Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony PSP Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.5
Value 8.9
Distributor: Take2 Interactive
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
February 2007
Reviewer:
Andrew B

8.9

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Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony

The PSP has definitely received some great RPG titles in the last year and Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony is no exception to that rule which features your traditional role-playing experience with a healthy dose of action, adventure and frustration. Before the player engages in the game, they are treated to a cinematic delight that is extremely reminiscent of cell-shading graphics which really draws you into the world of Dungeon Siege and the interesting tale that follows one of the three characters you can select.

The story itself revolves around three strangers whose lives are inexorably drawn north. Although each character travels alone, their journeys are similar as they assist their race with a variety of quests. However the true plot of Throne of Agony revolves around an ancient riddle and when the ancient race of Agallan have left the lands. For our three characters, a dark evil threatens the very core of Aranna and in order to stop this threat, the three characters venture into the Northern reaches where no race has dared to enter.

Once the pleasantries are out of the way, the gamer has a choice of three different RPG archetypes that includes a human battle mage, half-giant warlord and a Elven shadow stalker. Once the player has chosen his or her avatar, they must also choose a companion for their character that range from powerful stone golems to strange demon-like imps. Once chosen, the player is then automatically thrown into the mix of things in the lands of Aranna.

The best things about the characters is that as you progress through the title, you have the choice of taking the light or dark side as your characters eventually transform into legendary classes such as the Death Knight or Archmage. You are also not limited to just one follower as you explore the world of Aranna, you meet other characters will take up your challenge.

Features:

  • Multiple characters to choose from - Characters can be customized as they level up into 8 different Hero Classes and then even further into Legendary Classes.

  • Player can choose from numerous Pets and Companions to play with. Gameplay will encourage the player to constantly switch between unique Pets and Companions to use their special powers.

  • Face over 100 monsters including well known monsters from the Dungeon Siege world as well as many new creatures.

  • Multiplayer Cooperative Campaign allows you to play with a friend. Each player can bring a Pet or Companion adding up to a four party experience.

  • Multiplayer Battle Arenas allow a concise, fun party experience for players who don't have time for a full campaign.

  • 15 hours of gameplay with 2 different modes Mercenary and Elite

  • Over 100 stunning spells and abilities

  • Tons of powerful weapons and armour - all fully enchantable
    Flying and naval vehicles that allow access to remote areas of the game world.

The basic premise behind Dungeon Siege: Thrown of Agony is your classic sword and sorcery adventure that depending on your character is either hack 'n' slash or sorcery and stealth. Although your characters feature your classic sword and sorcery attributes such as strength, wisdom and luck and by completing missions or by dispatching your foes, you are rewarded experience points that can then be used to "level" or upgrade your character.

The first town that you encounter in the world of Aranna is Seahaven, where you are bombarded by a variety of different adventures from terminating a nest of dangerous Raptors to investigating the whereabouts of a hunting party gone missing. Although these may seem small, there is a larger and underlying evil that moves through the land which interconnects through the missions.

The control system of the title is perfect and uses the analog stick to move your character through the gaming environment with the d-pad used to attack your foes through magic and might. The shoulder buttons are conveniently used to either restore your health or  mana. With that said, each spell used costs your character a portion of their mana and the more injuries you sustain,  the lower your health becomes. 

Fortunately there are a variety of mana and health wells littered through the gaming world or if the gods have smiled upon you, you will come across these items in your adventures... then again, there's always the local shop that also sells these necessities. The game also features a plethora of weapons, armour and magic items that are scattered through the lands of Aranna and as you progress through the game, these items slowly become more and more powerful.

Levelling up is also quite basic and when you enter your character screen, you have a choice of where you wish to spend your points or which magic or abilities you wish to upgrade. Needless to  say, its simplicity at its best without an in-depth menu system such as the Final Fantasy  series. Apart from your main character, you also need to assist your companions as they progress  through the game in a similar vein to your warrior or mage.

Graphically, Dungeon Siege is easily one of the best RPG games on the PSP that features an enriching gaming environment that is highly detailed. The characters themselves all contain some extraordinary detail that move with a human-like or monster-like grace and match that with some realistic spell effects and you have one impressive title.

As with the graphics, the musical score features your traditional ambient RPG soundtrack that fits the genre perfectly. Add in all the sounds and screams of a magical land and it really makes it easy to become lost within the title. I would however recommend some high end headphones for your PSP if you really wish to make the most out of the musical score and sound effects of the title.

In conclusion, Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony is a perfect RPG game for the PSP that isn't too basic or too involved and is perfect for the portable market. With an enriching and an actually quite clichéd but entertaining storyline, great graphics and gameplay, there is little to complain about this and if you're looking for a great RPG game, than I would recommend you purchase this. The only downside to the title are the sometimes long waiting times but fortunately this is only when you are entering a new area. Highly Recommended!






 
 



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