Divinity: Dragon Commander (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Divinity: Dragon Commander is set long before the other games in the Divinity series. The player takes the role of a male dragon knight who is also a bastard of the ruling king. After the king is assassinated, the protagonist has to fight the king's other three children to unify the country under his rule.

The game consists of three major parts: turn-based strategy, real-time battles and diplomacy. The turn-based part is relatively simple: the major point is to form troops and move them between provinces. Also the player can construct one building per province which brings certain advantages. Each province generates two resources: research points (can be spent to research more units, unit upgrades or dragon skills) and gold (used to buy troops and construct buildings). Another place to spend gold is the card shop: cards are played out on the strategy map or directly before battle and give one-time advantages, e.g. wielding an additional dragon skill or buff a unit type.

Each province is occupied by one of the five non-human races (undead, dwarfs, imps, elves or lizards) and its efficiency to produce resources directly depends on how well they like the player character. Here comes the diplomatic part into play: often the player has to decide on policy issues which directly mimic contemporary social issues, e.g. gay marriage or how to deal with criminal foreigners. Here the player not only has to follow the own moral compass, but also has to keep the opinions of the five counselors (each representing a non-human race) in mind - banning gay marriages will please the conservative dwarf but piss off the progressive elf. The player can also engage in a political marriage with one of the five princesses for obvious benefits.

When a battle occurs, the player can either let the computer calculate the result or actively engage in real-time combat (although only one per round; the others are always calculated). Employing special generals in a battle improves the chances. The basic gist is similar to other similar strategy games: the player commands units in order to wipe out all enemy resistance (the only goal ever because all battles are skirmishes without pre-defined conditions). However, there is only very limited base building: there are only a few places where buildings (e.g. to produce certain troop types or defense towers) can be built - so obviously those are always embattled. The available resources are directly tied to the diplomatic stand in the province in question. The player character can always transform into a dragon (with a jetpack!) to fight the enemies while using the researched dragon powers. Then the game plays more like an action game. The dragon form is very powerful but has the downside that the troops are under AI control when the player engages in direct combat.

The diplomacy mechanics are only available during the single-player campaign, but otherwise both the campaign and single real-time battles can be played in multiplayer.

Screenshots

Divinity: Dragon Commander Windows The Rivellon Times - Each turn, this newspaper acts as a partial progress report.
Divinity: Dragon Commander Windows Main menu.
Divinity: Dragon Commander Windows Characters - Lord Edmund, the second general under the dragon commander's soon-to-be service. He doesn't like our dragon commander either. Not many do it seems.
Divinity: Dragon Commander Windows Intro - Background story of the game.

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Critic Reviews

4Players.de Aug 09, 2013 80 out of 100 80
INC Gamers Aug 08, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Jeuxvideo.com Aug 09, 2013 16 out of 20 80
ZTGameDomain Aug 09, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Hardcore Gamer Magazine Aug 04, 2013 4 out of 5 80
Vandal Online Aug 09, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Multiplayer.it 2013 7.5 out of 10 75
Destructoid Aug 10, 2013 7.5 out of 10 75
Game Front Aug 10, 2013 67 out of 100 67
Quarter to Three Aug 12, 2013 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40

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Patrick Bregger (129398) added Divinity: Dragon Commander (Windows) on Feb 09, 2014