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Dungeon Siege 3
Dungeon Siege 3

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: Role Playing Players: 1 to 2 (2 to 4 Online)
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Official Site: http://www.square-enix.com
Publisher: Square Enix Classification: M15+
Release Date:
16th June 2011
Dungeon Siege 3

Genre: Role Playing
Players: 1 to 2 (2 to 4 Online)
Developer: Obsidian Enterta...
Official Site: http://www.square-eni...
Publisher: Square Enix
Classification: M15+
Release Date:
16th June 2011
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Dungeon Siege III Review
Review By @ 12:35pm 22/06/11
XBOX360
Very few genres outside of the action RPG give the player clothing items to equip that are named after conflicting human traits, meaning that your pants could very well be vengeful and your gloves honourable. And sometimes when you match these traits together, called an item set, your clothes decide to reward you with some bonus attributes - very technical and completely reasonable stuff, of course. Items and clothing also come in various colours, which would be unrelated to their actual, you know, colour. This means that orange items would be pretty awesome in the additional stats and attributes they give you, like a bonus to blocking and agility, whereas white items pretty much mean that they’re of no real use to anyone in the game-world and make you wonder why a shopkeeper would buy five of them, let alone one.

Dungeon Siege III is a combat focused loot-driven action RPG at heart; one where treasure chests erupt in an orgy of gold and items of various colour each time you open them - a regular in-game occurrence which thankfully never gets old. But there are many things that this new Dungeon Siege, from developer Obsidian (who have taken over the franchise from Gas Powered Games), does differently to both its direct predecessors and other more well-known releases, like the Diablo series from Blizzard. These differences, in a lot of cases, could be described as streamlining or even simplification, but then again this is a genre where a single mouse click and keeping an eye out for blues and purples are the high watermark for interactive comparison.



So we’ll dispense with the bad news first, which would probably only upset the more hardcore fans of the genre out there, with the fact that playing Dungeon Siege in co-op can only be done off a single save, with no option to transfer characters or items or even when you’re done tackle a higher difficulty with your newly orange-only equipped dual wielding Angelina Jolie lookalike ranger called Katarina, but I digress. Strange as these omissions may sound, they only really affect the replayability of the game. But in an action RPG replayability is an important part of what is in essence a genre that is built on repetition and reward, and apart from tackling the game with a different character, Dungeon Siege III unfortunately probably won’t end up being a game that can be revisited and played for months. But apart from this minor (or deal-breaker for some) and slightly odd direction, thankfully, the rest of the game is surprisingly great.

Although throwaway in a sense, the story is refreshingly built around a feud between two factions of humans; those loyal to the 10th Legion and those loyal to the Church, led by a charismatic adversary, and all-round not too bad on the eyes gal’ by the name of Jeyne Kassynder. This is refreshing in the sense you’re not fighting a demon or giant monster who’s somehow managed to trick an unsuspecting power-hungry lord into finding a loophole that lets them enter the worldly dimension to wreak havoc. Due to the nature of the game, the story itself is not all that in-depth, but when the narrator keeps laying on each bit of information in a very throaty voice about “Jeyne Kassynder”, you can’t help but get a little bit upset about her stubbornness and all round dislike of the 10th Legion. You see, she’s a bit of a bitch.

Throughout the game players will make choices to decide the fate of certain characters and towns, which will either add some weight to the overall story, or simply provide a few different bits of nonsensical text at the end of the game to those that opt to skip the its many, many, lines of dialogue. And it’s through the narrative portion of the game that the co-op design, although limited, begins to make sense.



Arguably simplified for consoles or streamlined to make it more palatable to a mainstream audience, the end result is still the same. And that is that the co-op is a lot of fun in Dungeon Siege III, and it’s differences are probably built around the type of co-op experience it tries to offer, and that is one that is seemingly built around ‘same-room gaming’. This focus, after all, is a perfect fit for consoles, and one that still works great when played online. Apart from the usual fun to be had in combat it also extends to agreeing or disagreeing with dialogue and plot decisions. This is not to say that the game isn’t a lot of fun when played in single-player, as it is, but like with anything revolving around killing generic mercenaries and picking up loot, more is better than one.

As a descendant and member of the dying 10th Legion, each of the four playable characters provides the usual line-up of classes, from the stoic sword and shield-ery of Lucas to the fire and fire-related spells of the flame-haired mage, Ajani. As the game itself is story-driven and purposefully linear, with each character having their own arc in the overall quest, outside of equipping some new armour there is very little cosmetic changes that can be made to each character’s appearance. Even items and weaponry that can be equipped are limited to each character, which as a design choice suits the overall game. But all the stat driven leveling that one would expect to find is here, and for the most part is streamlined for the better. For fans of the single mouse-click approach, this unfortunately (for some) means that the game does play better with a control pad, which it seems to have been built from the ground up for.

