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When I first heard Divinity 2 was going to be remastered, and bundled with an expansion for the Xbox 360 I was like "oooh shiny". There was something about Divinity 2: Ego Draconis, despite its faults that just kept me sucked in. It's humour, it's quest variety which did such a good job of keeping you interested, it's addictive soundtrack. It was a challenging game, and one that at the risk of alienating the casual refused to hold your hand giving many a secret to find, and genuinely giving the player a good reason to search every nook and cranny for treasure, skill books, and clues.

So now Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga has landed, along with promises of revamped graphics and gameplay, it's interesting to see just how much it has improved over the past iteration of this game. Played on both a LG 32" HDTV via HDMI and an Acer 1440x900 monitor via VGA the graphics have been given a pleasing overhaul, giving a more shiny look to armour and weapons, and making better use of lighting overall. The players character has been given some more attention, looking better than in Ego Draconis. In the odd places shadows can be a little off, and some of the textures up close still could be improved but overall for the most part the graphics are really nice. On top of this the game is now locked at a steady 30 frames per second which means it runs nicely now when exploring. There is the odd framerate drop (and it is a very rare ocurrence, I've seen it like twice over the whole weekend, mainly in the outdoor areas) but overall there's no more of the stuttering or choppiness of the original, a welcome change for definite.

In general combat is improved. On normal difficulty the game has been made a little easier reducing the need to save every five minutes which was almost a neccessity in Ego Draconis in some areas. Ranged attacks no longer home in on the player, with exception to some of the special ranged skills (which are still avoidable if you jump out of their range). It certainly helps to pace the game a bit better, and improve the overall experience, though perhaps some of the more hardcore RPG nuts may disagree here. I think Dragon Knight Saga manages to find the right balance here in pleasing both crowds and hopefully open up Larians games to a wider audience (as this was something that was criticised by alot of people in Ego Draconis). That doesn't mean you can just go into a scenario blindly with little regard for your own safety though. Rush in a little too deep and you're guaranteed to have your ass handed to you. Like Ego Draconis, doing your sidequests before you hit the main quests is in general still the key to success.

The user interface has been overhauled from Ego Draconis. Interact is now mapped to LB which means you no longer have to worry about assigning a specific skill to your interact button to stop yourself from swinging at an unsuspecting NPC, not that it had any massive affect on the game, but doing something like this did take you out of the game a little last time around, making you realise you were just playing a game. The menus have been improved with the addition of a paperdoll being a nice touch aswell. I do find it kind of hard to tell potions apart when mapping them to a quick slot though however. The icons look very similar and from longer viewing distances almost identical leaving using potions a bit of a memory game when using quick slots.

The only other issue I've come across so far that may annoy some gamers (though it doesn't bother me myself so much personally) is some long loading times when exiting buildings which is in general around 30-40 seconds. It's easy to see here how it can break the immersion a little bit but overall it doesn't really detract from what is a good quality game and a vast improvement over Ego Draconis.

It's just a shame that this wasn't Larians first effort on Xbox 360 as no doubt first impressions count. There's no denying that Ego Draconis had its fair share of problems and it's good to see that Dragon Knight Saga has done alot to resolve those problems. Here's hoping gamers will give Larian a second chance as they will truly be missing out on a good quality title if the skip on Dragon Knight Saga.



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I found the new camera was hit or miss. The view certainly helps with some ranged attacks.
However there were also some times when I was attacked by a melee enemy that could sneak right behind me and take a couple swings without me noticing early enough, since the camera is so close to the back of the character.

Generally, the combat still has a fairly systematic style.
Enemies with ranged attacks will strike you from afar and out of your field of view, sometimes from different angles, which makes it very hard when you're in an open area.
This can give your enemies a critical advantage very early into a fight. So a lot of them devolve into running in hiding behind an architectural element that lies past the virtual limit where they won't chase you, and waiting to regain some health.
Then you come back and take a few potshots, retreat again, and so on until you thin out the enemy ranks little by little.

I concur that the writing is what sets the game apart and it's some of the best in the business.

Last edited by masa2009; 08/11/10 07:34 PM.
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Did you beat it already?

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Originally Posted by salad10203
Did you beat it already?


