Tag: Turn Based

BattleTech – Stomping the Yard – A Review From Scroo

Big stompy robots aren't anything new. BattleTech has been around for a long time containing a huge library of the the titanic war machines and thousands of pages of lore to go along with them. Things started back in 1984 when a studio called FASA launched a table top miniatures war game called BattleDroids. According to the WIki, Lucasfilm took ownership of the word "Droid" and the game was renamed BattleTech. The board game took up loads of space and a lot of time to play; days sometimes. Read more

I’ve Been Playing XCom 2…

And man it isn't messing around!

Those of you that have been playing it already know that XCom 2 is a step up from Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within. I was expecting a bit more of the same great game play that those previous titles handed us, but what XCom 2 doles out is nothing short of punishing. And it's excellent!menuscreenI'm only playing on normal difficulty and I'm having to reload saves several times per mission so that I'm not losing my veteran soldiers. I think by the third mission I played, my basic, barely promoted soldiers were already coming up against mechanical units and mind controlling Sectoids. No unit in this game is easy to go toe to toe with.

Each project that's researched, each improvement made is met with furious resistance. Just get your best soldiers healed up? Ready to take on that black site finally? Awesome, let's go... Well, now there's an urgent mission available, if it's skipped the enemy gets guaranteed reinforcements for a month... shit guess we gotta do that. At least we've got experimental armor for our soldiers... well they have heavy units with plasma weapons that can bypass armor... what now? Grenades, perfect, take that!... wait, Shield Bearers... They cast an energy shield on all of their allies in a radius that soaks up damage before allowing units to be vulnerable... Get up there with your power sword Rangers and slash that guy up!... Great but now we're out of cover... and oh good a Viper has come to bind our ranger and take them out of combat until they're either dead or the Viper takes damage... Now we have wounded soldiers and it'll take days or maybe weeks before we can assault that black site that we were so prepared for. Who knows what will happen between now and then?

It's like that every step of the way and it's wonderfully stressful. actionIf you were into XCom: Enemy Unknown, you're gonna be into XCom 2. Just be prepared to lose, a lot. If you're already playing XCom 2, good luck and godpseed Commander.

Hard West – The Hardest West That Ever Wested: A Review From Scroo

Hard West is a turn based squad tactical strategy game that's been compared to titles like X-COM Enemy Uknown and Jagged Alliance. Stay with me for my thoughts, and as always click an image to see it full size.

Upon firing this game up for the first time and seeing the title screen and menus I was immediately excited to play. This is a game I was looking forward to for a couple of months and I can say that I wasn't disappointed. As the name would imply this is a title that takes place in the wild west, but the twist is the added paranormal element. I'm not talking X-Files here, it's nothing over done. No ghosts and skeletons or aliens, any of that kind of stuff. Instead we're looking curses, cults, and a demon prince. It all fits together very well. By that I mean that even with the paranormal overtones this game still feels like a western... a very dark one. Hell, even the demons are gun slinging cowboys.

I love the music. There are 14 tracks and they're really good at setting the mood and getting stuck in your head. Thankfully they all have a western feel, increasing Hard West's honest feeling about what it is.

So the story of Hard West is pretty linear, but at the same time it's not. Let me explain. When you start a new game you will always play the scenarios in order. After you complete the first scenario you'll unlock a second story with different characters and their respective scenarios. Both of these have to be played linearly but you can skip back and forth between them after each one is completed, allowing a sort of lane change to each story. I can't of course go into explaining any aspect without spoilers...so I won't.scenario screenEach scenario is a bit different as your characters will evolve and change, as with the mode of progression for completion. See, between the fights there's a secondary mode. In X-COM it was the ant farm, where you built modules for research. In Hard West it's the overworld map mode where you'll be required to complete objectives and explore locations. The player is represented here by a bleached bull's skull. This is also where you'll find stores to purchase items to benefit your characters in the form of weapons, to healing herbs and special relics to improve stats. Often times you'll run into an area where you'll have to make a choice that has a random effect on your main character. Could be great, could be awful, could be nothing, but each decision is final as there are absolutely zero manual saves or loads.

