanzines distributed through the mail, round robins, conventions, etc.

Anyhow, things have certainly changed a lot in gaming. Gaming now is such a big business, so mainstream. Consoles have changed the landscape drastically (I can see why so many PC vets resent them). With respect to reviews, now anyone with a keyboard and internet connection can call themselves a game reviewer, not just (as in the old days) a few selected enthusiasts limited to a handful of magazines. It's sad.

I also notice the "locker room" language and mentality of a lot of game reviews, and I appreciate it when reviewers offer something deeper than that. I don't think that's a matter of being an old fart. I think it's a matter of having taste. You know amateurish writing when you see it. But at the same time, it's the internet, and so I'm not bothered by it.
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January 13th, 2010, 16:01
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
With respect to reviews, now anyone with a keyboard and internet connection can call themselves a game reviewer, not just (as in the old days) a few selected enthusiasts limited to a handful of magazines. It's sad.

Amen …. you hit the nail on the head with that one.
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January 13th, 2010, 16:09
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Btw: Dragon Age was not developed in the US.
Ah duh, I knew that. However Bioware may be Canadian but EA is very much an American gaming company and very much does things the "new American way". Cheaply, poorly and with no planning beyond the next quarters fiscal earnings statement.

And isn't Canada really just America North. -> That was for all you Canadians.
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January 14th, 2010, 01:18
You're just jealouse!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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