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Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga Gamescom 2010 Preview

Divinity II: Ego Draconis was released towards the end of 2009 on PC and Xbox 360 to moderate press reviews, with the PC version receiving far more favourable reviews than the console version. The Dragon Saga is a bigger and better version of this so anyone who enjoyed Ego Draconis will have lots to look forward to here. For those who have never played Divinity II before then let me fill you in. Divinity II is a third-person action role-playing game that sees you take on the role of a Dragon Slayer turned Dragon Knight. An unusual plot turnaround for sure and the method for defeating the impending armies of evil - to revive the dead lover of the evil leader, Damian - is also something different, though the original was slightly disappointing in its execution.

Divinity II

The basic gameplay in Divinity II is similar to that of other action RPG titles: explore a mostly non-linear game world of various races, visiting towns and dungeons along the way whilst completing the main story and other side-quests. There are of course many weapons, spells and other loot to find along the way. Combat is played out in real time meaning you can avoid claw swipes and fireballs simply by moving out of the way. Gain experience in the usual way and level-up to spend points on different skills classes and abilities. It is also said that the Larian Studios have listened to community feedback and have made improvements in various areas on both the add-on and the original game.

Divinity II

One of the most original features in Divinity II however is the ability to transform into a Dragon whilst in the outside environments. This adds a unique layer of gameplay in the form of aerial exploration and combat, with the dragon form having a different skill and armour set to progress through. To cap it all off is the ability to mind read people whilst you talk with them at the cost of experience points. Not only is this a new and amusing prospect but you can learn the true motives of someone who is asking for help. A novel idea but a difficult one to maintain throughout the game.

Divinity II

You can also gain access to your very own a battle tower, a safe refuge where you can purchase various items to aid your quest and enhance weapons by using loot you may have collected. Another feature that caught my eye here is the ability to build and then summon your own  creature bodyguard from pieces of enemies you have defeated. All things considered Divinity II really does offer a number of original gameplay elements.

Divinity II

New to The Dragon Saga are greatly improved graphics that make both the original game and add-on look superb, with the optimised engine requiring lower hardware specifications than before. The add-on Flames of Vengeance, that can be bought separately, allows the player to import their character or create a new one to continue the story arc of Ego Draconis. The combined content means 100's of hours of gameplay but can it hold your interest? Well it is hard to say from a 30-minute one-to-one presentation with the publisher but the tongue-in-cheek humour, stylish graphics and fundamentally different gameplay elements all add up to a promising action RPG. Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga is due for release at the end of October on PC and Xbox 360.

POBmaestro | 30th August, 2010

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