Each scenario has different objectives to complete while in the secondary mode. One time you may be looking for mining licenses so you can find gold to fund your operations. While another time you may be looking for patents and blueprints so you can research upgrades for weapons and items. Each time a major objective is completed you'll be prompted to go to a location and prepare for a fight.WorldMapBefore we talk about battles, we've got to look at character movement and discuss action points. This is the same standard movement system as other titles like this one. You'll select a character and see your two stage highlighted area. Movement anywhere within the first stage will cost one action point, and anywhere in the second stage will cost a second action point. All characters have two action points during combat to spend per turn and they're represented by the stars next to the health gauge displayed above their head. We'll talk about different ways they're spent further in.movement_editNow we can discuss the extensive combat system in Hard West, in fact that's where most of our focus from here out will be. First and foremost, it can be pretty challenging, you'll need to use the environment to your advantage to make it through combat missions. Cover is available to hide behind and is not destructible. Full and half cover will provide different levels of protection for all characters to the tune of significant damage reduction. So maybe your gun does five damage, well against full cover it will most likely only hit for one damage. If a character is flanked the cover bonus is negated by the flanker allowing them to hit for full damage. Another interesting mechanic is the use of interactive items available in the field. Let's say there's a big crate near a posse member and by itself it provides half cover, but open its flimsy half inch pinewood lid and now you've got full protection. Of course all types are helpful in terms of line of sight, but that won't always save you. coverTents for instance, will block line of sight but are not at all good at stopping bullets. If it's day time you may see a shadow that gives away an enemy position. This will allow a character to be targeted and shot at through the tent even without a direct line of sight, but will invoke an aim penalty that will reduce your chance to hit. Yes, even the time of day itself has an effect on combat and abilities; this -is- predetermined however: there is no day/night cycle. The image below explains those effects.day_night_editThen there are ricochets. This is one of the coolest ways to get around cover. All characters share sight. So let's say you've got a set up where one of your posse is posted behind a rail at a building to the south. Directly north is another building with an enemy posted behind it, out of that member's line of sight. Another of your posse runs to the north building and posts up on a corner with the ability to see that enemy. This enemy's location is now shared with your posse member to the south, but there's still no direct line of sight to set up a shot. Now let's say this north building happens to be a blacksmith and there's an anvil outside. Your southern member no longer needs line of sight, just the ability to ricochet a shot off the anvil around the building to bury a piece of hot lead in his left buttock. Even cooler is that ricochets can bounce off multiple applicable surfaces allowing for some amazing trick shots. In the image below we can see the highlighted character preparing to ricochet from the bell to the cauldron to NPC behind the tree.Hard West uses a character's hit percentages modified by their aim to determine whether a shot will connect or not: the higher a characters aim the better the hit chance. The tipper here is that all characters have an extra factor in the form of "luck". This is kind of like a secondary health bar and will directly offset the hit modifier by a percentage equal to the hit chance. Abilities also cost luck to use and every character starts with 100 luck by default. So, say an enemy is preparing a shot against one of your posse. Let's give that enemy an arbitrary hit chance of 75%, and say your posse member has 60 luck left in his or her bar. That means this enemy now has only a 15% chance to hit. Now let's say that shot misses your character, his or her luck will now drop by the initial chance to hit but not below zero. So your posse member spent 75 bringing the bar to zero. Their luck has just run out, negating any effect on the next shot made by a different enemy that just happens to hit this time. Ok, your posse member just took a bullet. Not good. But now that character regains a portion of luck reducing the chance of taking another shot right away, and helping to maintain the balance of this very deep combat system. In this image below you can see that the NPC marked with an arrow has just missed the highlighted character by the window, causing him to require a change of pants and decreasing his luck by 25.combat luck highlightOf course during combat your posse members may be injured. This only happens if you've turned on combat injuries at the start of the scenario, but it's a double edged sword. Being badly hurt -will- hobble your character for a while. But if they survive... those wounds will have a largely positively effect. Below, in this image you can see a posse member that was severely wounded but managed to power through, and is all the better for it. combat injuryAlso viewed in that same image is the character's poker hand. Ability cards will obviously help your posse members in various and nefarious ways and are unlocked by completing missions. Each card has a face value, and the better your cards the better the benefit. This character has only managed to acquire a simple pair. Presumably because his poker face is just terrible, as is the rest of his face. But that pair has given him a pretty good bonus to movement. Each card, as mentioned above, will have effects on the posse member holding that card. Below is yet another image helping explain this. What we see here (in case you're sick of clicking pictures) is the Queen of Diamonds that adds not only to the total hand bonus, but also provides the passive ability "Shadow Cloak" allowing invisibility when not in the sun. The card itself also applies a +2 to character movement all the time.Card screenWeapons are surprisingly varied in Hard West and each has it's strengths and weaknesses. At the bottom of the UI is the range indicator Range1showing the effectiveness of your currently equipped weapon versus the range of your target. Handguns and shotguns have a short to medium range, rifles a medium to long range, and scoped rifles only a long range. Some weapons use the extreme versions of this modifier. Sawed off shot guns are very close up weapons, and the Elephant Rifle is only effective at a very long distance. You'll incur a significant aim and chance to hit penalty by challenging ranges, so pay attention to that and remember weapon swapping is a free action.6shooterstats1 Most characters will start with a standard six shooter. You'll also be able to purchase or find secondary weapons at traders and after completing missions respectively. Soon, gun variations will become apparent. For instance a Derringer only does three damage, but it will allow two shots per turn as long as you have the action points, it takes one per shot. So it has the potential of doing up to six damage per turn. The downside of a Derringer is of course its very short effective range and the fact that it only has two ammunition. Scoped rifles have only one ammunition and are only effective at long range, but happen to be very powerful. With both action points and some luck left a character can use its "Scoped Shot" ability. This will allow a 100% chance to hit whoever is targeted, but has a three turn cool down. So no moving or reloading before firing.

