Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition Previews

The Definitive Edition of Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin II will be arriving on August 31, 2018, bringing the RPG to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, adding plenty of new content, and revamping many of the game's systems. A couple of media outlets had a chance to take the Definitive Edition out for a spin, and you can check out their quite positive impressions below:

PCGamesN focuses on the changes to the game's shaky third act:

Revised versions are not new ground for the studio. The first Divinity: Original Sin was relaunched with an ‘Enhanced Edition’, and the changes were significant: a new ending, totally rebalanced combat, additional difficulty levels, and full voice acting being chief among them. On the surface, there’s less need for Original Sin 2 to receive such an overhaul, yet the changes demonstrate Larian’s obsession with detail and pursuit of perfection. As such, 150,000 new words have been written for the game, adding to or modifying existing dialogue to expand and enhance the story. And that’s just the headline.

Much of the new work has been applied to Arx, the city setting of the game’s concluding chapter, based on feedback that informed Larian of loose ends that needed tying up and elements further clarified. The city is where many characters see their final quests unfold, including that of Beast - the dwarven pirate attempting to prevent a Deathfog genocide orchestrated by his own monarch. Larian recognises that Beast was underwritten in comparison to the likes of Lohse, Sebille, and The Red Prince, and so significant time has been spent overhauling not only his backstory, but the threads of his questline.

And Eurogamer provides a general overview of the upcoming changes and improvements:

It wasn't a Digital Foundry-style controlled test, with the laptop fans wheezing and picture coming through an older 1080p screen, but it got the point across. The Xbox One X version, running in 4K resolution and with high dynamic range enabled, was brighter, crisper and more vibrant. It was smoother and more responsive too, and will apparently run native 4K30 on Xbox One X, and dynamic checkerboard 4K30 on PS4 Pro.

The reasons for the differences run deeper than hardware. The physics engine has been changed for the Definitive Edition and numerous improvements have been made, making the game up to four times faster in certain areas. The fire effect, for example - which spreads across a lot of environments a lot of the time - has been changed for one more economical and arguably better looking too. It's a similar story for many of the game's 'surfaces', and textures have been improved as well.

These improvements will not be bound to console, of course, but available as a free update for existing owners of DOS2 on PC. They'll also help the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game achieve 1080p30 performance even during split-screen play.