After several recommendations from friends and co-workers, I finally checked out Divinity: Original Sin 2. They all said that I'd fall in love with this cleverly written and complex RPG, and they were right. That's all great, but let me tell you about the dogs.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a story-heavy game where the traits and skills your character has can drastically change not only how characters talk to you, but how you're able to complete quests. For example, when I met the recruitable character Sebille, she immediately tried to murder me because I was playing as a lizard person.
Lizard people are slavers in this universe, and Sebille is a rather vengeful former slave. I managed to talk my way out of it because of my high finesse stat, but wow, that sucked!
When I was making my character, I saw that there was a trait, Pet Pal, that allows you to talk to animals, and when I leveled up for the first time, I grabbed it. Having had a few really interesting conversations with humans in my short time with the game, I figured I might as well open up some more options and maybe grab some more quests.
This was the best choice I could have made, because now I can talk to dogs, and every dog in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a very good boy.
The very first dog I talked to, Buddy, wanted me to help him find his lost friend, Emmie. He was clearly distraught, but like a lot of real life dogs, was easily distracted by smells. After hearing his dopey, adorable voice I accepted his quest and started talking to every dog I saw.
I spent a lot of time doing this. Fort Joy, the starting area of the game, is a prison camp that is chock full of dogs. I thought the guard dogs would be rude or aggressive. They were not - they were happy to chat with me, and just wanted to be praised by their masters. S
ure, they were all also actively trying to prevent me from escaping from prison, but they were all so goddamn cute. You're doing a great job, sweetie!
Talking to dogs has also definitely changed the way I've played this game. At one point, I was able to get out of a fight because I distracted some guard dogs with a ball. This was one of the best things to happen to me in a video game.
Later, I met a dog pleading with his dead master to wake up. I did not have the heart to tell him that his master was dead. He sounded so relieved when I said he might wake up some day, and I felt bad for lying, but I just didn't want to make the dog sad.
As far as I'm concerned, this is now a game about being friends with every dog. I love that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is deep enough that I really get to take my time with it, because I am going to scour every area for dogs and become their friend.