|Combat type||Real time with pause allowing|
|Character Summary||Single character, prebuilt from one of three basic types.|
|Play mode||Single player only|
|Game Controls||Mouse only (Point and click)|
|Revitalise character||Potions or sleep|
|Quests||Several major quests and many optional minor ones.|
After a brief opening movie, you wake in a small village with no memory of who you are or why you have awoken in this village. After gathering what you can from the room you awake in, you learn more by talking to the character whose house you are in. It won't be long before you find you are one of the Marked Ones, and the fate of the world depends on you.
Pick one of three character classes (male or female) and the level of difficulty to begin a new game. The beginning statistics are set by your chosen character class.
The graphics are very good, butterflies flit by, water ripples realistically, and much attention has been paid to all the items you'll find in the world. The music is excellent and does well to set the mood for the various parts of the game. Gameplay is basic point and click, with some keyboard shortcuts. The alt key reveals useful items in an area. The control key allows you to drop some of an item from your inventory. The esc key (as well as the menu button) brings up the main menu.
Divine Divinity takes place in a big world and there are many places to explore. To assist you on this path, the game provides you with an ever present toolbar. The top row of icons are: automap, journal, pause, browse weapons, browse skills and browse potions. The lower icons start on the left with your health bar, skills, stats, main menu, combat mode, current equipment and inventory with a blue bar on the right signifying your current mana level. Toward the centre of the bottom bar is are two bars, the top one records your progress to a new level and the bottom one shows how fatigued you are. Automap toggles the in-game mini map. The journal records information about the quests you've discovered in the game, an expanded version of the map, a record of all conversations you've had in the game, a tally of all your kills in the game and general information about your traits. The latter is quite funny and worth reading from time to time.
As with most of these types of games, save the game often. This can never be stressed too much. If you have just completed a major quest, found a particularly good item or just finished off enemies in a tough area, you need to save. The game has a quick save and quick load, along with named saves. Save the game often.
You gain experience and levels in the game by solving quests and killing monsters. You uncover quests by talking to people around the villages. As is frequently true in computer rpgs, characters with proper names 'Annabel' are much more likely to have interesting things to say than a character called 'Citizen'. You also may uncover a quest by finding special items or locations. As you solve quests, your reputation may increase. This will improve how NPCs react to you and improve the prices you get from shop keepers.
You can choose any of the skills available as your character advances. The skills are spilt into Warrior, Survivor and Mage. No matter your path, you may select any skill you choose. Each skill has up to five levels of proficiency. When the cursor is on a skill, you get more details about the next level available. A few of the skills are extremely useful. Deadly Gift is great, it always you to use three sorts of traps. The best is death scorpian, they are tough and very deadly. Poison weapon is nice to take down opponents much faster. There is a different skill for poisoning arrows, but poison weapon works on all weapon types. Putting a point into alchemy allows you to combine the red (healing) potion and the blue (mana) potion to make the much better white (restoration) potion. Restoration potion will heal and increase your mana much both much better than a similar sized healing or mana potion will.
A unique skill to this game is the Charm Weapon skill. In spite of the name, it actually allows you to embed charms in some armor as well as weapons. A charm adds a bonus in one of the attributes or one of the resistances for your character. There are small, medium, large and very large bonus charms. It's worth putting a few points into the charms skill, and save slots on your best equipment for charms that add large or very large bonuses.
As you travel the world, you'll be picking up much stuff. A lot of it isn't too useful for you, so you should sell it. The village you start the game in has one shopkeeper and a few of the other characters have a few items to sell. Eventually you will find your way to another market area with a number of shopkeepers. You should do your primary business with one person as much as possible. The more you trade with someone, the more they favour you; giving you much better prices. To set up a trade, you select items from your inventory to sell. Then select items from the shop you wish to buy. The top of the screen shows the relative value of the items. Click on the small balance beside the portrait of the person with the lower values to equal the trade in gold.
Some shopkeepers can also identify items, and repair your equipment. Identifying items is useful, you'll know more about it and can get a much better selling price for it. Watch your equipment. It does get damaged and will need repair from time to time. The smith is one of the characters who can repair equipment. In the trade window, select the hammer from the top of the frame. Now any item with a red price under it is something requiring repair. You will be told the price and allowed to choose to repair it.
Many, but not all, of the hints displayed while loading or saving a game are accurate and useful. However, a few are not, so you should be save before testing one of the hints.
Death of your character is annoying. The game continues on though you can do nothing at this point in time. So you have to open the menu and reload.
A few of the skills are rather complex to use. To use a deadly gift, you must choose the option from the skill menu. Then you have to select which deadly gift to use (scorpian, trail bomb, spider bomb). Then you have to right click from the main screen to use the skill. I gave up on repair armour, it was all too much.
When the game puts something in your inventory, it doesn't neat arrange the items. This can make it incredibly difficult to find a particular item that you need. Items can overlap each other quite a lot.
A straight-forward rpg, with limited character classes but a large world with a number of small and major quests to fulfill. Gameplay is straightforward and doesn't take long to master. The soundtrack is wonderful, the various characters, monsters and areas are well developed and look good.
Final rating 4.5 of 5.
At the time of this review, a sequel to Divine Divinity was under development by Larian Studios. Early screen shots of the next generation game engine look promising but sequels can take a very long time to complete.