Divinity: Original Sin 2 was first developed and published by Larian Studios and released in 2017 for the PC, and in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Reviewing a port to the Nintendo Switch is a process less rooted in looking at the content of a game, since it has received critical acclaim on all fronts two years ago, and more focused on the execution of adaptation to hardware that is far less powerful than its alternative platforms. Fortunately, the port is well-made, with little sacrificed for the massive gain of portability, and the ability to cross-save between the Switch and Steam is a function that every single developer should look at in the future, without exception.
No Mouse And Keyboard, No Problem
At its core, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an isometric role-playing game with an extensive choice of dialogue options, intricate systems, and combat that demands strategy and careful planning, much like the first game in the series. The game was clearly designed first and foremost with a PC in mind, which is to say, to be played with a mouse and keyboard. That is still the best way to play it today, but the adaptation to the Switch’s controls is one that works well and never feels clunky. Managing the inventory or character screen takes only a brief while to get used to and updating the action bar makes for quick and efficient combat encounters. When played in docked mode with the 8BidDo Sn30 Pro, the experience remains the same: not quite as good as with a keyboard and mouse, but perfectly adequate.
30 Frames Per Second… ish
For the most part, the game seems to be running at a solid 30 FPS, with a little bit of blurring from time to time. However, the game looks and feels fine throughout. At no point was there ever an issue with the graphics that made me say, “Well, that’s the cost of playing on this tiny piece of relatively weak hardware.” Instead, the game always felt consistent and reliable in its presentation, and so being locked at around 30 FPS makes perfect sense.
Steam Cross-Save, Import, And Permanent Mods
From the beginning, there is an option to easily set up a link between your Nintendo Switch and Steam account, and it cannot be understated how wonderful this is to have as a feature, and how rare it appears to be in today’s gaming market. The result is that long-time players of the game who may already have countless hours logged on their PCs will now be able to access everything without missing a beat, and the portability factor may renew interest in the game for some players.
There is also the inclusion of the “Gift Bag: Song of Nature.” The PC modding community has been central to the ongoing popularity of Divinity: Original Sin 2. However, when games are ported to console players are often only given the base version of the game, which may often be fine, but lacking that certain special something that one can experience on PC.
Larian hit it out of the park with this Gift Bag, as it contains a number of community-made mods that were so popular, they turned them into permanent game features that can be enabled or disabled from an in-game menu at any time, exactly as one can do with a mod on the PC. These include:
- Crafter's Kit - Plenty of new recipes and unique items to craft!
- Endless Runner - Find a new icon in your Hotbar which you can use to toggle sprint on and off. Sprint increases your movement speed of your party and the movement speed of your followers.
- Animal Empathy - Allows all player characters to talk to animals without having to spend a talent point. Also Changes Pet Pal talent to grant maximum positive attitude in all conversations with animals.
- Fort Joy Magic Mirror - Manifests a Magic Mirror in the Arena of Fort Joy, along with a new Character Creation level. This allows you to respec before moving on to the next act of the game.
- 8 Action Points - Increases the base maximum Action Points of hero characters to 8.
- Herb Gardens - Plant your own herb garden! Take any herb and combine it with a bucket to create a seedling. Then just place your seedling in the ground and watch it grow.
In addition, Lorian states that another Gift Bag with more mods will be added in the near future as well, and like any future DLC, this is free of charge to owners of the game.
The importance of these mods is another point that should not be understated. With the upcoming release of Torchlight II and former releases of Slay The Spire, and even older titles like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim onto the Nintendo Switch, many players agree that while the core gameplay is great, there are so many high-quality mods that make the experience far better on the PC. Larian has not only recognized the contribution of the modding community in this port, but they are also again leading the way with what all developers should consider a core part of their ports to the Nintendo Switch.
A Fantastic Story
The game is already well-known among most who enjoy RPGs, but it is worth mentioning briefly for those not familiar with the game at all. Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a great story with engaging dialogue, and the inclusion of pre-made characters adds unique side quests for them as well. Consider picking a new pre-made character if seeking a slightly different experience than most have seen.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 joins the growing list of high-quality ports to the Nintendo Switch. In its inclusion of cross-saving with Steam, along with the permanent addition of some of the most beloved community-made mods, developer Larian has gone above and beyond. Other developers who port to the Switch should watch closely, because these are exactly the type of features that should be the norm, not the exception to stare at in awe.
5 out of 5 Stars
A copy of Divinity: Original Sin 2 was purchased by TheGamer for this review. Divinity: Original Sin 2 available now on the Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.