Back in 2011 From Software released arguably their crowning achievement in gaming, if not fiscally then at least mechanically. Dark Souls had all the things that made for a memorable experience: depth, customization, freedom, atmosphere, lore, and of course challenge. It was so successful that it eventually left its mark on the gaming world forever in the form of inspired games that many have dubbed “souls-like”.
These games attempted to emulate or incorporate certain mechanics that the Souls games popularized, attracting the same type of “hardcore” gamer to them. This of course all happened over many years, and it wasn’t until much later that “souls-like” became a thing, and it has me wondering will we see the same thing happen to Larian Studios in the form of “Divinity-like”?
Divinity Original Sin’s Influence in Gaming
Larian is not From Software, this much is obvious to everyone, but they have made a pretty substantial mark on the gaming landscape with their releases of Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin 2. They are credited by many with the revival of the CRPG genre, and with creating a resurgence in turn-based RPGs in the west.
It is quite possible that Pathfinder: Kingmaker wouldn’t even exist without them, since Larian’s success on Kickstarter inspired Owlcat to start a Kickstarter project of their own. Pillars of Eternity 2 was delayed in order to add more voiced dialogue to the game, a change I was told was because Divinity had it, so they had to have it as well. Then there’s the addition of the turn-based mode to Pillars of Eternity 2, nearly a year after it’s initial release.
Additionally, Josh Sawyer (Director of Pillars of Eternity 2) has been quoted saying the following about Divinity: Original Sin 2 “If I were to make a game set in the Pillars of Eternity universe that were not part of the series, I would totally want more of that stuff. By making more fundamentally dynamic gameplay that’s more driven by environmental interactions, you’re creating a game that’s richer for creating your own stories, your own gameplay by just fooling around.”
Wasteland 3 has also been inspired by Divinity as stated by Director Brian Fargo, not only by the gameplay, but also the multiplayer aspect about which he said: “Every metric suggests it will get more and more difficult to do a single player game. You’ll see more multiplayer in CRPGs, but the trick is for us to not give up the depth.”
Larian also consulted on Disco Elysium, helping to shape a game in some ways that took home best RPG at the Gaming Awards last year, and now has a cult following.
Dark Envoy is another game that comes to mind when I think of Divinity: Original Sin 2, and Event Horizon (the development team behind the project) has openly admitted the game is heavily inspired by Divinity. And though this is an indie game, you can’t help but see that when you look at it. Many “souls-likes” have indeed been indie games, so this sort of fits with the trend.
But this all leads to the same question, and one that really takes some introspection in order to answer, and that is what makes a Divinity game a “Divinity” Game?
What Makes a Divinity Game a “Divinity” Game?
When we ask this question we are of course referencing the 2 latest games that Larian has made: DoS and Dos II. What separated Divinity from the pack and made it one of the most popular RPGs of all time?
Is it the unique art style of the game that is built in their own in house engine? Is it the humorous dialogue that makes the game less serious in tone than some other RPGs? Is it the environmental interaction that hasn’t been seen before in gaming? Is it a return to party-based gaming where you control a group rather than one character? What sets them apart from other games and what if you saw in other games would you say “hey, that’s a Divinity thing!”?
Well, this is exactly the question we are asking! We want to know what you think and we will be creating a video showcasing some of the best answers from the community. And, as an added incentive to answer the question we’ve prepared a special giveaway!
Those who answer the question on our giveaway will have the chance to win one of 3 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Collectors Editions as well as 3 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition Switch boxes! These are exceptionally rare items, and you cannot find the Switch boxes for purchase anywhere. So enter the giveaway, tell us what you think, and we’ll publish the results soon so that everyone can see what a “Divinity” game really is!
Whether you’re are diving in for your first adventure or your hundredth, be sure to check out our Divinity Original Sin 2 wiki, for builds, guides and more. Interested in finding out more about what Larian is working on? Be sure to check out our Baldur’s Gate III: Everything We Know So Far (Gameplay & Mechanics) plus catch up on the game’s backstory with a Baldur’s Gate 3: A Brief History Of D&D Video Games.