If there’s a single game that I would heartily recommend to anyone asking, it’s Divinity: Original Sin 2 (opens in new tab). Our pick for game of the year in 2017, don’t let this game’s moderate age scare you away. There are a multitude of reasons to finally pick up and play it, and here’s a great one: DOS:2 has just been officially Verified for Steam Deck (opens in new tab), meaning it’s met all the criteria required of it to be enjoyable on the go with Valve’s handheld console.
I’m even thinking this might be more fuel for the fire of convincing me to actually buy a Steam Deck when the opportunity arises.
I had expected Valve to find the working formula for turn-based, top-down RPGs like DOS:2. They’re probably one of the easiest genres to get working with the Steam Deck’s onboard controls. DOS:2 has been available on the Nintendo Switch for a while now, too, so I’d assume any low-power porting problems are all but ironed out by now.
It’s more that DOS:2 is a game I sank hours into and loved every minute of. Most of that time was spent rambling around the game’s many islands with a single band of not-so-merry adventurers. Gradually learning that the game plays out around you and your decisions, and that, yes, I could stack heaps of barrels on an enemy before they see me and blow them to smithereens if I wanted to.
But if you thought I’d be well and truly done with the game by now, you’d be wrong.
There’s a lot more meat left on the bone: the stories of those budding explorers I left behind at the start of the game that I’ve only tangentially experienced so far. That includes the story of one adventure that very much is just bones; a creepy character known as Fane that I sadly never bumped into while on the game’s starting island. I’d like to see how their story shakes out.
There are stories you only lightly touch upon when playing the game without certain characters in your party. The game features new conversations, quests, and even major plotlines for those you keep close by. The other characters that don’t make the cut don’t get their story told.
That leads me to one of the other reasons why I’d like an excuse to play DOS:2 again: the improved final act (opens in new tab) that comes with the Definitive Edition. This arrived after I’d already finished the game and refocused the game’s closing moments and some of Beast’s storyline. He’s one character I never spent much time with—all the more reason to rebuild, respec, and adventure on once again.
Ultimately, I felt at the time the upgrades included with the Definitive Edition, while plentiful, were not enough to draw me back for another 120 hours or so—I’m haunted by a seemingly endless list of games to play within my Steam library as it is. Though with portability comes convenience. It hits different when I know I could be playing through another 120 hours or so of fantasy goodness while travelling or lying in bed with the Steam Deck. Game time afforded to me by the on-demand availability of the device, when I’m likely far from a desk.
While I have been largely unsure whether I’ll pick up a Steam Deck when my pre-order email arrives, as time passes I’m leaning more and more towards hitting purchase. DOS:2 is a big part of that. Admittedly I haven’t bought it on Switch yet, but that’s more because I dislike the idea of paying for a game I already own just to play it on another platform. I get to take my Steam library with me with the Steam Deck, and that makes DOS:2, and other games like it that I’d love to replay or start over, awfully more tempting.