Which brings me from a graceful and not at all obvious segway to the subject of reloading. Each time you fire a weapon you'll deplete its ammo...derp. This means after a bit of firing you'll need to replenish ammunition, costing one action point. On top of that your character may not be able to totally refill their ammo, often only two or three rounds at once. Get a weapon's ammo too low and it may disallow some abilities. Example: lots of pistols allow an ability called Fanning. This is where the character will hip fire their pistol as seen in pretty much any spaghetti western, firing three shots in quick succession. So the ability requires at least three ammo in the weapon or it won't work. Also worth noting here is that it only takes one action point to fire any weapon, but doing so will -always- end a character's turn.Graphics in Hard West, though not the best ever seen in a title like this, are pretty nice to look at. Some of the design might seem a little generic at first, but it's really got its own flavor the more you see it. Lighting is nice, animations are simple but smooth and the ability to rotate the map 360 degrees will give you a full view of the field.

The UI at first feels a little confusing, but once you play a mission or two you'll learn it. There are still problems though, like not being able to hover over a skill during combat to see a description. You'll have to open your character screen to see them. There's also no obvious way to cancel a selection once made and can cause some frustrating mistakes. This is done by right clicking off the current panel or hitting escape. That range modifier bar I mentioned further up can also be tricky to follow since it's linked to the mouse pointer. Meaning wherever you drag the mouse that bar will show the range modification. Just some small stuff really, it's very functional for the most part and a lot simpler than it seems at first.

If I had to make complaints it's going to be these items: Sounds and the overall optimisation of the game. Also characters aren't -that- memorable. And the lack of varying 3D weapon models.

First off: sounds seem a little weak. Not bad at all mind you, just not exceptionally powerful. Is this terrible? No it isn't, the game's still awesome.

Second, Hard West is not consistent at all in its frame rate. Though this isn't horrible either, as there isn't a ton of motion that requires a perfect 60 fps. Still it would be nice to see that addressed since it does seem that this title is a bit CPU heavy and that's noticeable on the temperature gauge. During a session I played one morning my home temperature was 58°F, or around 14°C. I noticed my CPU clocking in at 115°F, or 46°C. Seems pretty warm in general, I don't like seeing much above 42°C myself; and it's definitely high for a room temp that low. Especially since I'm using one of these coolers. Luckily the devs have been putting out patches regularly as needed, so it may be fixed sooner than later.

