Honestly, I feel like we’re being blessed with a golden age of handheld ports. By all stretches of the imagination, this should never have worked. Have you seen this game in action? Divinity: Original Sin 2 has always been a gorgeous game, not to mention a playground for physics-based combat and shenanigans. What has been hailed by many as one of the best RPG’s of all time should never work on Switch; if you’d have told me last week that D:OS 2 was making the jump to Switch I would have sighed with exasperation. No way would Larian Studios ever consider porting this game over, the task would have been monumental and a disservice to an otherwise incredible. Yet funnily enough, I was told last week that D:OS 2 was coming to Switch and rather than sigh with a disappointed sadness, I held my breath with fearful anticipation. The mad lads! The absolute mad lads! They’ve done it this time, those cheeky Larian devs. They won’t be able to talk their way out of this one!
As it so happens, Larian Studios need not talk at all and rather just let the stellar product they’ve clearly been working exceptionally hard on speak for itself.
Original Sin 2 has always been a striking game. While maybe not having the high-fidelity graphics associated with most modern AAA games, the game always makes the most with what it’s got. Environments and locations always have a distinct and identifiable visual language that make them stand out from another and they translate fantastically onto the smaller screen. While some of the more minute details do get squashed with the reduced resolution in handheld mode, it’s hardly worth complaining about when the game runs as smoothly as it does. Throughout the various maps, I explored I barely recognised the loading screens that separated different areas and given the amount of content within each of these intricate maps it’s staggering to me how fluidly the game runs. While not a constant 60FPS, the game’s frame rate doesn’t appear to drop below 30FPS, which to me at least, is more than acceptable for a Switch port of such a huge game.
Bar the excellent technical translation of Original Sin 2, what’s even more impressive is just how well the gameplay has been adapted for the Switch’s limited control scheme. It’s an issue I’ve been experiencing with many RPGs being ported over to the Switch: The often-times convoluted menus and copious buttons needed to properly play the game are often messy to navigate using something that doesn’t have the diverse range of options a keyboard has. While Original Sin 2 does indeed struggle with these complex menus through a serious of complex and often-times unintuitive button mappings, it was never to the point where I became frustrated. Sure, there were a few mistakes made with opening the wrong window occasionally, but at the same time, these were accidents that never detracted from the experience. What’s even more of a blessing is just how well combat has been translated because, let’s be honest, this is the make or break aspect of this port.
It is as sublime as ever, delivering the tactical turn-based combat that has helped place Divinity on the map for RPG fans. Despite the copious amounts of physics-based attacks and spells, the combat never became sluggish or drab and if you’ve seen the copious amounts of fire that often litter the floor during a particularly taxing bought of combat, you’ll know what a success this is. Exciting, punching and dripping with a strategic depth to be explored by players looking to really push themselves in single and multiplayer, Divinity: Original Sin 2 delivers everything you need for stellar turn-based combat on the Switch. Having important skills and actions mapped to a customisable hot-bar that’s always present on the bottom of the screen. While the action may occasionally get cluttered on such a small screen there’s usually still enough space to take in the positions of the enemy and best plan your moves.
Look, I know it sounds like I can’t stop singing this game’s praises, although I think anyone that’s spent a modicum of time with Divinity: Original Sin 2 can attest that it truly is a monumental game. It’s an achievement in RPG-design with a story that goes in directions you’d never expect, some of the best character writing around and a combat system that never fails to deliver the most satisfying and engaging action. For me, when I played Divinity: Original Sin 2 on PC at launch, it set the bar for role-playing games and I don’t think it’s ever actually been topped. The fact that Larian Studios has done such a great job in taking their game and placing it into the hands of Switch owners with nigh a feather rustled in the process is a testament for just how much effort they put into their work. It’s a fantastic port and the addition of cross-save means that I can even pick up where I left off (on my third character, no less) in the comforts of my own bed. If you’re a Switch owner who’s been looking for a deep, intricate RPG to sink your time into, I cannot recommend Divinity: Original Sin 2 enough.
Last Updated: September 10, 2019