E3: Dungeon Siege III

| 13 Jun 2011 23:02
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Obsidian's Dungeon Siege sequel rebuffs the series with improved combat and character customization.

There is nothing unexpected about Obsidian Entertainment making an RPG sequel within another developer's franchise (Gas Powered Games). However, this time Obsidian are working within a new engine and making a hack-n-slash where story takes a backseat. Despite the developer not playing to its strengths, Dungeon Siege III is a promising dungeon crawl that sets itself apart from contemporaries, such as Torchlight and Sacred 2.

E3 isn't the ideal place to explore a lengthy RPG, so I'm not going to pretend that I fully understood the story. Regardless, I had a lot of fun with the game's combat which is surprisingly versatile. The game gives you two combat stances and a defensive stance to switch between during fights.

The controls felt great and never got in the way of juggling between long-distance magic against enemies and short-range combat. I appreciated the focus on fewer, powerful enemies rather than hordes of weak ones - it went a long way in complimenting the combat system. It's hard to comment on how deep the combat will become as you unlock abilities, but the introductory options offer a lot more than the single-button spamming of similar titles.

The customization and leveling in Dungeon Siege III contains many routes presented in an accessible way, recalling straight-forward action titles (think God of War) rather than an RPG. None of the complexity you expect of the series seems to be sacrificed, however. As you level up you can broaden your play style with Talents, Proficiencies and Abilities. Talents are buffs that increase your health, stun rate and other combat traits. You receive a bonus for maxing out a talent, which makes it a tough call to spread the points across multiple talents.

Abilities are special moves that can be mapped to a button. Playing as Anjali, I had immediate access to a damaging circle of fire ability that swiftly knocked out enemies when positioned to my advantage. Proficiencies modify and add extra damage to your abilities, as you level up. Even two players with the same character will have many options to keep their version of Anjali unique.

As much fun as I had with the game's combat, I found the world to be uninspired. Dungeon Seige never had the most unique setting, but even a makeover in art direction could help this sequel stand-out. The UI also could have done a better job of conveying information. Finding missions and navigating through the many pages of the character screen were problematic.

A breadcrumb trail does exist, but I expect a more informative mini-map for those who chose to play without the trail. Otherwise, the game sticks to what has worked before in console hack-n-slashes. I only played the Xbox 360 version, so I can't say if the same is true of its PC counterpart.

Although the final-build was being shown on the show floor, I haven't learned anymore about Dungeon Siege III's world and characters. That being said, all I want out of a dungeon hack-n-slash is a good combat and leveling system paired with a steady stream of loot. Obsidian's latest delivers on that note.

Exploring the game's story and world will have to wait until the game's June 21 release.

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Mr. Grey:

Irridium:

Mr. Grey:

Look at all of the games you listed. What wasn't there when all of those games were made?

Here's a hint: It's the publisher.

I didn't say anything about a publisher in my post.

I know, the hint was towards my question. What wasn't there when all of those games were being developed? The answer was Square Enix.

Especially given that Obsidian could easily have made another Dungeon Siege following that lineup you posted.

Ooooh, I see now.

I figured you meant that Obsidian was the one constant throughout all those games.

The demo completely unsold me on the game.

Irridium:

Mr. Grey:

Irridium:
Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

Look at all of the games you listed. What wasn't there when all of those games were made?

Here's a hint: It's the publisher.

I didn't say anything about a publisher in my post.

I know, the hint was towards my question. What wasn't there when all of those games were being developed? The answer was Square Enix.

Especially given that Obsidian could easily have made another Dungeon Siege following that lineup you posted.

I really enjoyed elementals of Dungeon Siege 1 and 2, they were definitely not amazing games, the story was terrible and combat was a little boring but there some great things about them, some good boss battles, nice environments, background loading, some interesting mechanics. I always enjoyed Co-op-ing them with friends for at least a couple sessions.

I remember the DS2 expansion being terrible though.

I've never been keen on Obsidian so didn't have much interest in DS3 when I found out they were making it, but it sounds even worse than I expected. Buy the sound of people's impressions to far I think I'll give NWN2 & its expansions a try to give Obsidian a fair try before giving DS3 any of my time.