Third, characters are themselves pretty memorable in certain scenarios, but in others you'll find yourself caring less. I don't think it's lack of development that causes that, the overlying story is very interesting. Rather it seems to be the fact that there are several main characters, each with their own stories and it just feels a little tough to follow at times. Admittedly though this issue is probably lessened greatly by not jumping back and forth during scenario selection.

Fourth, the last complaint I have is very trivial and also understandable being as Hard West's budget was pretty limited. But I would have liked to see individual gun models represented on screen during combat instead of just one standard model for each weapon type. There are some really cool designs with the special and unique guns and it would add a lot to the atmosphere being able to see them during play outside of the character screen.rifle_edit Again, this is serious nit-picking. I get that it would have been a bunch more work and cost a lot more money. save herFear not, dear readers. The conclusion is at hand! Hard West: A tactical squad game with a fairly compelling story and excellent mechanics. Do I recommend it? Yes I do, even though at the time of writing this review I'm not done with my play through. I still have three scenarios left. However I feel confident enough to write about it because it was easy to understand what I was in for from the start. This game didn't get much press, I imagine for budget reasons, and that's too bad really because it's been largely overlooked. I feel that anyone who likes these kinds of titles owes it to themselves to pick it up. Hard West is $20 on Steam and with 40 missions and 8 different scenarios it's worth the cost.

System requirements for Hard West are as follows:

OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 2.6 GHz / Intel Core 2 Quad 2.6 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB) / GeForce GT 430 (1024 MB)
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 6 GB available space

OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 3.1 GHz / Intel Core i5 3 GHz
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon R7 260X (2 GB) / GeForce GTX 550 Ti (1 GB)
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 6 GB available space

[image credit for pistol fanning here]

Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition -A Review From Scroo

So guys, the time is here. Ive been playing Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition pretty religiously since it's release in October, and after around 100 hours of play time, I'm sad to say it's done. Below you will find my review of this beautifully crafted turn based RPG and I'll admit straight off that I'm a bit biased because this game is in my opinion one of, if not the best, RPG of it's type out there now. So without further ado....title load screen1Those of you who know about Divinity: Original Sin, already know that folks who own the game got a free copy of the enhanced edition. Original Sin is a really great game with a beautifully lit, well crafted world containing excellent dialogue that tells a very good, if a bit predictable, story. When it was released the enhanced edition brought to the table something like 1300 changes and additions. Some of the most immediately noticeable of these are the now fully voice acted cast, the 360 degree camera controls, Direct X 11 support and greatly reduced load screen times. Many, many more changes become evident as you play, even some extra content and the free inclusion of the DLC from Original Sin.

So here's the rundown: When you start a new game you'll have the choice of playing in single player mode where you can either play by yourself or with a friend in split screen. Or you can choose multiplayer, where you'll begin a game online and can then invite your friends to join your game and play cooperatively. The single player and multiplayer options do use different save files though, so there's no playing your online characters in offline mode. Luckily you'll have the availability of creating multiple profiles so you can have an online game with friends on one profile while playing your single player game on another. Either way you'll be creating and playing two characters that are referred to as Source Hunters.

"Source" is the game's name for magic and was tainted eons ago by an ancient evil. As a result it's not looked upon happily by most people and the Source Hunters are there to find "Sourcerers" and judge them. Not all Source is bad however, as the game tells you early on, but the lines are very vague and you'll be seeing and using many different types throughout your time playing so it's mostly a story item. Soon, you two Source Hunters are pulled away from what's to be your first assignment and drawn in to a world changing event. Thus begins your quest to be all that you can be and save the world.academyPretty typical plot line, but where Divinity differs is that as your characters will constantly change their opinions about things. This is handled by you as the player, both through dialogue options with NPCs and your individual party members. You might even draw different conclusions between your two main characters resulting in an argument that is to be solved with a mini-game. Dialogues can and often will change your characters traits and those traits have a direct effect on how other NPC's and even your own party members treat you. Just remember that the things you say in dialogues have consequences. Even though these changes won't directly affect the story itself, they do help the story to be told in a way that feels so much deeper and a lot less linear than the typical "Chosen one saves the world" path.

