I experienced some confusion when buzzing around the net for info, so just to clear this up right away, Divinty 2: Ego Draconis was the title of the first release in 2009. The re-release in 2011 was called The Dragon Knight Saga, which included an expansion called Flames of Vengeance. So, if you see info about Ego Draconis, it's the same game without the expansion. The final release in 2012 is called Divinity 2 Developer's Cut and includes Ego Draconis and Flames of Vengeance with a developer's mode added.
As to the series, Divine Divinity was the first Divinity game released in 2002, followed by two spin-offs called Beyond Divinity and Divinity: Dragon Commander. Divinity: Original Sin, released in 2014, is a prequel to the first game Divine Divinity. Wheew !! now that that's over.......
Divinty 2 is a traditional action RPG meaning that you can customize your character, choose dialogue options, and decide on stat distribution and skills to upgrade abilities. In the tutorial stage, you can follow the path of either Warrior, Ranger, or Mage, which gives you a set of starting stats. However, soon you can choose any path by mixing and matching if you so desire. During the main game, it's a good idea to stick to a given path of skills that suits your character, but by the time you're well into the expansion, you'll have an over-abundance of points.
You begin your adventure as a rookie Dragon Slayer, vowing to rid the world of the last Dragon Knight. But that will change soon enough when you become the "chosen one" and given the ability to morph into a Dragon. However, you'll have to earn it first by completing main missions. In the meantime, there are lots of side missions, treasures, and secrets to find. You will also learn to craft potions, design your very own creature aide, and enchant your equipment. All lovely RPG stuff.
I'm pleasantly surprised just by the sheer smoothness of the game mechanics. The hero is very agile in either form and in situations where I thought I was sure to get stuck in the environment, it never happened. You can escape from all sticky corners, crevices, and tight spots. There is no fall damage and you can jump fairly high and can swim. The dragon is very easy to maneuver as well with the only caveat being that you need lots of open space to be able to spread your wings. Controls are fast and responsive and the other thing you may want to know is that it's not a topdown view, unlike most other Divinity games.
The world is populated by friendly and unfriendly NPCs, human and non-human. From these you will get your missions, and/or be able to conduct trade. One of the features is an ability to "mindread" at the cost of experience points. Some mind-reading will net you a discount on goods, reveal passwords and locations of treasures, or assign skill points or stat points. Some mindreads can also net you nothing. However, there is no indication whether it will be worth the cost or not, so it's better to quick save before you do this. It's also good to get this skill upped to max as soon as possible.
The hero/heroine has three weapon slots, which can be switched between at any time. There are also slots for armor and jewellery with different stats. Some equipment can hold "charms" or be enchanted through the services of an enchanter once you find the formulas. Formulas can also be obtained by disenchanting items, which will then be added to your available enchants. Potion formulas work somewhat the same way. You must visit an alchemist and add your formulas to the list. Once you initiate the process with either, formulas will be automatically removed from your inventory and stored with the NPCs. These will be moved to all alchemists and enchanters wherever you are in the world. If formulas are left in your inventory after interaction, it means they are duplicates and you can safely sell them.
The same principal applies with necromancers, who can whip up a creature from non-human body parts. Rather gruesome, really. You can customize this creature with limbs that have their own stats and once you find the crystal skull, you will be able to summon this creature at will to fight with you. You can also summon other types of creatures by choosing this ability in the skill tree, but none are as effective as your creature.
The skill tree is broken into areas that favor your choice of character development. It's probably better to concentrate on one or two paths to get the best outcome, but you are free to mix and match. Armor also is geared to certain paths that give the strongest stats in either, ranger, mage or warrior. However, jewelry and weapon enchants and charms can fill in the gaps. There are also several armor sets that give bonuses according to the number of pieces equipped. However, inventory is limited unless you basically waste skill points in increasing it. It's better to try and manage this until you reach your Battle Tower where there is a storage chest. At that point, you will also be given "runners" who can go out and collect certain stuff for you like herbs, gems, and limbs.
There are lots of achievements and secrets that you will probably not be aware of without consulting a walkthrough. For instance, killing 30 rabbits to evoke the killer bunny or activating false walls. The only small gripe I have about the game is that sometimes it's a little bit of a pixel hunt to find things. You can easily miss a lot unless the curser is directly over the precise point.
The second area of the main game, Orabos Fjord, is not my favorite. I found it a bit frustrating to find things because they are much harder to spot in dragon form. You can't see details from a distance and must get up very close to the rock outcrops to see if anything is there. Also, there are lots of invisible walls in this level. As a dragon, you can't attack ground forces and must take human form. There are dragon skills and armor as well, but they are not very impressive and I thought the Dragon was the weakest part of the game.
The expansion, Flames of Vengeance, is too easy for the imported character from the main game. You will very quickly find yourself over-leveled for the enemies considering that you also receive a ton of skill books for mind-reading and completing missions. Mind reading is very expensive here, so be sure to level it up to the max. You can, however, start a new game in Flames of Vengeance or seamlessly continue your ongoing story. It has lots of content along similar lines, with many side missions and new armor sets to find. You can also access the Battle Tower or use the new NPC specialists in the new area. However, you cannot return to the previous areas and some items relating to them will disappear from your inventory. If playing a new game, you do not have runners, but all items can be purchased at the large market.
Not all RPGs have a fantasy medievil theme, but it seems like a lot of the most-loved ones do. It may have something to do with the vast potential for lore, which provides lots of fodder for the story-telling. All in all, I really liked this game and it's hard for me to be overly critical as its faults were fairly minor in my books. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it and appreciated the effort that went into making it the best it could be. But of course, there are going to be those who look at individual elements and find areas lacking. That's just par for the course with any game. One thing I might agree on is that the Dragon is the weakest part of the game. On average, however, the game is very well received by users.
The next games by Larian, Divinity Original Sin and Original Sin 2, are a different kettle of fish being isometric games, which means a topdown camera view. This was a disappointment to me, but they have garnered high scores among users. I'm still mulling over whether I'll get them as I'm not fond of this view, but am torn due to the good experience with this game. As the latest games are prequels, I guess I could still hold out a vague hope for Divinity 3.
Divinity 2: Ego Draconis was the third game in the series and experienced three iterations during which time an expansion called Flames of Vengeance was added and the game renamed to Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga and then again updated to a Developer's Cut version. Larian garnered much love from users by upgrading these improved versions for free to those who already owned the game. The original version of the game sold poorly, a circumstance which Larian blames on a premature release. This left them in debt, but far from giving up on it, they continued to support and improve the game.
Larian's crowning glory, however, came in the form of the crowdfunded game Divinity: Original Sin, which eventually garnered many awards. Nevertheless, the decision to independently publish was a big financial risk and came close to bankrupting the studio. Further work on their fourth game Divinity: Dragon Commander was sacrificed to early release in order to raise funds. Fortunately, Original Sin turned out to be a big hit when it was first released in Early Access on Steam. Although independence proved precarious, on a successful game it also proved more profitable as Larian finally saw a decent return on their investment. During it all, they maintained good communications with their fans and credit their input for much of the game's success.
A new Kickstarter campaign was started for Original Sin 2 and the game was released on Steam in Early Access in Sept of 2016 and in Gog's Early Development program.