Controls are kept simple as are the skills and abilities for each character, which are mapped onto the three face buttons on the control pad. With two weapon stances and a defensive stance, switching between them is easy to do with the shoulder buttons with the three face buttons changing to reflect the three different, skills, spells, buffs, and other abilities across each stance. This literally means that you will only have three abilities in total to use when wielding a two-handed sword, or sword and shield combo. Streamlined is definitely the word to use, as opposed to simplified, mainly due to how well it works with a control pad, and proves that this is a genre that can work as well on console as it can on PC. It makes the combat feel slightly more than a disinterested hack and slash affair where you could potentially be playing the game, watching a film, texting a friend, and solving a Rubik’s Cube, all at the same time. The flexibility of using a control pad adds some strategy and fluency to the action that would normally be quite hard to replicate with a mouse and keyboard.



Being limited to three abilities or spells for a particular stance may sound limiting but each new level up allows for upgrading each ability in different ways as well as upgrading talents that sound as handy as they do nerdy. Like the talent for Katarina that states something along the lines of “each new point into this talent increases Katarina’s chances to strike with a critical hit by 4%”. These small touches as well as the detailed and varied stat bonuses applied to weapons and items that are both explainable like +20 Block and unexplainable (as in neither the game or manual provide definitions) yet still cool sounding like +35 Doom, add considerably to the overall experience. And help ground the game as a streamlined yet still very detailed action RPG.

So, Dungeon Siege III, although taking place in the same world, shares very little in common with both its predecessors and even its namesake. With most of the action taking place in castles, forests, caves, factories, mountains, swamps and numerous other locations, there are very few dungeons to be found at all within the game. Which overall speaks volumes for potential expectations one may have with the game, and in failing to meet them could be an unfair catalyst in dismissing what is a fun, polished, and streamlined action RPG experience that deserves your attention.
WHAT WE LIKED
Great varied environments
Fluid combat and controls over abilities
Fun co-op
Sweet, sweet, loot
WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE
No new game +
Single save co-op
Goblins that look like anime-inspired Yoda’s
Linear paths with little to no exploration
Minor camera issues
MORE...
WE GAVE IT:
8.0
OUT OF 10
AusGamers
Latest Comments
reload!
Posted 12:51pm 22/6/11
pretty much what I thought.

once people get over the control and camera issues the rest of the game looks nice and is fun to play.

so many people have made a massive deal over what is such a relatively minor issue in the scheme of the overall package.
Obes
Posted 12:53pm 22/6/11
wow you gave it 8 ?

It was quite possibly the worst $40 I have ever spent.
The camera is awful, the controls are awful, the gameplay seemed stupid. I'd "fire" at a mob and it would just randomly fire at a different one.

It might be ok if you have 4 people on consoles in the same room.
Dan
Posted 12:59pm 22/6/11
Should point out that this review is of the xbox 360 version, not the PC and it sounds as though the game is much more at home on console.
DM
Posted 01:05pm 22/6/11
Maybe I just don't see it but for future reviews can you mark somewhere up the top what version of the game you played? This game is utter pig s***e on PC and can't imagine giving that version an 8. I don't know about anyone else but I don't even own a controller that I can plug in because If I wanted to play it with a controller I'd of bought it on a console instead. I'm guessing the reviewer played it on console since there was talk about buttons and such.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 01:14pm 22/6/11
DM:

We've had this on every review for almost a year now...

DM
Posted 01:33pm 22/6/11
Fair enough I really missed that one because of the add. I didn't even look at that half of the page.
infi
Posted 01:40pm 22/6/11
is this just like another torchlight?
KostaAndreadis
Posted 01:55pm 22/6/11
Yes, this was reviewed on the 360, where there are no real camera or control issues. After playing the demo on PC I can tell you that even on PC you're much better off playing with a gamepad. The keyboard and mouse controls on PC are more than a little cumbersome. Which is a shame, as the game is combat focussed, and a lot of fun.
Sipawhore
Posted 02:12pm 22/6/11
I played it in the PC with my xbox controller and it still was s***. Really I mean, you have two camera options and both you can't see s*** (i'd of preferred if I could be more behind the character so I could see when enemies would come in front of me. The controls on the controller was terrible, why wouldn't you make triggers block/attack then map the rest of the buttons, they didn't even allow you to re config it to your own choosing. Finally after the first town I was so bored by the story and gameplay. No depth and no reason to even have conversation options, it didn't affect anything...just a choice to do the mission or not or learn more about it. Deleted the game after that.
Obes
Posted 02:18pm 22/6/11
Yeah I found the gameplay linear (but Dungeon Seige always was I guess) and the conversations annoying rather than progressing any storyline.

Anytime on the map you see an alcove or dead end there is going to be a chest/loot there.

