Dungeon Siege III

Jun 28, 2011 by

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Obsidian Entertainment” publishers=”Square Enix” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”June 21, 2011″]

Hacking and slashing its way from the womb of Obsidian Entertainment and Square Enix comes the newest entry to the action –RPG genre, Dungeon Siege III. The kingdom of Ehb has yet another problem; the powerful factions that reside inside have clashed for what may be the final time. The 10th Legion used to be the best-trained of the Imperial armies, with its noble legionnaires protecting all of Ehb, but now the king has been killed and all of Ehb’s people blame the Legion. The people revolt slaughtering the 10th Legion and destroying theirs proud estates and villages. It is now up to you to restore the once great 10th Legion and stop Ehb from falling into the dark abyss of evil.

When first starting the game you’re given the task of choosing your character. You have one of four pre-defined base characters: Lucas Montibarron, the skilled swordsman. Anjali, the archon; once only a legend, she now has the ability to fight both as human and as her incarnation of the fire element. There’s also Reinhart Manx, the scholar of arcane magic that warps the forces of creation and destruction, and inally we have Katarina, the illegitimate daughter who doesn’t care who’s between her goal and her rifle, dual shotguns, or dual pistols.

Upon choosing your character it’s back to the familiar action-RPG gameplay. You’ll receive experience for defeating foes and completing quests which ultimately help you level up. Leveling up opens the customization of your character up to your standards; you’ll have abilities to choose from, proficiencies which will tweak your abilities to your style of gameplay, and lastly talents which will give your passive improvements like health and armor bumps. While leveling up in the land of Ehb, you’ll also be able to find loot on defeated foes and on past battlegrounds which will range from rare weapons and armor to gold to help purchase items from merchants.

While you level up your character, weapons, and armor you’ll be paired with the task of completing quests. You’ll find both main quests and side quests, rewarding your character with experience points, unique weapons, or even sometimes nice piles of gold.

The Dungeon Siege story depth completely depends on how much time you’re willing to put into the game. Casual gamers may not enjoy this one as much as there’s a lot of constant traveling between tasks, or the long winding dead end passages just to pick up an artifact. However if you have the time to read all dialogue options or even pick around the game to read lore – random in-game stories, history, etc – you’ll have a much deeper and rewarding experience.

Luckily the multiplayer aspect of the game is pretty smooth. You’re able to play you’re single player game as normal, or you can swap the game to online mode where up to three fellow dungeon siegers can fight by your side. This makes boss fights much easier as they’re chasing four people around instead of ignoring your AI partner and focusing on you.
Luckily the controls in Dungeon Siege are pretty easy to use. Triggers will alter between normal, offensive, and defensive spells/abilities, while the face buttons will activate your standard and alternate attacks. This goes great when hot swapping between offensive and defensive spells while an enemy swings a giant sword around your head. There’s also the addition of a few D-pad hotkeys that make navigation and swapping weapons/armors on the fly a breeze.

One gripe is that the game is also host to small glitches be prepared for small lag times when exiting your quest log or inventory, and don’t try and cut around any map elements too closely unless you like getting caught on them.

While Ehb does look good on the Xbox 360, there sadly isn’t too much to write home about. Since you’re always third-person, you only have a limited overhead viewing angle. This does help for keeping everyone smooth when you’re in the middle of a large battle, but I would have loved to see some nice depth while wandering around Ehb. Another downside is that the maps and enemies are pre-defined, so no exploring new areas at the turn of a button.

Score: 8/10

While Dungeon Siege doesn’t have what it takes to be Game of the Year, it’s definitely an enjoyable action-RPG if you’re looking for something new. With four characters to choose from, different endings depending on how you play, and the ability to play on Xbox LIVE with up to three friends, you’ll be able to spend countless hours banishing evil from Ebh.

About James Parkin

James has been holding a controller for most of his life and loves nothing more than a good gaming night with his wife, three dogs, and a good beer.

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