Truly, this game kicks mountains of [nocando]! It is EXACTLY what I have been wanting in Divine Divinity's followup. I don't care that the graphics aren't completely 3D (in fact I prefer total 2D to the 2D/3D hybrid that BD is), I don't care that it is not a new game engine, and I REALLY don't care that this game is not going to be considered "cutting edge" anything by anyone that hasn't been living in a cave for the last 20 years. This game has heart and soul that just about every other game I've played lately just hasn't had. It is obvious in every facet of the game how much Larian loved putting Beyond Divinity together, and that makes a damn strong impression on me as the gamer that their efforts were ultimately directed at.

Excellent post, Deon and I agree with all of your impressions and opinions. I have been glued to BD ever since I installed it although it took me a lot longer to get to the imp village than you. But that's because I'm the kind of gamer that restarts new games several times before I understand some of its features. The skillpoints really threw me off on my first run-through and I bungled it so much that starting over felt better than deleting and reusing the skillpoints I had already accumulated. Plus, I had missed some crucial areas in the beginning of the game because I was racing through the different areas just to get to the next place.

You're right, changing tactics is what it's all about if you want to get the 'full taste' of BD. There is more than one way to get through a scene and the ability to make choices in games is what hooks me the most. There are a lot of choices one can make in the BD universe.

Anyway, you've been able to give voice to my thoughts and feelings about BD. And it does have it's own charm -- that Larian touch that distinguishes their work from the rest of the crowd. Thanks for sharing your impressions. Excellent post!