Mr. Grey:

Irridium:
Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

Look at all of the games you listed. What wasn't there when all of those games were made?

Here's a hint: It's the publisher.

I didn't say anything about a publisher in my post.

Irridium:
Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

Look at all of the games you listed. What wasn't there when all of those games were made?

Here's a hint: It's the publisher.

>improved combat and character customisation

Sorry, lost me right there. Honestly, does everything have to be a marketing job?

I guess I'm in the minority who liked the demo, then. Having a very small connection to the DS franchise (I played about five hours of DS1 and hated it, and I'm playing through DS2 now and enjoying it despite the horrible UI) and not much expectation upon the game, I found it worth the Steam bundle.

I think what people have also got to remember is that, although a demo is meant to be representative of the final product, you can have bad demos. One complaint I've heard is that of linearity; if you remember at the start of DS2, you're on a linear path for quite some time. We can see that there were nooks and crannies in the demo, but they're cut off from you for the demo, for some reason.

I found the controls a bit awkward, but nothing too bad. What IS damning is the lack of keymapping. Seriously, Obsidian, you have to be screwing me here. That is just utter bullcrap.

Still, it got my pre-order, if only from the value of getting DS1 (which I may give another chance) and DS2, plus DS3 for 29.99. I predict it being an alright action-RPG which will just plug the gap for better games like Torchlight 2 and Diablo 3.

I'll sum up my list of points:

- It's not Dungeon Siege. Played any of the previous games? Forget everything you know.
- Bad controls. Obviously made for consoles. I was lucky to have a 360 controller plugged into my PC.
- Tight and linear. Instead of exploring the forest a bit, you're forced to take the only road.
- No character customization. Pick your least hated character from 4 uglies instead.
- The story is just meh. Something about the 10th legion and Ehb, that's all the connection I could make to the original games.
- Guns.
- Button smashing from hell.
- And far as I know, no 4-character party.

What is wrong with it?

I have found no redeeming qualities in this game, the average game on newgrounds manages to impress me more.

Super Toast:

Irridium:
Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

That's very disappointing to hear. What exactly is wrong with it?

Well, for one the game is not optimized for a keyboard/mouse. Sure they work, but its easily the worst keyboard/mouse setup I've endured since the Resident Evil 4 port. The story is barely anywhere to be seen(though kind of expected in a demo), and what is there is not interesting in the slightest. And to top it off, all the levels are just linear corridors. No form of exploration at all.

Its just... awful. I would really love to know what happened during this game's development process.

From the demo, this game looks like an utter fucking travesty. I'm literally struggling to think of a single good thing to say about it. As an Obsidian game, it has none of their trademark quirky writing, in fact the writing in general is just awful. Probably the only Obsidian design we see creeping through will be their trademark bugs. As a Dungeon Siege game, which is not exactly a name that requires a lot of living up to, it's actually pathetic. I can hardly see any connection to the previous games at all. The environments are bland and awful, and the graphics are just downright ugly. Even the original Dungeon Siege looks better than this! The previous games were always a bit on the corridor side but this one is more like a bloody trench than a corridor. It looks like corners were being cut everywhere, such as in the way the main character's face doesn't show up in dialogue, which is really off-putting. About the only good thing I can think of is that the stance switching is a neat little mechanic, but I doubt an entire game could ride on that. Also gear doesn't appear to have any effect on your character's appearance. In short, this game looks like nothing more than a cynical attempt at beating Diablo III to the punch by releasing a hack n slasher with health orbs.

Hell I loved the demo, I think the gameplay and levelling system is top notch, I refuse to buy it because of how fucking stupid obsidian is being about the co-op, single player only allows one of your 3 companions out at a time, bots are dumb as sin, and multiplayer is a total flop since they force everyone to play the hosts characters, and keep nothing when they leave.

And then just to add insult to injury for the host, people are free to assign gear and skill points to your characters while their in the game, so after they leave you just get to live with what they did.