I also didn't see any of the combat as being skilled. People called Diablo2 a click fest, sure you might click a bit but you had to be semi intelligent with your clicking. As far as I can tell one of those drinking birds might be able to play this game.

Like I said worst $40 I have ever spent (and I bought whispering Jack and Vanilla Ice on cassette ... so it's a big statment)
KostaAndreadis
Posted 02:28pm 22/6/11
The dialogue choices and paths open up after the first few areas, making the game better the more you play it. And the control setup on the 360 controller works really well for the genre, and to be honest could make something like Diablo 3 quite viable on console.
ravn0s
Posted 02:54pm 22/6/11
maybe the "reviewed on" image should be moved to the end of the review and incorporated into the "what we liked" boxes since i think it would be overlooked by a lot of people where it is atm.
Dan
Posted 03:16pm 22/6/11
ravn0s: it's also pretty prominent on the reviews landing page: http://www.ausgamers.com/reviews/
gamer
Posted 03:27pm 22/6/11
Why is that "reviewed on 360" button on the right hand side? I dont even look over there and completly missed it as well... it should be in the header under the title but before the article

TITLE: BLAH

GAME: BLAH
REVIWER: BLAH GUY
REVIEWD ON PLATFORM: 360
Trauma
Posted 03:52pm 22/6/11
Why was it reviewed on 360?

The first two were on PC only so it seems logical to continue along those lines to me, it is banking on the success of the first two games in the franchise.
Hogfather
Posted 03:55pm 22/6/11
Why was it reviewed on 360?The first two were on PC only so it seems logical to continue along those lines to me, it is banking on the success of the first two games in the franchise.

I suspect the publisher sent Ausgamers a review copy for the 360.
Outlaw
Posted 04:09pm 22/6/11
Compared to other Dungeon Sieges, Its terribad. If you never played them you would probably half enjoy DS3 (?)
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:38pm 22/6/11
Trauma, we try and get PC copies where possible, but laregly pubs send most review sites and magazine console copies
Trauma
Posted 05:05pm 22/6/11
Trauma, we try and get PC copies where possible, but laregly pubs send most review sites and magazine console copies

Ah that makes sense, thx.
Eorl
Posted 05:37pm 22/6/11
Agree with gamer, the "reviewed on" logo should be under the title.
icewyrm
Posted 05:40pm 22/6/11
There's only about ~10 hours of gameplay in it. I guess you could play it again with the other characters but there doesn't seem like much point. Maybe the dialogue choices change a bit if you play other people?

Not a game I could recommend to friends for co-op, because we'd burn through it too fast.
Mooshy
Posted 12:37am 26/6/11
I actually had a blast with the game, about to finish it for the first time and have been playing it all week, seen some average reviews of it and have no idea why. Graphics seemed pretty good to me, all the usual shadows and bump mapping effects seem present, and the game fun to play watching your charachter(s) get more and more powerful was pretty rewarding. Could have been a bit longer 10 or so hours for a RPG is pretty low considering TES games can run into hundreds of hours even though I know they are different styles and DS3 is linear.

Played it on the PS3 and not one crash or error either, says alot about their playtesting and Quality Control.
skythra
Posted 10:18am 26/6/11
I've seen some average reviews of it and have no idea why.
Played it on the PS3

The reviews mostly state that on PC the controls are unusable.
Bah
Posted 05:22pm 26/6/11
Games alright, didn't have control issues because i read the thread before playing, so used the xbox controller right off the bat.

Just ran ninto one annoying part though, a midboxx that can't be attacked with a melee character because it has a damage aura... and what class did i choose? The warrior, well done.
End up having to cheese it, resurrecting the npc over and over and hoping it kills him, pretty stupid, probably no issue in co-op though, googled how to beat him because that strat seemed totally retarded and all the faqs had "easy boss just sit back and pepper him with long range" except for the few people using a warrior who did what i did.
Sc00bs
Posted 05:26pm 26/6/11
im thinking about reinstalling this and have a test with a controller: due to extreme boredom.

Does it make the game playable atleast with a controller? it was really horrible with a mouse
Bah
Posted 05:35pm 26/6/11
Only problems i have with controller is due to my own gumbiness, as it uses triggers in combo with face bottons for some special attacks, so i sometimes stuff that up, other than that it plays pretty much like a typical console hack and slasher, but with a slightly overhead viewpoint, i think this might account for some of the worse scores it was getting as people were expecting it to be a diablo style clickfest.. which you would seeing as its the sequel to a couple of those games.
Sc00bs
Posted 05:36pm 26/6/11
is the camera easier to control? it feels really gumby not being able to side step :/
Bah
Posted 05:52pm 26/6/11
left stick moves up down left and right, apparently it was rotation based for keyboard controls which was stupid right?
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