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Why Divinity: Original Sin Is Such a Success

Divinity: Original Sin appeared out of nowhere and became one of the year's biggest hits. How did it do this, and why did it work so well?
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

The Divinity franchise by Larian Games has gone in many drastically different directions over the years, from a third-person adventure game, to a RTS where you control a dragon. But why is the latest installement in the franchise, Divinity: Original Sin such a break out success? One simple reason, the sense of wonder. 

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Larian Games went to Kickstarter with their idea of a game early in 2013. They had an idea to create an old school isometric RPG not unlike that of Ultima VII, with a robust tactical turn-based combat system. With that game style, and the addition of a robust character development system, not unlike Dungeons & Dragons, and a fully cooperative campaign, even including cooperative dialogue options, Larian had quite the game in their hands. The Kickstarter campaign earned $944,282 of the $400,000 goal, and development quickly began getting underway.

Fast forward to the middle of last month. Divinity: Original Sin was released into the early access part of Steam. There, with the praise of many of the Kickstarter backers, many bought the game and tried it for themselves. I was one of them, and I started a cooperative campaign with my brother, with neither of us having any idea of what to expect. We did not even realize it was a turn-based combat game until we got into our first battle. This sense of having no idea what to expect is what kept pushing us to continue playing, along with countless other players across the globe. Realizing the deep mechanics in the game, from all of the cooperative dialogue options that further character development, to quests that don’t just tell you where to go, but merely suggest what you might want to do. We explored this world in awe, and spent nearly five hours in the first town alone.

Original Sin was officially released on June 30, and was already receiving spectacular reviews. My brother and I eagerly jumped right back into it and began exploring the world again, this time choosing different paths to see what changed. I’ve played about 20 hours of Original Sin now, and am still in the starting city. Every time I look somewhere else, I find something new and amazing to entertain myself with. From helping a cat find love, to investigating the murder of a town councilor, I know I will be invested in Divinity: Original Sin from start to finish.

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Mitchell Bovee
Aspiring game journalist with a lot to learn, but even more to share.