Their excuse, they wanted to make the game approachable to pick up and play kind of people by making everyone just use characters that are already levelled and equipped properly for that point in the game.

I hate to be the bitchy type, but what kind of RPG fan wants to play nothing but other peoples characters all day?

Keava:
Again, as with surprisingly many titles latley, instead calling it Dungeon Siege III they could just make a Dungeon Siege: 10th Legion or something like that and treat is a spin-off rather than continuation of series.

It's not a terrible game, obviously has some fun value in it, but it's not really enough. Even the so called "streamlined" DSII was more complex. DSIII has pretty much 0 customization whatsoever. Classes are few (only 4), and are look and gender locked with only 9 skills / class, with 3 being defensive self-buffs, artificially extended by "mastery" mechanic that adds additional effect to attacks once you use them enough.

I think i'll wait for it to land in bargain bin and keep playing Dungeon Siege 2 in the meantime, at least there i could fool around with various mixes of skills and had full control of my character and party.

Aye... I played through the male's bit of story in the demo, but I ended up just forcing myself to finish it. I got 50 pieces of the same modeled armor with none changing the looks. Customization? There is none for the characters (unless for some ungodly reason it was left out of the demo). Combat was tedious, with the "talents and masteries" nothing but the same generic "boost damage or heal" function, which honestly only exists to cover the fact there is zero ways to heal besides abilities or the random drops.

What I was hoping to be possibly an interesting game to play with friends, is almost as bad as the recently released D&D: Daggerdale game, or was that fall... can't remember. Both games are forgettable experiences, this one is just slightly less so. I actually fell asleep during the middle of the day playing the Dungeon Siege 3 demo...

Irridium:
Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

That's very disappointing to hear. What exactly is wrong with it?

In my opinion, as a pesron that dont remeber games from oblivion and likes square, the foult for the game being as it is is from square...
the frafics ar betther than DS2 (in this days everything is), and th charaters are notably square( hero with big hair intead of the usual marine, hotties in heels,hair that looks like hair (althou in weird shapes) and not like a platic wig(fallout for exemple), weird... something mage) but lately square is betting in siple actuion games and slaping a bit of rpg for fun.... but dugeon siege is an rpg, it dosnt got rpg elements just for fun, they did something similar with final fantasy.... i hate final fantasy now( there was i time i loved it)

and dungeon sige was primary a PC game.... a PC game.... it is called dungeon siege, not .... god of war ( for example) while the controls might be great in consoles, in a pc it is hooooorible.... i dont know how many times i died tring to use a special and instead chaging weapons because chage weapons is Q and skils are 123

plus you atack with the mouse to where your mouse is poiting, not to the mouse , the direction only and semetimes the char decides ataking the contrary direction, plus i got extreame bugs i dont want to talk about

as square grows big at the same time its growing awfull... get a game from the time that square was just a smal square and you mght not be disapointed.... after the enix... as time passes its getting bigger and rotten....

sorry for all sentimentalism... i realy liked square... but it pains me now see what it has become

Played the demo.

Obsidian, the fuck happened to you? Yeah your games aren't the greatest gameplay-wise, but there's enough there to find it pretty decent. But this? This is just... I don't even know.

And the story just seems so... awful. And coming from you... I just don't understand why.

KOTOR 2, New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2 expansions(the expansions are easily far better than both main NWN games. Easily) along with games made by the team before they became Obsidian(Fallout 1/2, Planescape: Torment)... just what the fuck happened with this game?

Just... what the fuck happened?

they must have changed the controls since the demo then since the ones in the demo sucked

Soviet Heavy:
I'm still looking forward to it, even though I fully realize that a bunch of the criticisms leveled against the game will be solely because of irrational hate for the developer.

Well go play the demo then. Its on steam :)
Compared to DS1 and DS2 this is horseshit. This isnt DS3, but the name on the box says so. Which makes it even more awkward.

This is more like DS:the spinoff. Nothing of the core gameplay on DS 1&2 has been left. They made a Dungeon Crawler with Dungeon siege slapped on it.
And even though it pains me to say it. DA2 versus DA1 was better then DS3 vs DS1&2

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