I'm not far off from finishing off Ego Draconis. Having played it before I remember alot from the first time around so it's alot easier than starting with no knowledge already.

Haven't touched Flames of Vengeance yet though. I could play it right away (as it lets you start out with a pre made character on consoles in the expansion) but I wanted to take my character all the way through the game.

Last edited by Unreal Warfare; 08/11/10 08:41 PM.


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Originally Posted by Unreal Warfare
The only other issue I've come across so far that may annoy some gamers (though it doesn't bother me myself so much personally) is some long loading times when exiting buildings which is in general around 30-40 seconds. It's easy to see here how it can break the immersion a little bit but overall it doesn't really detract from what is a good quality game and a vast improvement over Ego Draconis.

Wow you need to wait that long when exitting a building? outch! its in the range of 10-15 seconds here and thats the max ive ever waited. while its true that being about unable to tell one potion apart from the other in hotbuttons its pretty easy to remember which you allocated for HP and which for mana tho :p The overall accuracy of your post is right on tho smile

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Originally Posted by Quazar12
Wow you need to wait that long when exitting a building? outch! its in the range of 10-15 seconds here and thats the max ive ever waited.


Are you playing on console? If so what region?

Note it varies. It's not always that long, just sometimes.

For me though it doesn't bother me. Once you played on a Tandy TRS-80 and had to wait upto an hour just to load a level I think 30-40 seconds is a cakewalk, haha.

Mass Effect 1 & 2 had some pretty lengthy load times aswell, in the first they masked them by using elevators, but in the second you had to sit on a loading screen, which was quite lengthy in places aswell even installed to HDD (cargo elevator on the normandy comes to mind here, lol). So with that in mind a bit of loading doesn't make a game bad, neither is it a massive inconvenience, at least not in my opinion.

Quote
while its true that being about unable to tell one potion apart from the other in hotbuttons its pretty easy to remember which you allocated for HP and which for mana tho :p The overall accuracy of your post is right on tho smile


How easy it is to remember is entirely dependant on the person. I normally have to go back to my house a minute after I have left it to check if I locked the door or not. :p

Last edited by Unreal Warfare; 08/11/10 09:12 PM.


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Don't want to speak in Quazar12's place, but I think from a couple of other posts that he plays on PC since he mentions buying from Steam.
That explains the shorter load times.

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Hearing about the overall improvement in the framerate and visuals is a delight.

I thought Ego Draconis was a pretty game. It wasn't technically impressive due to some odd animations, muddy textures, and some stuttery performance issues, but I thought the art design was tops.


My Favorite RPGs: Divinity franchise, Gothic franchise (including Arcania, so I think I'm alone...), Venetica, Risen, Two Worlds II, The Witcher, Sacred franchise, Fallout franchise, Mass Effect 1, Alpha Protocol, Planescape: Torment, Drakensang, KOTOR 1 & 2, etc.
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>>It's just a shame that this wasn't Larians first effort on Xbox 360 as no doubt first impressions count. There's no denying that Ego Draconis had its fair share of problems and it's good to see that Dragon Knight Saga has done alot to resolve those problems. Here's hoping gamers will give Larian a second chance as they will truly be missing out on a good quality title if the skip on Dragon Knight Saga.<<

You are of course right - I was actually physically sick when I saw that it really was going to ship before we were ready,and it was a very long fight to make DKS a possibility. We learnt many lessons in these last couple of years and I promised myself that I was never going to allow Larian to find itself in such a situation again. All releases Larian is doing this year (this includes FOV, DKS PC/X360 and Monkey Tales 1,2,3,4) are our own productions with very limited third party interference, and I hope we'll be able to continue that in the future.

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Originally Posted by Lar_q
You are of course right - I was actually physically sick when I saw that it really was going to ship before we were ready,and it was a very long fight to make DKS a possibility. We learnt many lessons in these last couple of years and I promised myself that I was never going to allow Larian to find itself in such a situation again. All releases Larian is doing this year (this includes FOV, DKS PC/X360 and Monkey Tales 1,2,3,4) are our own productions with very limited third party interference, and I hope we'll be able to continue that in the future.


That's good to hear. I hope you also continue your support for the Xbox 360 (and the UK) in the future aswell




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