To get started you'll be put into a tutorial area that will run you through movement, party selection, inventory and character screens, camera controls etc. and very soon you'll be in the action. Rivellon itself, this is the world where Divinity: Original Sin takes place, is  utterly beautiful. The maps are richly colored and well lit, the layouts are sensible, and the locales are pretty nice to look at. There are times when you might be traveling through an area and there will be a break in the trees opening up to a far off view and this kind of thing is really eye-catching to me. Texture resolution isn't crazy high but it's by no means blotchy or ugly. The lava and magma textures in particular are pretty superb. There is a depth of field option in the menu if you hate that blur in the background that's out of focus. Overall though this game is as beautiful to look at as it is to play.

As always, click on images to see them full size

jungle viewJungle bridgeGarden viewExploration is totally free except for a few locked doors early on that the local guards won't open until you're considered strong enough, but feel free to run around and talk to everybody. NPCs are useful, mostly. Some of them have canned dialogue but lots of them actually have something to say, and quite a few of them have side quests to pick up and perform. Even some animals have quests for you, pick up the "pet friend" skill and you'll see for yourself. And folks, I really suggest trying to do every quest and side quest that is available to do. Rewards are usually good, but really what you're looking for with questing (aside from story progression) is experience. Monsters don't respawn, so you can't just go grind a level to catch up if you chose not to deliver that note in your pack.

Quests in Divinity are not level based. That is to say the log doesn't suggest what level you should be to take something on, and some quests will last you through several areas in the game with many ways to progress. It's up to you to decide if and when you're ready to take something on. Some quests require the solving of puzzles, which can be quite a challenge. If you get stuck, just stop and think, and take a look around, they're very solvable. Remember that pet friend skill? Maybe try talking to a passing rat, they can help with hints in tough situations. lava pathSpeaking of puzzles: One place I never finished fully was a point later in the game that required the placement of characters on pressure plates to open doors in specific areas that require teleporting and just too much sequencing for me to want to finish. Luckily enough for me that area only had one necessary line of progression and the rest was optional so it was fine, but I would have had to check a walk-through to make it through there with total completion.templeSave your game often and use multiple save points. Combat can be very challenging, which is wonderful in a world of games that give you a "win button". If you find yourself getting your posterior served to you on a shiny plate, try reloading your game and coming at the fight from a different angle; and remember, ambushes happen pretty often so it's easy to be caught off guard. A suggestion from me is that every fight you win, make sure you heal your party up to full and wait for your cooldowns to refresh. The downtime is minimal and it'll save you some frustration in case you move three steps and start another fight when you're not at 100%. Battles are handled very well, balance is pretty even until you're much stronger when you'll be outnumbered... a lot. Winning a fight that has had you pulling your hair out is really satisfying especially when you hit the alt key and see all that precious loot on the ground. And what's great is that if you find yourself just stuck regardless, you can often just go back to town and buy some scrolls or upgrade your gear to give yourself a bit of an upper hand. The game gives you everything you need to make your play time successful.lava buildingtexture closeupI can't talk about combat without going into systems a bit. So, when you're just moving about the world it's a click and move ARPG type system. However when you start combat this initiates turn based mode. Your characters will stand in formation and the game will begin to determine your place in battle by your stat numbers. Characters with higher initiative will have a place in battle earlier than those with lower initiative, I.E. Rangers, Rogues etc. Higher strength will allow the use of heavier gear and affect the damage output of melee characters. I.E. knights, fighters, etc. One character at a time will have their turn in battle and will be using their Action Points to perform actions and move across the battlefield. These action points and skill costs in battle are also affected by your character's stats.combat spidercombat demonDon't worry though this is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. The game does a great job at making things clear to you. Explanations are available with a little mouse hovering and the information is clear and easy to understand. Not to mention you have all the time you want to make a decision, there's no timer on a character's turn. Have a party member with the "Lore Master" skill? Right click on an enemy and examine them to see their strengths and vulnerabilities. Have a party member who's skills would be best applied after the battle is a bit further in? Just delay their turn until the end of the set. Character skills and spells will work with and against each other though their own effects and the environment. So if your in combat and are suddenly lit on fire by a flaming archer, one of your party might cast the "Rain" spell and stop the burning while at the same time weakening the flaming archer. This rain will make the ground wet though so make sure your air caster doesn't use a lightning spell or you might stun your whole party for a few turns. You'll learn quickly how the environment can change and effect the way a battle plays out.

