Larian Studios are a rare breed of video game studio, having built there way up from universal obscurity to a household name among RPG fans in the past twenty years of their existence.
What may surprise many of you, however, is just how many amazing video games they have created over the years despite their humble beginnings.
Larian’s first ever hit was Divine Divinity in 2002, a Diablo style ARPG with some seriously original contributions to the genre. Think Diablo meets Baldurs Gate, with many huge wandering ‘open world’ style maps that many might consider ahead of their time. I replayed this title a few years back, before playing Divinity Original sin and I must say – I was not disappointed.
Even 20 years later, it really put a smile on my face. That said, it also made me sad wondering why it has taken Larian studios this much time to get the recognition they deserve.
Divine Divinity was followed by a sequel, Beyond Divinity, in 2004 set twenty years after the original. This one is still on my list!
2005 – 2010
During this period Larian studios worked on numerous small scale titles that, despite never breaking it up, maintained a loyal following of fans including Divinity II: Ego Draconis (2009) and Divinity II: Flames of Vengeance (2010).
I remember playing Divinity II: go Draconis ten years ago, soon after it came out, before Divine Divinity was even a twinkle in Swen Vincke’s eye, a short but satisfying ARPG with riding on dragons being a focal point.
It’s clear the dragons in the epic trailer for Baldurs Gate 3 are no mere coincidence!
2010 – 2015
Larian’s more recent titles have been the ones to really put them on the map in the global game development landscape.
Both titles built on there many years of patient slogging at the RPG genre to deliver an exceptional RPG experience that did not go unnoticed.
Divinity Original Sin received an exceptional 94/100 on Metacritic (albeit with only 5 critic reviews) and a user review score of 8.3/10, putting it firmly on the map with some of the best RPG games of all time.
During this period Larian studios consolidated on their success with Original Sin to create a sequel – Divinity Original Sin 2 – now certified as one of the highest rated RPG’s of all time with a score of 93/100 from over 63 critics and a user score of 8.8/10.
It’s clear after Divinity Original Sin many would-be RPG connoisseurs finally took notice of the hidden gem Larian gem was turning out to be in the gaming industry.
Baldurs Gate 3 and Beyond!
Needless to say, the cherry on the cake for Larian studios is surely the announcement in XX that they would be taking over development of the latest installment in one of the most successful RPG series of all time – Baldurs Gate 3! This is, needless to say, the successor to the critically acclaimed Baldurs Gate 1 and Baldurs Gate 2 games, though it’s still unclear exactly how much the game will pick-up from the original Baldurs Gate story and lore.
The news was met with celebrations from the RPG community at large. After all, with such a solid track record for success, who better to entrust with one of the most beloved household RPG names of our era.
It’s clear that Larian studios are not done yet, and just like the pleasant surprise that was there earlier titles stretching all the way back to the golden era of RPG games, with companies like Larian at the helm we may be in for a new surprise golden age of RPG gaming yet!