Divinity: Original Sin 2 from Larian Studios is regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Now that I’ve had the chance to spend many hours with the game’s Nintendo Switch iteration, it has become apparent that the praise is warranted.
Entering Rivellon, the ambitious world of Divinity: Original Sin 2
After creating my character, which consisted of choosing everything from my race to an origin story, I was placed in the fantasy world of Rivellon. Rivellon is a densely crafted fantasy setting that started me on the intimate prison island of Fort Joy before pushing me into its farther reaches. Despite this perceived coddling, I was presented with an overwhelming amount of choice from the very beginning.
The first thing is the user interface. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a CRPG and was not originally intended for use with a controller. The developers at Larian Studios, however, made proper compromises to make it playable on Switch. It’s time-consuming to sort out things like the inventory system, but after a few hours, I was able to manage all of my party members and adjust their skill points with ease.
An RPG worth the sum of its parts
Speaking of skill points, each time characters level up they receive some to be placed in their raw stats like strength and dexterity. They also receive points to place towards various abilities. The abilities can be anything from having the ability to teleport to speaking to animals. There are many quests to potentially take on, and they come organically and are well-written to boot. This has the unintended side effect of feeling overwhelming as everything in Divinity: Original Sin 2 ends up feeling important. It’s ultimately a reflection of how effectively the questing was built though.
Choices made in the narrative carry weight both in how they affect the greater story and how they affect individual characters. Thankfully, if I felt I made the wrong choice, I could utilize the quicksave feature retained for the Nintendo Switch version to easily reload prior to a major event and try a different path.
Combat in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is turn-based, but movement isn’t limited to a grid. I was able to position myself from any angle among terrain, and environmental effects such as setting fire to an oil spill provide a context-sensitive extra layer of strategy to battle. In turn, there is strategy to having the right magic on hand to take advantage of environmental circumstances. There is also a lot of depth when it comes to combining different party members’ abilities.
For example, I would use a Geomancer ability with my wizard and spread oil on the ground near enemies. Then with my other character who was a lizard, I was able to light up the oil with fire and cause a devastating explosion.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 on Switch is the perfect addition to an already existing PC version
Divinity: Original Sin 2 works in a complementary fashion with the PC version. Throughout my review period, I utilized the cross-save function that’s implemented with Steam and was able to take my characters to and from the Switch version seamlessly. This also let me see how the Switch version compared to PC in terms of graphical fidelity and overall performance.
Since I didn’t have direct control over the combat, when slowdown occurred it wasn’t something that particularly hindered gameplay. This slowdown was mostly isolated to the previously mentioned environmental effects that occur, so traversing the world (even with a full party of four) remains smooth and playable. I was surprised to see a lot of the same details in the environment from the PC version. Really, the only main difference is that the resolution and textures are bumped down. Yet due to Switch’s small screen, it was never an annoyance that took me out of the game.
Despite lacking split-screen functionality, online and local multiplayer with others on the Switch version works just as I would hope. Keep in mind that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the type of game that requires a commitment from start to finish with the same group of people for the story and situations to make sense. So you’re going to probably want to be in the same room (or with voice communication) with other players.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is easily one of the greatest games on the Nintendo Switch. While it may not have the best graphics on the handheld, its mere breadth makes it one of the deepest experiences in the library. Like any great session of D&D or other tabletop role-playing games, it engrosses the player in its setting and characters to the point that you’re able to fully escape into its world. While it may be overwhelming at first, there are dividends to those that decide to make the commitment.
A review code was provided by the publisher.