John McCarroll
E3: DTP Shows Off Divinity 2
German publisher striking out in North America.
06.05.09 - 4:37 PM

DTP Entertainment is a name that many of our German readers will know well, as a publisher of PC games in Europe. They've begun their expansion into the US market and will publish the upcoming Xbox 360 and PC RPGs Divinity 2: Ego Draconis in September and Venetica in October. Both titles were looking solid at E3, and we had a chance to get walkthroughs of gameplay for Divinity 2 at DTP's booth.

Divinity 2 is the "true" sequel to 2004's Divine Divinity, a Diablo-style hack-and-slash which was highly acclaimed. Developed by Larian Studios, the team behind both the original title and Beyond Divinity, the title follows the story of the land of Rivelund, where dragons and men war because of an attack on the Divine, the main character from the first title. The main character is training to join the ranks of the Dragonslayers, a group of humans intent on bringing revenge unto the dragons. The main character comes upon a wounded Dragon Knight, a human who can transform to a dragon form, who tells him that the war between the humans and dragons is not the true harm coming to the world, but the return of Damien, the villain from Divine Divinity. Fans of the original two titles will find lots to love in this game, but Larian Studios is also looking to open the game up to a larger audience.

The quest system is both accessible and complex, allowing players to complete quests as they are or take them in directions other than what they originally were. Players who just want to barrel through the game can finish quests as they are offered, but DTP showed us an example of how quests could be finished in alternate ways. In the demo, the main character comes upon a woman with a note that she needs delivered to the town's blacksmith without the notice of her husband. In most games, the quest would simply be to deliver the note, and that would be the end of it. However, the player can also choose to open and read the note, which has the juicy story that the wife has been cheating on her husband with the blacksmith. The player can then choose to tell the husband, or to blackmail either the wife or the blacksmith. However, the quest is even further modifiable with the Dragonslayer's power of mind reading. At the cost of experience points, any character in the game can have their mind read, but it will not always be useful information. In the demo, we were able to read the mind of the wife and find the husband's journal locked away, which had information about a previous affair the wife had committed where the husband killed the lover. With this information, the quest can be completed in much more than the standard linear quests from other games.

The quest system is fantastic, and the combat has been improved just as much. With a new over-the-shoulder viewpoint, players are no longer limited to the click-click-click of Diablo-style combat, but have a much more visceral, real-time combat experience. As well, players can transform into a Dragon after gaining the power of the Dragon Knight early in the game. The player's human form and dragon form do not share skill trees or experience, so there has to be a balance struck between the two. Players will also gain access to a Frankenstein's Monster-style pet that is assembled at home base using limbs and other body parts obtained from monsters out in the wild. The monster will gain different statistics and powers based on the types of monster parts used.

Keep your eyes peeled to RPGFan for more information as Divinity 2 approaches its release.