PC Software Preview: DX2, Divine Divinity

DX2: Invisible War

The original Deus Ex is almost unanimously known as one of the best PC games of all time, and its sequel already looks like it's headed that way as well. It's a few years after the adventures of J.C. Denton, and J.C.'s ‘brother', Alex, finds himself similarly embroiled in conspiracy. This time, however, nano-augmentations will be as commonplace as plastic surgery is in our time, and so Alex will have his hands full with similarly augmented enemies.

The technology behind this title is simply stunning. Ion Storm has stripped the new Unreal engine and inserted its own physics code, so every object in the game will have realistic behaviour. This means you'll be able to kick over lamps and hide in the shadows that you make, build hiding places out of furniture, and more. DX2 will also be a lot more intuitive for casual gamers than the stat-crunching Deus Ex, so it will be more accessible for players who don't like all that adding and subtracting nonsense.

- D-Pad Destroyer.

Publisher: Eidos.

Developer: Ion Storm.

URL: www.eidosinteractive.com.

Divine Divinity

The plot of Divine Divinity will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Lord of the Rings recently, and certainly if you enjoyed the film you'll be glad of a chance to spend some time in this fantasy world. The ingredients of this easily recognisable formula include a Lord of Chaos, whose evil forces threaten to overcome the land, and a magical sword that has the power to seduce its guardian to the dark side.

Your journey takes you through castles, forests, swamps and dungeons and, as divine saviour, it is your duty to purge the land of monsters and restore peace.

You control one of six main characters who talk, fight and have the power to recruit other creatures. For example, you may wish to enlist the help of the dwarfs, who are traders and crafters of useful weapons and gems. Initially you choose how you will develop your character and whether to follow the path of the warrior, mage or survivor. Each category possesses different skills that you can use to your advantage - survivor skills, for example, teach you things like how to set traps for your enemies and get past guards.

There are some formidable enemies to outwit along the way, including the ferocious Black Knights who, in true Darth Vader style, have sold their souls to the dark side and are in the thrall of the Black Zombie. If you meet the Black Zombie himself, beware - he is equipped with lethal iron thorns and a particularly nasty poison cloud that transforms the enemy into a deadly toxic vapour.

Divine Divinity combines all the elements of an interactive fantasy novel with over 100 different monsters and a huge variety of skills to learn. If you fancy a spell of black magic and intrigue, this game will not disappoint.

- Emma Stroud.

Publisher: CDV Software.

Developer: Larian Studios.

URL: www.divinedivinity.com.

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