You see, Genshin Impact is a service game, but since last winter there had been precious little added to the experience. Post-Dragonspine, a couple of story quests showed up and a trickle of new characters came and went, but there was nothing really new and exciting for players to latch onto--regardless of whether they played daily or dropped off months ago. This summer showed a glimpse of excitement with a temporary archipelago being added to the game, but the whole experience felt like stopgap effort designed to prevent more of the player base moving on to something else.
The more I explore The Hollow Marshes, the more two things are evident: First is that The Divine Order is categorically evil. Second is that these marshes are confusing as all heck. In both video segments for today, I alternate between wandering around like a lost puppy and stumbling upon magisters that are doing bad stuff. At least one of those things makes me feel better about killing that blind, defenseless chap from the last entry.
The first video starts with me wandering up on some sorcerers that have been crucified, seemingly by The Divine Order. The nearby elf suggests there is nothing I can do to help them, though I find a way to seek vengeance soon enough. Not far from the brutal scene is a camp of dead Seekers that eventually leads me to the group of magisters that killed them. I didn't think twice about attacking, and feel like Divinity - Original Sin 2 has finally surpassed any point of sympathy or curiosity I might have had for The Divine Order. There's no perspective they could have that makes what they are doing seem worth it. They will continue to die by my hand as often as I can make it so.
In any case, my fight with these magisters got cut off prematurely, so I finish it off at the top of the second video here. From there, I find a mysterious dungeon with a cursed door that has killed some greedy magisters (good), though it doesn't really do the same to me (weird). I couldn't puzzle out how to open that door, but I found some more magisters to kill in order to meet Gareth, a Seeker who is looking for weapons that will help him steal a magister boat to get off this island. My guess is those weapons are behind that dungeon door and that that's my next step in Divinity - Original Sin 2's main quest.
All that said, I spent much of the rest of my time in this play session kind of wandering. It is almost never clear to me where I am supposed to go in this game, and the map system seems horribly unclear. Perhaps it's all these years of playing mobile games but I wish at some point there was just a way to teleport to the next thing I wanted to do or an arrow that could point me to where to go. I am finding some things along the way as I wander, but some of it is equally as puzzling so it doesn't quite feel all that rewarding.
I'm really hoping that in my next entry or two I'll have these weapons and be on a ship off this island. Only time will tell though. Maybe I'll be marooned here forever. Until next time!
The Hollow Marshes continue to get weirder and weirder the more I explore them. After some much-needed character maintenance at the top of the first video, I came across my first true crossroads in Divinity - Original Sin 2 that didn't feel like a forced choice. The second video has me actually encountering a Shrieker, which was mentioned as The Divine Order's super weapon in the previous entry, before wandering up on some more Voidwoken.
In the last gameplay journal for Divinity - Original Sin 2, I said goodbye to Fort Joy as I wandered deeper into The Hollow Marshes, and I was not exactly prepared for what I found. This area is packed with new info and lore about what is happening in the battle over the Sorcerers (i.e. you, your party, and anyone blessed with magical abilities), but with all these reveals I also encounter more and more questions.
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry looked at Genesis Noir. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.
It's becoming a trend now: PC card games by and large work well on touch interfaces. That is part of the reason why this entry focuses on Roguebook. Other big reasons we're taking a look at it include the fact that Richard Garfield--creator of Magic: The Gathering and (more recently) Keyforge--worked on the design of the card game while the game itself was developed by Abrakam, the team behind what is still my absolute favorite digital collectible card game, Faeria. Side note: Faeria is also great on Steam Link.
Now that I have my quest legs, Divinity - Original Sin 2 is feeling more and more like an epic quest than a curiously rich playground. It also seems like a good sign that I'm ready to break free of the chains keeping me in this starting area to crack open this game and really see what's lying underneath.
It only took me four entries in this journal to finally advance some quests instead of just pick them up! Fort Joy has been an entertainingly complex starting area, but it always just seemed I was spinning my tires trying to find the key to moving things forward. I was getting into fights and learning things about the world, sure, but my quest log just seemed to keep adding tasks and I wasn't sure exactly how to check them off the list.
All last week I was away on a trip, which seemed like a good test for Divinity - Original Sin 2. Would it be a good game to actually fire up outside of the confines of my own home? It turned out to be a less than ideal test environment though as I did not take transit to my destination and my time away was full of programmed activities. During any downtime that I had, I preferred dipping into more familiar standbys like Genshin Impact or League of Legends: Wild Rift.
But now I'm back and the Gameplay Journal continues. This entry really highlights how deep a game Divinity - Original Sin 2 compared to basically any other mobile game (and arguably most other games in general), as I spent almost 45 minutes in a small prison area, and spending most of that time in a single skirmish. It was pretty awesome, but Divinity - Original Sin 2 still seems to go out of its way to remind you that all of its depth and potential comes with some jank.
Last week, Larian Studios dropped Divinity - Original Sin 2 onto the App Store after touting in at various stage shows as an uncompromised port of the open-world role-playing game running on smaller screens. We have been eager to dig into the game to see if it's all it was promised to be, and are compiling our findings here in our Divinity - Original Sin 2 gameplay journal!
The way it works is simple: a single playthrough of the iOS port of Divinity - Original Sin 2 documented in painstaking detail via gameplay recordings and text impressions, all compiled nicely in this here post. See our opinions on the game evolve over time and decide for yourself whether this mega-ambitious mobile gambit is worth it or not.
Posts below will be updated on a regular basis until the game has been completed. Make sure to check back regularly!
We've been continuing to plug away at Divinity - Originial Sin 2 over here, and it's been an enjoyable experience. Since it is a hefty ask for any mobile gamer to try and start playing though, we're continuing to document our time with it and post impressions as we make our way through it.
In this segment of our coverage, we've got two videos detailing the first steps you take after the prologue chapter (which you can view here). This section of the game is its first open-ended portion, though all the different quests and paths are somewhat constrained in a kind of prison camp called Fort Joy.
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry examined Neurodeck. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.
This week, we're going far out into the stylish cosmos of Genesis Noir. This point-and-click adventure reimagines the creation of the universe (aka The Big Bang) as a shot from a gun. You play as an unassuming watch salesman who gets caught in the love triangle that culminates in this gunshot, which is aimed at your lover. If this sounds spoiler-y, don't worry; this is just the setup. The rest of the experience leads you through the universe as you try to destroy The Big Bang to save your love.
Six months ago this week, Genshin Impact released on multiple platforms, promising a vast open world of adventure and element-based combat. The only catch was that all of this action would be monetized via virtual slot machines known colloquially as "gacha."
Gacha games have their advantages in that they have a low barrier to entry, allowing players to hop into an experience without having to spend any money. The dark side of this design is that all of the most desirable game items and characters are locked inside a storefront that uses myriad psychological tricks to convince you that spending money for more chances to use this slot machine is a good idea (it's not).
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry looked at Loop Hero. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.
This entry for the series goes back to a familiar territory: roguelike deck-building. Neurodeck takes many of the genre conventions galvanized by titles like Dream Quest and Slay the Spire, but places them into a more self-reflective structure where you have psychological battles with phobias and fill out personality tests to earn new traits to help you in battle.
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was on Hades. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.
For this installment, I decided to go back to a more turn-based title. Fights in Tight Spaces just hit Steam in early access and is a turn-based card game where you manage the choreography of intense fighting set pieces that wouldn't feel out of place in films like John Wick or The Bourne Identity. You do this by playing cards that execute moves on your turn that allow you to manage your spacing while dishing out a ton of pain on multiple bad guys that accost you in tattoo parlors, narrow alleyways, and other cramped environments.