Elves and dwarves are often reduced to stereotypes within the fantasy world, but Divinity: Original Sin II makes them feel unique and new.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 it is a game where tradition is at the forefront of history. Even player-created characters have backgrounds built in, and each race and faction is given a rich history that can be discovered through patient and thoughtful play. While the original only featured playable humans, TWO 2 features humans, lizards, dwarfs, and elves. While humans are pretty standard and lizards are the “weird” choice, the last two races seem pretty typical for fantasy games. However, TWO 2Elves and dwarves stand out from those found in other fantasy worlds, and their stories are a pleasure to hear.

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Right off the bat, it’s notable that elves and dwarves don’t have that classic inter-species rivalry that often plagues fantasy settings. There are some racist characters, but they are anomalies. In fact, the elves and dwarves of TWO 2 They seem to really bond over their mutual hatred towards humans, a hatred that humans are very happy to return to. TWO 2Elves hate humans for destroying their homeland, and dwarves resent humanity for turning them into second-class citizens. This is something of a breath of fresh air in a genre where humans are generally portrayed as good compared to agile magical elves and stocky, grumpy dwarves.

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The differences that TWO 2The elves possess are more obvious than their dwarf counterparts. While they are tall and slender as in other fantasy worlds, they also have a terribly gaunt appearance, with sharp features and leaf-like patterns on the abdomen. This arboreal theme is very common among elves: as forest dwellers, their body patterns can be some form of camouflage. They even have the ability to turn into trees upon death. These details emphasize the elves’ connection to the woods, explaining that connection in a way that feels natural.

By far the most unique aspect of elves is their habit of eating their dead. This cannibalistic activity is part of their funeral rites, and they even have the special ability to experience the memories of those who consume. In the game, this means additional skills and knowledge, but it is also an interesting aspect of the game’s interpretation of the elves. Taking something that is so utterly taboo and horrible and making it the cornerstone of a career in the game while discussing its morality is a bold move, one that paid off for the developers. It makes the race of elves fascinating to explore through characters like Sebille, the resident recruitable elf.

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Instead, TWO 2The description of dwarves is, on the surface, more stereotyped. Yet beneath the surface, there are surprising aspects of dwarf society that set them apart from their Tolkien-style brethren. For one thing, they are not mining-obsessed blacksmiths with universally present beard hair who are ruled by a king. Instead, they have a deeply stratified society led by a respected queen. Dwarves are also known to be talented craftsmen who take care that their designs are as beautiful as they are functional. Not to mention his mastery of magic and navigation, two aspects of life not often associated with dwarves.

In fact, the local recruitable dwarf is not only a talented sailor who can tell which direction a ship is sailing just by listening to the currents of the water, but he also has a default class with magical inclinations. While players may find him an anomaly, he is just one part of a large society of like-minded people who share his ideals, and TWO 2The world feels richer for it. Like Sebille, Beast is an interesting companion to take on adventure thanks to the ways it helps the player learn more about the world in general.

Dwarves and elves make up a large part of the characters a player will meet in the world of TWO 2and the deliberate decision to make them unique as fantasy races benefits the game as a whole. While the elves are more obviously different, both races feel fresh, and veteran players will be eager to see exactly where those differences lie. This not only serves Sebille and Beast as recruitable or playable characters, but also helps deter players from relying on preconceptions that come from other medieval-style fantasy pieces. Here, the elven and dwarf races feel new and revealing, and players are rewarded for paying attention.

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