Divinity II certainly has an interesting premise. The idea is to create and customize your own character, down to the very last detail, and then take him on a very elaborate story involving Dragons and how to kill them. Along the way, the execution falls flat on its face, making Divinity II difficult to recommend.
You assume the role of a Dragon Slayer set upon the mythical world of Rivellon with the goal of becoming a Dragon Knight. Very early on, you are able to choose your class between Magic, Warrior and Ranger. Each have their own unique abilities that will help you further yourself in the story. The overall goal is to put an end to the commander of the Dragons so they may stop terrorizing this fictional land.
As with standard RPG fare, you will gain XP from killing various creatures and level up using that XP. You can then choose which aspects to enhance with skill points. On top of that, you may choose a new ‘spell’ to use with each level up. The options are varied and vast, which can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.
Graphically, Divinity II: Ego Draconis does not look good at all. The world and its inhabitants look like they are from a 2006 game with blurry and muddy textures everywhere. Sure, the areas within the game are somewhat large, but there is still no excuse for a game to look this ugly in 2010. The animation is even worse, sporting canned animations with about 2-5 frames per character. The pre-rendered cutscenes within vary wildly, with one looking like it was being rendered on a PS1, and the next looking like it was on a current generation console.
My biggest, and most disappointing problem with Divinity II is the lack of focus on the story missions and how the side missions are presented. In most games, I tend to like to only play the story, doing minimal side missions just to get to the end. Divinity II does not allow that at all, forcing you to either grind or do the side tasks to level up. I would not be so annoyed if the game’s side missions were treated as if they mattered when it came to the mechanics of the game. When given a side mission, you are given sparse details about where to go for the mission, and there is no place marked on the map at all. For most every side mission, I found myself wandering around for a good 20 minutes trying to find the person I needed to complete it.
Despite these issues, I still felt oddly compelled to continue playing Divinity II. I’m not sure what it was, but the game seems like it could be a rather good RPG if it fixed the issues I described. I really did not mind the combat as it is real time, which tends to be my preferred playing style in RPG games. The voice acting was decent, and the story seemed like it could be pretty good if I could just get past the issues presented here.
In the end, Divinity II can be described as mediocre. The game has an interesting premise that seems like it could work well given the right amount of effort on the core game mechanics and story flow. Lacking that focus, Divinity II cannot be recommended to the average player. I can see most people playing it up until the second or third story mission and never touching it again due to the unruly grind required.