Sep 122011

Swords and/or Sorcery...

Dungeon Siege III release in the EU 17th July 2011 / £12 – £15

Back in the day…

…before the onset of World of Warcraft in my life (2002), I used to play a decent, pretty much unheard of (in my circles at least) RPG “party system” game called Dungeon Siege. Back in the day it was an intuitive take on the genre with masses of loot, big maps, excellent variety of environments and a great mulitplayer component. What really intrigued me at the time was the you leveled up in what you used there was no “Pick a class of player” system. If you used a sword then your melee leveled, bow: then ranged. The same with combat and nature magicks aswell. It was made by the excellent Chris Taylor and Gas Powered Games who were also responsible for Total Annihilation and the Supreme Commander series

Dungeon Siege III was developed by Obsidian Entertainment (Kotor II, Neverwinter Nights II and Fallout: New Vegas) and produced by Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider…). With a legacy like that I was expecting great things from this game and so far I’m….well I’m O.K with it. It hasn’t knocked my socks off and I don’t get the same tingly feeling I get when I play the original, but to be completely fair I’ve just gotten as far as the first big boss fight about 2 hours in.

This iteration of the game instigates the class sytem where you can play as a Warrior, Combat Mage, Nature Mage or Ranged attack person. (Which I find disappointing because the one thing that set it apart from a lot of other bog-standard RPG’s has been taken away). All of these characters join your party eventually through the course of game. So at this stage of gameplay I have the Warrior I started with (I always roll warrior first) and the Combat Mage – Anjani. It’s fairly effective so far with each character taking a different role in combat.

At first it took my a little while to adjust to the combat machanics – it’s not quite all hack and slash – and how to manipulate your character’s abilities, to the point where I almost gave up on it in the frustration of constantly dying. But I walked away from it, pulled my head together, sat down with a fresh start on Saturday night and actually didn’t end up going to bed until after 1am. Yes. I got engrossed.

If I was goaded into making a comparison I would say it has more now in common with the Fable series then the original game, in as much as the close-in camera positioning and the “Walk this way” corridor feel of the gameplay, if you’ve played the demo then you know what to expect from the stages I have played so far, but the graphics are nice and smooth and the combat animations are quite neat aswell.

So although a little frustrating at first and despite its linear feel, Dungeon Siege III is slowly winning me over. As I delve deeper into the game I’ll report back my later impressions.

Chris Shooter – Geekzine Games Editor.




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