Gearing your party up is pretty simple. Vendors have a lot of goods varying from basic food items, to crafting and skill based ingredients, to the standard fare of arms and armor. As a vendor gets to know you more and more their attitude towards your individual party members will change and that affects the prices for buying and selling as well as repairs and identification of new magical items. You're also going to find a great number of items via combat you can either use right away or keep on hand to sell for funding your shopping sprees. Also on a related side note your party's inventory is as big as it needs to be. Your characters are only limited by the weight they can carry, which is a lot. I never ran into a problem with carry limits.

vendorinventoryBoth versions of Original Sin also have a crafting system. This means you can make a lot of items to help you along the way as long you have the skill and the ingredients. Everything from food, to magical arrow types, to weapons and armor can be created by you. You'll need the skill and the equipment required to make this happen of course. For instance the basic "crafting" skill will allow you to dye your armors different colors and provide the ability to create thrown items, like grenades that can have effects ranging from damaging enemies to healing your own party members, as long you have the raw ingredients. Likewise cooking is handled with the crafting skill and will allow you to make food that has various effects on your party members, you'll need a cooking pot, but they're easy to come by. "Blacksmithing", allows the creation of weapons and armor and lets you improve items you already have as long as you're near a forge or whetstone. It'll also let you repair your own gear for free from anywhere as long you have a repair hammer or tongs in your inventory.

I personally didn't use the crafting skills much beyond the ability to repair my own items and dye my gear new colors. However, I know of people who spend a lot of time crafting in this game and there are special recipes to be found that can create some pretty spectacular items that can then be improved throughout your time playing. I think during my next play through I'll spend some time making gear and seeing what's out there.

You'll of course want to gear your party members toward their skills and stats. For instance my two main characters are a Knight and a Cleric. I wanted to gear the cleric toward strength and intelligence. Easy enough but it meant I had to sacrifice some constitution or I'd end up with a fairly squishy healer. So I decided to make her a sword and board type and went with a one handed weapon specialty, and shield specialty. The block chance that the shield gave was enough to compensate for the lost constitution and a lot of stat points were made up for by the higher level gear I found as the game went on. This of course meant that I was looking for one handed weapons and shields primarily, and with enough strength she was also able to wear heavier armors without taking as much of a penalty for movement and actions in combat.ClericThis brings me to one of the best and most comprehensive features of this game. Character creation and development. Yeah I know it seems like this should have been much further up in the review but you'll understand why I waited in a moment. As mentioned at the beginning of the article you're creating two main characters when you start a new game. You'll decide the sex of the two and the way they look and also their starting class. Therein is the key *starting* class. You'll choose from quite a few presets and are given points to distribute to get you started, but as you play you're in no way locked in to playing that class. creatorLet's say you started a Rogue, and as you're playing you're deciding you're not really into the class skills or the way the character is playing in general. Well you can decide as you level up to train in different skills, change the way your stat points are being placed and pretty soon you've got pretty decent fighter that can dual wield, or a really stealthy mage class that can also back-stab the crap out of baddies. You can really play however you want to. And at one point ---this is a very minor spoiler so skip to the next paragraph if you just can't handle it--- you'll even gain access to an NPC who can completely refund your points so you can respec your character. The fee for this is great however and I recommend thinking about that choice at length before committing to it. At least give yourself a backup save beforehand.

