Dungeon Siege III Review
If there’s one thing that Obsidian Entertainment and Square Enix are not afraid to, it’s bringing the popular Dungeon Siege series to the 360 and PS3. Well, that and sending waves of formidable bosses your way. Don’t worry, the mounds of loot you’ll retrieve will help you immensely.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable, dungeon-crawling, hack-and-slash, action role-playing game that two people can play on the same screen, then this game is right up your alley. To be honest, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a game of its genre in quite some time. The game takes place in the same lands as the other Dungeon Siege games, but aside from some references and evolved environments, you would never know. The story stands completely independent from the other games.
Up to four players—two on the same console—can play together taking on the roles of Lucas Montbarron, the sword-wielding warrior; Anjali, who can shift between human form and an incarnation of elemental fire; Reinhart Manx, a scholar of arcane magic; and Katarina, who solves her problems with firearms. Combat is fast and furious. You will be mashing the “A” button a lot, doing your normal attacks, and will have your special attacks assigned to the “X,Y,Z” buttons. The left and right triggers bring up other abilities that your character has. Defensively, I have found that dodging takes care of all of your problems. Each character also has two different offensive stances to switch between. For example, Katarina uses her rifle to take care of foes from afar, but up close she can dual-wield shotguns and pistols, as well as wielding curses. The combat is fun, but it’s not without its faults. The camera does some quirky things when playing on one screen with two players. The camera will over-rotate, and sometimes during attacks you won’t be able to see who you are fighting, or where one of the players are. It never led to a death for me, but it led to annoyance. Each character is customizable—to a degree. When you level up you receive points to assign into a combat ability, a proficiency (which allows you to add special effects to your combat ability), and talents (which give you passive improvements).
While the game can be challenging, especially some of the bosses, it does not promote competition between teammates. There’s not the feeling of added stress by having to get to an item drop before your teammate; all players share whatever gold and loot is picked up. Players even share the health and focus orbs that enemies drop. It’s the friendliest co-op action-rpg that you’ll ever play. Other in-game actions are easy as well. Obsidian Entertainment made sure that the player could access multiple menus or actions with the click of a button. You can access all of your quests and items, as well as breadcrumbs (a line of gold orbs that guide you toward your destination for a short period of time) all through the d-pad.
To expand on the loot, since that is what drives action-rpg games like this, I want you to know that there’s plenty of it. You will always be picking up new items. The nice thing about the loot is that you don’t have to fight over it with your teammates. Each item only usable by a certain character, since none of them use the same armor and/or weapons. When I played with other people, there wasn’t any “I need that more than you.” Instead, there was, “Wow, that’s an awesome gun. Grats.” Much nicer, don’t you think? There is also tons of attributes on the items, such as doom, warding, bloodletting, vampirism, etc.
All of the different attributes on the loot lets the player choose the items that match their playstyle the most. Unfortunately, none of the loot really causes any aesthetic pleasure. The difference in looks is barely noticeable. If you are playing with two people on the same screen, you won’t notice any difference at all since you can’t zoom in at all. Sometimes you can notice a faint glow on a weapon, but that’s about all.
Graphics-wise, the game holds its own. The environment glows a little bit too much for my liking, but it’s not bad by any means. Character and enemies have some modest detail to them, but nothing makes you want to say “wow.”
The story is also satisfactory; there’s nothing great about it, but you won’t be lulled to sleep. However, conversations are frustrating. You can, of course, speed them up by skipping the voice acting, but it just feels like there’s way to much fluff to get to the point. Each player can vote on which dialogue option they think should be said, but only one person gets the final say. Depending on how often you agree/disagree on dialogue, you earn achievements and deeds (gives your party a passive buff). In the end, the story is going to play itself out no matter what you say.
Dungeon Siege III is a game worthy of your attention if you like the hack-and-slash, dungeon crawl, action-rpg type of game. There’s no fighting over the massive amount of loot you’ll come across, and most of all, IT’S FUN! Minus story fluff, inconsequential dialogue, and an unruly, this game gets a lot of things right, or is on the right path with a lot of things.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]
You can follow Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