Thursday, 15 December 2011

Divine Div-won-ity

I finally finished Divine Divinity. Mostly great fun was had, though the last quarter felt a bit empty and thrown in there just to draw it out. After I became the Divine One it all got a bit boring...up until the last section against the five henchmen, one of which was FLIPPING IMPOSSIBLE, the others were all relatively easy. After that, Mr. BigBadGuy himself was pretty easy, too, which was a shame. The divine powers were also something of a let down. I basically just stuck with the single spell/talent I'd been using all along, which was much more effective than the divine stuff - bit of a shame after waiting the whole game for the new divine skill tree to become available, and then seeing that it was a bit pants when it arrived. I finished it on the morning of a day off, so started a new game for the rest of the day. According to my (rapidly falling by the wayside) rules, I should have followed up with Beyond Divinity, but I fancied a change of pace. Instead, I've plumped for Syberia, a point-and-click adventure in the old school style. It's fun so far, and beautiful to look at. My one complaint is that it's sooo sloooow. The character moves quite slowly, and there are lots of screens with nothing on them. Sure they look very pretty, but that's somewhat diminished the fifteenth time I walk through them. There are also an awful lot of fetch quests to make you walk slowly through those screens so many times. For example, at my current location on a train station outside a university, I'd just got the train to the far end of the station in order to finally wind its clockwork engine to proceed, when the phone rings and it's one of the professors on the phone reminding me that I have to see his lecture, which is all the way back at the furthest point from where I am. It's obviously done on purpose, as the phone call doesn't trigger until I get the train to the final location, but WHY? There's absolutely nothing I can do on the way back toward the lecture, I just have to run through tens of empty screens to get there. A nice designer would have just warped me back to the lecture room after the phone call...why make me tediously run back there?

Anyway, other than that, it's lovely. Beautiful graphics, an interesting story, great voices and sound...the puzzles are maybe a little too easy so far, but that's not such a bad thing, and I'm not that far into the game yet. It's fun, and I think I'll definitely follow it with the sequel next (though I'm back to 5 mins a day now). And what of The Settlers and The Bards Tale II...I'll get back to them soon, I promise.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Progress update's still going slowly. I have spent those few days playing Divine Divinity, and I can confirm that it is huge. I've trawled round the home map and done most of the quests there, but there are now the two other maps (that I've discovered so far) to do. The upper map doesn't seem that big, and I think I've done most of the things there, but the lower map is about the size of the first one and I've only just taken my first steps into it, so it might take a fair while. I'm enjoying the size of it, but some of it does feel a little empty at the moment - especially as once you've killed the monsters on the main map they don't come back. I think I prefer the Baldur's Gate way of doing things, with lots of little 'story' maps linked together rather than one massive map. That way, you get a lot more variety, and more of a sense of progress when you clear one and move to the next. It is nice being able to wander wherever you want, though, and do things at your own pace, and the teleporters are hugely helpful for whizzing around the map. I've been kind of steering clear of the main quest while I map out the areas and polish off the side quests, so I haven't really got a feeling of how far I've got and how much there still is to come. Once I've mapped out the Dark Forest area and cleared out the Dwarven mines (which I have a feeling might be big) then I'll get back on the main quest and see where that takes me. One more free day to go, then it's back to 5 mins a day, which could mean this one takes me a fair while!