I chose to more or less stay with the preset classes that I made because I had the idea of what my party should consist of and that really never faltered. I played the game with two Knights, a Cleric and a Ranger. Everyone could take a hit and deal damage, and two of those classes could heal and remove bad status and afflictions. It made for a very well balanced party for me. The problem with the character development being what it is in Divinity Enhanced, is that if you put the game down for a couple of weeks you might forget how you were building your party. That could potentially hamper your progression in a pretty bad way. But if you're like me, you won't be able to stop once you pick it up.pirate cave--MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD-- Before I get to the conclusion I'm going to include one major spoiler. So here's your chance to skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read about it. And the only reason I'm doing this is because it can cause so much frustration I think some people might just quit the game. It's the only item in this game, either Original Sin or the Enhanced Edition, that I would consider a truly poorly designed element. So the thing is, early on you'll have an opportunity to gain a party member named Bairdotr. She's got a great voice casting and is a very good member to have in your party. If you decide differently then this may mean nothing to you. So Bairdotr's goal in the game is to find a friend of hers who's gone missing. You'll find this out very early in the game, less than 10 hours in. You'll have her in your party investing time and effort and perhaps like in my case, making her a pretty key member. Then around 60 hours in you'll come to discover her friend that she's been trying to find, just through exploration. As you approach this person a dialogue will begin automatically between he and Bairdotr. Now, if you have been staying consistent in your dialogues throughout your play time you'll be gaining traits for your characters. If you've gained the trait "Obedient" by this time, Bairdotr will leave your party and turn against you. There are no indications throughout your dialogues with Bairdotr at any point during your time playing that anything untoward is taking place, and there's nothing you can say or do to change her decision to leave when it happens. I was left mouth agape and fuming. Here I was with a party member that I'd spent the better part of 50-ish hours developing, and just like that, with zero warning, she's an enemy. What the actual fuck is that?! However if your dialogue choices have managed to gain you the "Independent" trait beforehand instead, this is the opposite of the "Obedient" trait, Bairdotr stays with you and all that time you spent building a powerful character won't go to waste. Again though, there is no indication that her attitude toward you has changed until your party is in range of Bairdotr's friend and the dialogue between them starts. I was lucky enough to be able to load a game a couple of hours back and enter dialogues with a couple of other story NPCs that gave me the proper trait and thereby allowed me to keep Bairdotr in my party. You can also cheat the quest by carefully approaching Bairdotr's friend in question with her being kept out of range to engage in dialogue, and just attack and kill the guy without talking to him at all. This will avoid Bairdotr leaving; but the quest is never resolved that way. This was an extremely frustrating obstacle to run across in a title as well polished and put together as this one. My opinion on the subject is that the dialogue should have been handled through the same mini-game that handles arguments with the winning result being "Independent" and the losing result being "Obedient". This would at least give you the chance to keep Bairdotr without dozens of hours of pre-planning; and if you lost, well at least you lost fairly. conclusion imageSo in conclusion, Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition is a really well made, beautiful and challenging turn based RPG with a great story. One of the best of it's kind in my unwavering opinion, and I'll be playing it through again before too long I'm sure. So would I recommend this title? Does and old Mazda rotary engine require 2-stroke mix oil in the gas? The answer is hell yes it does, and hell yes I would recommend this title! If you like a good RPG, with great mechanics, play this. If you already have Original Sin but haven't picked up and started playing the Enhanced Edition, play this. Is it worth starting over from scratch from the previous version? Probably not, depends on how far you're in already, but you're gonna want to play again at some point and in that case, play this. The changes and additions the Enhanced Edition brings make it basically a new game. It's worth it people! You're going to love it, and if you don't... then you're not my friend anymore.

System Requirements for Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition are as follows:

OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E6600 or equivalent
Memory: 2048 MB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 11 Compatible GPU
DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 10000 MB available space

OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel i5 2400 or higher
Memory: 4096 MB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 550 or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6XXX or higher
DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 10000 MB available space


Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition – First impression? Still Lovely.

Just a few days ago at the time of this article's writing, Larian Studios released the enhanced version of what is in my mind one of the best turn based rpgs of it's kind: Divinity Original Sin. This new and enhanced version comes with something like 1300 changes including controller support, better graphics, better optimization, 360 degree camera control, full voice over for all characters, even split screen co-op. Of course there are many more than I want to list so I'll link the full changelog here in case you're interested in seeing everything. Even better, Larian gave us lucky folks this enhanced version for free as long we already owned the previous Original Sin title. Mac and Linux users will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer but it's coming so don't fret.

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