Not a bad game but very much focussed on hack n slash combat and gathering loot. RPGs like this aren't really my cup of tea, but I still found D2 interesting enough to keep me going. The combat is boring though. All you do is lock onto your target then continually mash the attack button until the target goes down (quaffing a potion or using a skill as needed). There are no moves or combos or anything, just mash, mash, mash. Well, you can do a tumble roll if you want but it does no good because the enemy can still hit you while you do it. I got so bored with this after a while I literally sat and gazed around the room as I hacked away at the endless waves of bad guys. Another problem with the combat is it's so hard and overwhelming I found I had no chance of victory unless I left a battle until I was a couple of levels over the enemy, but at that point they literally couldn't even scratch me. In one particular battle with a main boss character I was only four levels above him, but he all his minions couldn't harm me at all. That really helped make the combat truly tedious.
The graphics are gorgeous but there is apparently no anti aliasing at all, so you get pretty bad jaggies which basically spoil the eye candy for me. But they are otherwise gorgeous, from the amazing detail on the armour, to the truly stunning locations. I don't think I've ever played a game with such vast and grandiose scenery. But the jaggies are definitely a big issue for me.
Another major issue for me is that the chase camera is zoomed really far out from the character, and there's no way to adjust it. It's not a major issue I suppose but that is one of the things that everyone has their own preference for and it's annoying when it's not right. Some kind of slider to adjust it in the Settings would have been greatly appreciated. I also thought the character screens (inventory, stats ect) couldn't have been more bland and boring. They're functional I suppose, but absolutely no effort went into making them attractive. The same can be said for the on screen interface. In the PC version there is a nice, ornate panel at the bottom of the screen containing health and mana status, as well as your quick slots. On the 360 version there are four buttons in each bottom corner, made to look like your xbox controller's buttons (which is something I personally dislike intensely), and the map which incorporates the mana and health display.
There is another serious problem with regards to the controls. As I said you have eight slots to assign skills and items to, the D pad and the four buttons. The A button is also used to confirm menu selections and dialog, and the B button is used to escape out of screens. There seems to be a glitch whereby when you use the A button to make a selection, let's say select END to end a dialog, you activate that quick slot. So for example if you have a health potion on you A button, every time you end a dialog you will use a potion. Same with the B button. Every time you exit a screen you active the B button's quick slot. So you really have no choice but to leave A and B empty, and that leaves only six quick slots. To access any other skills and items you pause and open either an item menu or a skill menu and select what you want to use. The problem with that is there are certain items that you will use a lot like your dragon stones and summon skull, and they are in there with all your potions, food and other consumables. So you have to scroll through them all every time you want to use that item. These are quite serious issues that could be easily rectified, and go to show a lack of thought and care went into some aspects of the game.
The story is fairly generic fantasy fare, but it's made a lot more interesting by the whole dragon knight thing, which surprised me. When I first heard about that I thought it would be little more than a gimmick. But it's a very good plot and character device. And it turns out to be a pretty cool game play device too. It's fun! Ok, it's fairly limited in practical terms because you can't attack ground targets (except anti air structures). So if you find you're being assaulted by a hoard of excruciatingly tough imps (which you will) and think how cool it would be to take dragon form and burn them all to a crisp from the air… forget it. There are aerial monsters for you to fight, that you can only kill in dragon form, but here's the thing… they will only attack you in dragon form. If you remain in human form they ignore you. So what's the point? In practice it's mostly just go get around, and for coolness factor. It certainly is cool.
The writing and dialog is quite good. Many games that are not originally written in English are translated pretty badly, but it seems native English speakers were used to do the translation in this game, and professional voice actors were used to do the voiceovers, which are consistently good.
I would like to have seen more towns and settlements. There is only one fairly small town and two tiny villages in the whole game. Two other cities are mentioned, and I knew I would eventually get to visit one of them, Aleroth. I looked forward to having a large city to explore but when I finally got there it was only a couple of areas, a small battle and no quests. Then I was off again. This was a huge disappointment, as I like nothing better in an RPG than exploring a large town, talking to its people, doing a bit of shopping and doing quests. You spend the majority of your time roaming around the two vast wilderness areas, hacking your way through multitudes of enemies, gathering up loot and exploring dungeons. Oh and jumping puzzles. The designers definitely seem to have a thing for jumping puzzles.
A few pet peeves; The melee weapons and shields are ludicrously oversized (here's a tip Larian, a buckler should be about the size of a dinner plate, not a tractor wheel) and over stylized, but I found most of the bows looked cool. But the bows don't use ammo, and you can fire them nearly as fast as you can push the button. And the magic "arrows” home in on their targets like a heat seeking missle.
Teleporter shrines are everywhere so you don't have to walk anywhere, and when you get into trouble you can just beam out to buy more potions or whatever, which makes gameplay a little too convenient for me. Not only that but you can magically send any loot you pick up back to the chest in your battle tower, so you don't even have to bother teleporting there in person to unload.
When you kill an enemy his loot appears in the form of a magic, sparkling bag floating above his corpse. Lame.
It's too easy to make money. There's a pile of gold in every other box or crate, and high end weapons pop out of every other chest.
A few personal good points; Display supports 16:10 on monitors, for those of us who play on a CRT monitor we don't have to put up with letterboxing.
Merchants sell high end gear, thus giving you something to spend your gold on. It amazes me how so many game designers fail to grasp this concept.
There's very little enemy respawn and no player respawn. You save the game where you want, in how many slots you want, and when you die you load a saved game. No respawn shrines, no New-U stations. This is how it should be.
The onscreen display is fairly minimalist. No rings under anyone's feet, no target boxes (just a health bar and name over their head), and no damage floaters (although you can enable them).
I'd have to say I enjoyed Divinity 2 for the most part. It wasn't perfect but it was interesting enough to keep me busy and entertained for a few weeks. But I mostly see it as something to tide me over between Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. A completely unsatisfying ending and an absolutely horrendous final battle left a slightly bad taste in my mouth, but I'm still glad I bought the game. But for me it's not worth another play through.