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.
At the jump of the first segment here, I run across a familiar face: the woman who helped sink the ship in the game's prologue! I was always wondering what her deal was. Too bad I'm not sure I'll figure it out. Before I could do much talking to her she decided I should die. Naturally, I won the battle, but I'm not sure there will be another opportunity to learn about her story or why she did what she did.
The rest of my first session for this entry centered around some peculiar animals. I discovered in a previous video that my archer companion, Ifan Ben-Medz, can talk to animals, so I used him to chat up a loquacious rat, try to deliver a hard truth to a dog about the fate of his master, and figure out why there are flaming pigs wandering the marshes. After that, a ton of voidwoken ambushed me and I learned they can talk, too! I fought off what felt like 20 or so of the gross worms and all the while they spouted ominous flavor text at me.
It was this battle that really hooked me back on Divinity - Original Sin 2's combat. Having an encounter at scale definitely changes strategies somewhat and I had to be a little more aware of ability cooldowns to use combos effectively while keeping my party alive. I hope there's more of that coming soon.
In the second portion of play, I felt a little more directionless. I found some other voidwoken enemies--salamanders--that were a pretty straightforward fight before wandering into a mysterious cave that seems to have no purpose except have a skeleton insult you. It was only after wandering out of there that I found a place that revealed the counter-balance to The Divine Order. In a settlement named Amadia, I talked to folks known as Seekers who try to find and protect Sorcerers before magisters get their hands on them. It was also here that I found out that an additional motive for the Order to capture magical people is so they can turn them into Shriekers, a kind of super-weapon that I'm sure I'll find out more about soon.
This is to say that Divinity - Original Sin 2's storytelling is still compelling, provided I run up against the right people and say the right things. I've already had a few encounters that either prematurely devolved into a fight or just don't seem to have any obvious purpose right now. But, the main struggle between the Order and Seekers is now my main pursuit, and as long as the game keeps feeding me tidbits of that I'll be happy.
This entry also put the technical limitations of playing on a low-end device to the test. I didn't have any actual crashing problems, but there were times when flaming pigs would ignite explosive barrels and those explosions definitely caused significant drops in frame rate. I don't feel like the game is unplayable by any means, but it's clear that boundaries are being tested by playing this game on an iPad Pro (2018).
I plan to continue this series for now, so stay tuned for the next entry!