Larian Studios Retrospective

With how huge Divinity: Original Sin II was, and with Larian Studios now working on Baldur's Gate III, it's easy to forget that the Belgian studio had very humble beginnings. Reminding us of this fact is this here PC Gamer article that takes a closer look at several of Larian's earlier projects.

Here's an excerpt:

Divinity 2: Ego Draconis was exactly what an RPG was required to be in 2009: a fully voice-acted adventure in a shiny, sun-dappled land that was easily navigable via an Xbox 360 controller. To stand out from the crowd, Larian developed not one but two gimmicks: NPC mind-reading and the ability to dogfight in dragon form. But without BioWare's budget, Ego Draconis belonged firmly in the B-tier, alongside other European efforts like Risen, Two Worlds and a slightly muddled Polish novel adaptation of something called The Witcher.

Despite its best efforts, Larian hadn't tempted new RPG converts away from Fallout 3 and Fable. And in the pursuit of 3D fidelity, it had sacrificed much of the granular interactivity that had made Ultima VII so engrossing for a young Vincke.

"I lost track a bit," the CEO wrote in a 2012 blog post. "The joys of console development steered Divinity II far away from the original idea, and so many compromises were made in that game that what shipped was but a shadow of what I had envisioned it to be. In truth there are only a few gameplay moments in there that come close to the reason I set up this company."