Have you picked up your copy of Dungeon Siege III? Have you played a friend’s copy? Not sure if you want to spend sixty dollars on this RPG? Well that is where your good and honest reviewer, sinseeker, comes in. I have had the opportunity to play this latest Square-Enix title and I’m here to tell you where it stands in the world of RPG games.
This game is the first in the Dungeon Siege series to break away from the PC realm and step onto consoles. The story starts off with the grim news of a military leader, Jeyne Kassynder, marching her armies out to destroy and conquer world of Ehb. Failure to stop her results the death and destruction of innocent lives across the land. As a last hope, the 10th Legion calls upon a group of people to meeting where they will combat the tyrannous army.
Your character, whatever you choose out of the four, is the last member to arrive at the 10th Legion’s meeting. As you approach the meeting place, the Kassynder’s forces have already ransacked the location and are hunting down all who oppose the 10th Legion. There are a few members who survived, but you are on your own to battle countless enemies and monsters from this point on (A lone hero? Taking on a army of monsters and villains? NO?!?). From this point on, your quest to save the world begins.
As I mentioned, you can choose from four different characters: Lucas Montbarron (swordsman), Anjali (a mythical being that is a fire caster), Reinhart Manx (mage), and Katarina (gunfighter). Each character has his/her own backstory which leads to different reasons why a character joins the 10th Legion and how they interact with others in the world.
When the character of your choice approaches a conversation with other NPCs, you have the ability to choose the dialoguefor the conversation (similar to the Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Fallout series). Although the game’s conversation choices aren’t as great or exciting. You feel very little interest in what you choose to say to another people and the backstory won’t entice you. You travel back and forth, through the world of Ehb, completing quests for story progression. The quests are as generic as every RPG quest game out there and you will feel very little incentive to save the innocent bystanders.
The mechanics are similar to any Diablo style game, and combat contains some slight variation. Each character has two different combat styles that posses both advantages and disadvantages in combat. An example is where Katerina carries a rifle, which works well at a distance and has a great deal of power to it. The Katarina can switch from her rifle to a pistol and shotgun combat mode, which provides extra damage to enemies close by and they both have a faster fire rate.
Each character has two different forms of combat (i.e Anjali uses a staff for quick short range attack and changes to an elemental fire shooter for long range combat). As you come across enemies, you will have to determine which form of combat works based on distance and types of enemies. As you progress through the game, you come across the other three characters (you didn’t choose) who will help you fight the menace. This is a nice concept but leaves you with very little care if the other characters live or die.
There is a level up system for your characters, but it is not the same at the WoW, Diablo series. You are given very few skills for each character, but you can upgrade in different ways that will match your style of gameplay. Say your character has a fire shield. You can choose to: upgrade the duration of the shield, upgrade the shield so it heals you temporarily, of upgrade both partially so you can have a mix of both features. How you upgrade each skill should be catered to your gameplay style to get the most out of your character, but also adds to a second play through with that character.
Another fantastic feature is the “Transmute” function of the game. The menu option allows you to turn items and inventory into gold. This eliminates the need to head back into towns to buy and sell items. It also eliminates the need to stand around a dungeon for five minutes and decide what item you will drop to pick up that new more powerful weapon.
Now for online gameplay. Dungeon Siege III commercials promote the use of 2 player coop where friends can save the world of Ehb together. There is a fundamental flaw in the online coop in Dungeon Siege III. The player that is joining (not hosting) the game will not receive: gold, loot, or experience points. The host will keep all that he/she picks up. It is an aggravating feature for the guest player’s data item and gold not transfer into his save data. With the exception of trophies or being a nice person, there is no true incentive for a player to join an online session. This concept seems like it should be available in every online coop RPG. Why Square-Enix would not have this function concerns me.
Dungeon Siege III has many interesting an unique features that separate it from it RPG brothers and sisters, but the boring story and flawed online coop brings the game down a great deal. RPG games need a great story to keep them afloat in a sea of ever increasing video games. For Dungeon Siege III, I give this game a thumbs down for our ProvenGamer fans.