Divinity – Original Sin 2: Progress Log #9

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I officially need a break from this game, because things have taken a serious turn for the abysmal, and the story keeps pulling an “oops, you thought we were done but (stupidly convenient plot device) happened at the last moment and now you need to run around a new area all over again, trying to figure out which of the bazillion sidequests actually progresses the story so that you can finally finish the game. Also, now there are invincible enemies. And fog that instantly kills non-undead party members. And spiderwebs that make it impossible to move. And enemies are now giant damage sponges so that every single fight can be 15 minutes long. Because we’re Larian, and we wholeheartedly believe that fun that isn’t suffocated under soul-crushing amounts of meaningless tedium isn’t fun at all!” That might come across as needlessly mean, but I’m finding it difficult to put into words just how annoyed I am with Original Sin 2 right now, and it’s especially vexing given how much I adored it at first. Thinking about why that might be, the problem here is mostly that the positive elements don’t ever change or improve, while the game finds new and creative ways of wasting your time and padding itself out the further you get. The end result is a game that makes a brilliant first impression, only to squander its potential by dragging on and throwing a bunch of irritating new things at you.

This is why it’s important to finish games

Finish them before properly reviewing them, at least. I don’t doubt that a ton of people caught up in the game’s wonderful early parts would gasp and call heresy at me saying that this game isn’t good enough for a positive review (at the moment, at least), but sometimes things toward the end can ruin the entire experience. See: Mass Effect 3. Of course, I haven’t actually finished this game yet, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be giving it a positive or negative review when I finally get around to it, but this is definitely the point where all of my good will was used up and I became sick of making excuses for the fact that I wasn’t having fun anymore.

Invincible enemies are an awful idea

So I went into a vault. This seems to have been meaningless side content, but it’s impossible to tell what matters and what doesn’t, forcing you to do whatever you stumble across. Anyway, the vault had these big statue guys who become hostile when they see you, and that was obviously a problem in need of addressing before Sebille could comfortably wander around and loot. As soon as they’re beaten or near-beaten, though, they go into an “inactive” state where they can’t be further damaged. When combat ends (or possibly if you take too many turns inside of combat), they come back to life and have to be fought all over again.

Words can’t describe how much I hate this. I had to summon allies with two different characters (because each can only have one summon at a time) and have them engage these guys in combat so that they stopped wandering around. I kept my actual party out of combat, though, and used my rogue character to sneak around the room—using Cloak And Dagger to warp over enemy sight cones and avoid getting pulled into combat—and grab the things I came for that way. Super slow.

Then there are these things. They don’t even bother becoming inactive, instead respawning immediately after being defeated no matter how many times you kill them. I was just looking around and saw a big mansion-looking thing that was on fire, and remembered seeing a bit earlier that it had been attacked by a large group of the game’s monstrous evil entities. As in, past tense. Then I go in there and these cursed things that can’t die engage me. If I hadn’t saved before checking it out, I’d have to slowly run off and try to get out of combat, and it’d be incredibly annoying. Or maybe more annoying would be a better way of putting it, because spending minutes beating down these things only to sit through yet another minute-long loading screen isn’t exactly my idea of enjoyable gameplay.

Sewer sections are awful, as always

First, notice that one of my characters is dead. This video takes place after a fight against a bunch of spider enemies, and she used her backstab move to kill one of them, only for it to erupt into deathfog and instantly kill her. How is that possibly okay? Also be sure to notice the fact that the ground is covered in spiderwebs. The enemies also shot a ton of webs at my characters’ feet, making it impossible for them to move around and attack. The spiders weren’t an actual threat, but the fight dragged on and on because several of my characters simply couldn’t get into range to attack. This whole section was a slog through traps and tedium like that.

Miscellaneous awfulness

Starting with the bugs, here’s one where a party member got stuck. Over and over and over again every time my group came out of this hatch. As you can see, I had to use one of his skills (which is basically a teleport) to get him out of there. You can’t use the pyramids to teleport in this place, so that’s not an option. Fast-traveling to one of the statue waypoints you find littered throughout the game might have been an option, but it’s still ridiculous to have to find ways to get around stuff like this.

Remember when I said that I had to have two of my characters summon allies to engage enemies in the vault? Yeah, one of them stayed locked in combat after I left, and it caused this bug. Spawning another version of it fixed things, and it’s just a visual bug, but I’m pissed off and choosing to view it as the end of the world.

Oh, and I totally forgot: actually getting into the aforementioned vault in the first place required using a lever hidden in a giant area. It gives you no clues for where it might be, and it’s hidden behind a plant because of course it is. There are a lot of hidden switches and levers late in the game, so prepare to be frustrated by stupidity you couldn’t have planned for. For example, the video above. I’m looking for a character and break into his house, but despite the fact that my character claims to have found something (and only after reloading a save to make the video was the camera at the right angle to see a little hint of what that might be), what they actually found isn’t obvious. Even if you see the little glimmer, which again, requires the camera being at a specific angle, you have no obvious way of moving the bed. Beds are indestructible, too. No, it’s only when I looked it up online that it turns out that you have to run outside of the house, move a barrel, and use a switch hidden behind it. So many sidequests are like this now for no obvious reason, and it’s gut-wrenchingly disappointing. You were supposed to be better than this, Original Sin 2.

Here’s a sidequest that I never figured out. An altar that wants blood. I tried everything I could think of: attacking a party member so that their blood landed on the altar, making it rain blood, putting severed arms and legs on the altar, putting rubies of various types on there, using a blood rose I picked up a long time ago, everything. Anything that looked slightly reddish. Nothing worked. The first Original Sin was at its worst when it was trying to include puzzles, and while the early puzzles in Original Sin 2 were decent, this is bad beyond saving.

That’s not all, either

There was a pocket dimension reminiscent of the little hub area from the first Original Sin, but it was abandoned. Also, all characters were slowed while running around in it. Characters move slow enough as it is—making them move even slower for no reason is just insulting. Then things are sped up if you use the right object. If you use the wrong object, deathfog fills the entire place and everyone instantly dies. This is how the game is now, and I’m moving on to other games for a week or two because I can’t stand putting up with another second of crap like this.

The next game I’m covering is under embargo, though, so all of its progress logs will come out on the same day (assuming I finish it in time, of course—Original Sin 2’s faffing about hasn’t exactly left me with as much time as I’d like).

[Click here to go to Divinity: Original Sin 2 log #8]

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