New readers may wish to read my History Lessons Introduction first. Part 2 can be found here. Other History Lessons posts can be found here. And, as always, you can click on images to view larger versions.

If you’ve read my posts about the Witcher games, you may be wondering why I haven’t had anything to say about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yet. Well, it’s because my computer can’t run it. Or rather, it can run it, but only at low settings, and it’s a game I want to experience with maximum prettiness enabled. I hope to upgrade my hardware soon, but in the meantime I needed another big role-playing game to play, so I decided to pluck one from my backlog.

When I wrote about Torchlight, I discussed how the action role-playing game (commonly abbreviated as ARPG) genre, begun with Diablo in 1996, takes inspiration from roguelikes. While some games broadened the scope somewhat beyond Diablo’s single town and huge dungeon, the focus remained on fighting lots of monsters and finding loot, with little else involved. I always wondered why no one thought to use the real-time combat systems of these games and fuse them with a more traditional Western-style role-playing game, where characters explore a large world and talk to people and do quests in addition to fighting lots of monsters.

Well, it turns out someone did do this, back in 2002, with the absurdly named Divine Divinity.