Typically, gamers know what to expect with a Definitive Edition. It’s the same product re-released to celebrate a year of critical and commercial success, thrown in with all the available DLC and a few extra goodies on top. The “Definitive” descriptor could easily be traded for “Ultimate”, “Game of the Year”, or “Slightly Better” Edition, but Larian Studios, never one to maintain a low bar, is doing something different for Divinity: Original Sin 2.
The studio’s isometric role-playing game was hailed as one of the best RPGs of all time after releasing on PC last year, and you don’t even need to have played it to understand why. A prodigious five course meal of a CRPG, it’s the kind of rare experience that actually delivers on its promises of choice-driven storytelling and immersive fantasy.
Despite its mighty 93 score average on Metacritic, Larian was aware of where Divinity: Original Sin 2 fell short in parts, particular in its final act where the elaborate story struggled to tie every thread with the same level of narrative mastery that permeated the rest of the campaign. Enter the Definitive Edition, which arrives as a free update for PC alongside the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release of the game on August 31, and irons out some of those chinks while expanding of what players already loved about Divinity in the first place.
Aside from the new physics engine, difficulty mode, and extra 130,000 words of fully voiced dialogue (yep), Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition will subtly rework various portions of the game to accentuate the quality of environmental storytelling, stratify the flow of gameplay, and give players even more options for how they want to tackle certain scenarios. Think of it as a Director’s Cut, in which Larian, free of the pressures of pre-launch development, has had the time, space, and feedback needed to really think about where Divinity: Original Sin 2 could be better.
After watching a demo of the Definitive Edition running side-by-side with the same walkthrough from the base game, its clear how forensic Larian Studios has been in running through everything with a fine comb, throwing out the stuff that didn’t work and replacing them with changes to enrich the player experience, regardless of whether said player is even going to notice the differences or not. These micro and macro refinements could well be all that’s needed to elevate Divinity: Original Sin 2 from imperfect masterpiece status to straight up masterpiece, not to mention a real treat for console owners who get to experience the game for the first time.
The Definitive Edition will run at a stable 60FPS on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, or 30 FPS on the console’s standard equivalents, but the rich, magical look of Divinity is just as stunning as ever, and the extra environmental details have only been an additive for that aesthetic. For PC players, Divinity: Original Sin 2's Definitive Edition is a great excuse to replay a game that demands multiple playthroughs. For those on PlayStation and Xbox, it’s one of 2018’s must play titles.
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