Gods, I don't even know where to begin.

Okay, so, absolute basics. Divinity: Original Sin II, developed by Larian Studios. It's a fantasy RPG, set in a large and explorable world with tons of characters and lore and quests. This is the Definitive Edition, so there's even more stuff at hand. Size and scope is the order of the day here, and this game aims to deliver.

It starts even at the character creation, where you have two major routes: One, you can make your own character, where you can make a human, dwarf, elf, or lizardman...Or their undead counterparts (you can be a lizard skeleton) and one of fourteen separate classes, each with their own skills and abilities. 

Or, or, this is the other option, you can play as one of the premade characters. Six in total, each one has a custom intro, a special background, a unique quest and extra dialogue. Oh, and you can still pick your class mix, so if you really like the jam of the Red Prince, a lizardman who was exiled for summoning demons, but also really like the idea of being an arrow-slinging ranger? Yeah, do it, it totally works.

And as soon as you've picked a character and gotten into the game, you get to see even more of the choices and scope. Divinity: Original Sin II is very much based in the model of older, PC-focused RPGs. Everything can be examined, moved, interacted with in a whole set of ways. You can take crates and put them on pressure switches, or just get them out of your way, or use them to block a path, or whatever. Barrels full of water and oil can be used for stopping or starting fires. There's all of these mechanics you can toy with.

To say nothing of the dialogue trees. A given conversation could easily have half a dozen possible responses based on your background, your class, your species, or if you're playing one of the pre-made "Origin" characters I mentioned before. We're talking tons of room to define your character's view of the world, here.

And that's just the story side. On the gameplay side, your combat options are all over the place. Crazy magic, powerful martial abilities, all kinds of weapons and gear...But oh, jeez, we haven't talked about the combat. How's that work?

Very oldschool, is how. Turn based. Every character starts the round with a certain number of action points, and their various efforts cost certain amounts. Running several meters over to an enemy might only cost a point or two, while hitting them with an extra-damage melee skill like All In might cost as many as three or four. So your every action and decision have to be taken carefully, not just for tactical positioning, but to meet your budget and actually achieve something in your turn.

And let me tell you, combat is hard. Really, it might even be a little too hard. I was still getting a good challenge even on the game's easiest difficulties, and up where it considers Normal? You are very clearly supposed to know exactly what you're doing.

Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's something you need to know going in. In general, this game really doesn't hold your hand on anything. There's a little tutorial area that helps you get to grips with the basic controls, and the first locale is kind of a contained mini sandbox, but beyond that, you're kind of on your own.

Of course, once you finally get to swimming in this vast ocean of possibility, there's tons to explore and do and experience. And it's a lot of good content! But even the game trying to ease you into so much creates a vastness.

And really, if there's one core theme to the game's problems, it's that. Well, that and some interface stuff, but we'll come back to that one.

The main thing that runs through the game as a problem is simply that even boiled down, even simplified for a tutorial, even on the easiest difficulty...There's just so much to keep track of, to consider and to interact with that it's positively overwhelming. I was in that post-tutorial mini sandbox for, according to my save file, close to six hours.

Now, I know at least some of that was failing at and trying different ideas. And some of that was when I left the game on pause one time. But I also know I lost a good chunk of recorded time to when my failings forced me to reload, or the multiple times the NPCs killed a cat that was following me around. So it's not actually that far off from the amount of time I put into that area.

The other problem is the interface. Which is...I mean, it's not great, but I also have to admit I don't really know how I'd improve it. The game puts so many options onto the table that what it ends up doing is using an interface that feels like one of those console ports of a late 90s or early 2000s PC game, before those started cooking down their menus to better fit a console environment.

And on the PC side, I'm sure that's amazing. But over on my PS4, it does leave some interactions feeling just a bit...clunky.

But at the same time, I do have to admit that this is a pretty stellar game, and one that doesn't have a lot like it on the platform. And that's just going off of the things I was able to see in my time with it: I know I've barely scratched the surface of the story, and that I just plain didn't get any opportunity to try the well-regarded co-op mode, for instance.

Still, just from what I've seen, and what I've heard from folks who've played this game a lot longer than me...This is one to take a long look at. It won't be for everyone, but if that vastness and depth appeals, it's probably for you.