The newest Dungeon Siege III slices its way onto the XBox 360 thanks
to developers Obsidian Entertainment that returns gamers to the
intricate world of Ehb in this hack and slash role-playing
game. Given that the game is more hack and slash than true RPG, this game is quite
top heavy in terms of action as you kill your way to become a true
The story of Dungeon Siege III
revolves around the repercussions of Jeyne Kassynder who has
literally torn Ehb apart and destroyed the 10th legion. However as a
legacy of the 11th Legion, it is up to the player to rebuild this
Legion in order to save Ehb from plunging into further darkness.
It's clichéd, it's over the top, it's a classic RPG tale of good
Although the story
has its own merits, the downside to the story is that NPC interaction that is
quite bland, both graphically and in terms of content as the person
just stands there and talks. However just like Mass Effect, your decisions
do influence how certain parts of the story will be directed which
does allow you to play the game maybe one more time, if you can
stomach it. This is not to say that Dungeon Siege III is a bad game,
it's just rests a little on its laurels and doesn't offer this genre
Before embarking on your RPG adventure, you must first select your
character and there are four characters to choose, each with their
pros and cons. The characters include Lucas Montbarron, descendent
of the first protagonist in Dungeon Siege and is the fighter of the
group. Next is Anjali, my favourite character who was a member of
the servant race for the lost creator god and has the ability to
switch from human to flame elemental... very cool.
You also have
Reinhart Manx, another descent of the 11th Legion who has magic
abilities and becomes quite powerful later on in the game. Finally
you have Katarina, the illegitimate daughter of Hugh Montbarron and
uses guns to fight her enemies and could be considered the "rogue"
of the group.
The characters also have three defensive
and six offensive abilities and fortunately, they all play
differently as opposed to just different skins on their characters.
As you do progress, these core abilities can be upgraded by grinding
your way through the game and you can specialise which way your
character is going to fight in this world.
One highlight that has
not been used by other titles is that your character has two
different fighting stances and depending on which stance you are
using in battle, this will help in accessing certain abilities better
than the others, including movement on the battlefield, dodging and
The combat of the game flows quite well as you have access to
blocks, dodges and a variety of attacks from melee to ranged plus
special abilities like spells. The combat reminds of
Diablo because of how fluid it is and changing between abilities on
the battlefield is quite simple and flawless.
Enemies in the game
range from your stock standard archetype of humans to
monsters plus a touch of Steampunk. I'm really confused as to why
there are robot police in a certain part of the game but they were
actually quite cool and comedic at times. In terms of
RPG, different weapons and statistics do influence your combat
skills and certain weapons add additional bonuses like stun which
does give you incentive to continue your search for weapons. The
problem is that there is so much loot to find in Dungeon Siege III
that it becomes a chore, just sifting through what is good and what
Obsidian Entertainment have also dome something quite unique when it
comes to healing as this game does not contain any healing potions.
Yes, this is quite unusual for an RPG and you need to rely on
healers or green orbs. Other orbs are used for power ups and can
sometimes change the tide of battles. The single-player game is
quite sturdy and most veteran RPG players will easily be able to
knock this game over without any real difficulties... except for a
few key bosses.
There is a multiplayer aspect to Dungeon
Siege III, however if someone joins your game, they are only their
to offer assistance as the "hoster" gets to keep all the loot and
experience points which is a little strange. Another issue with
online play is that you cannot use your main character and you are
given one of the other AI players in the hosters party. The two
player mode for Dungeon Siege III works, however when additional
players join (up to four), the game does become too constructive,
especially with the camera angle. It's an interesting attempt but
unfortunately didn't work too well.
Graphically, the title is a nice looking game on the XBox 360 with
some great virtual environments and a variety of interesting looking
enemies. The only downside to the graphics are the relatively dull
interactions with NPC's that looks quite dated when compared to the
rest of the game. I must admit that the stylised introduction of
Dungeon Siege III looks awesome and helps introduce or re-introduce
the universe to all gamers. One issue with the graphics that is more a
gameplay problem is the camera angle and although you only get two
different levels of zoom, sometimes the camera angle plays havoc in
certain levels. Frustrating at times.
In the end, Dungeon Siege III is an interesting game and works on
most of its basic levels. It may not change the genre dramatically but
provides a sturdy gaming engine with a relatively interesting story.
It's a shame that the multiplayer aspect of the game is severely
hampered by its limitations but as a single-player, Dungeon Siege
III thankfully works.