Dungeon Siege III Reviews

  • ElyohElyoh1,036,508
    21 Jun 2011
    34 2 11
    If you're looking for the third instalment of Dungeon Siege, then you will be disappointed by this game. If you’re simply looking for a simple RPG to muck around on and play with friends, then this game is aimed at you.

    Introduction
    Many of us were excited by the idea of Dungeon Siege III (DS3) being released, as we were expecting another great game similar to its predecessors. However, what we have received is nothing like what we have expected. From here on, you will probably see many reviews from fans (Such as myself) moaning about how it is not Dungeon Siege, contrary to its name, and has fallen way below many players expectations. However, this review will not look at this game and its tie in with Dungeon Siege I and II, and simply review it as if it is a stand-alone game. Read on!

    Brief Story Outline
    Jeyne Kassinder has killed off almost all legionaries after a battle in which she called upon a mystical unknown power, and has sent the kingdom of Ehb into chaos. As one of the last surviving Legionaries, you are trying to rebuild the kingdom and political ties that have been destroyed as you journey to take revenge on Jeyne and return the land to peace.

    Gameplay
    RPGs, unlike most other genres, vary a lot between each other with their gameplay. DS3 is a simple dungeon crawler. There are four set characters; Reinhart, Anjali, Lucas and Katrina, who each have their own unique playing styles and skill sets. Each character has two playing modes, for example, Lucas can hold either a two-handed Great sword or a Sword and Shield. Each mode has three skills, and you also have three defensive skills, bringing each characters skill total to nine. As you level up through the game (To a max level of 30), you will unlock these skills as well as points to become proficient in them and talent points, for each characters unique passive skills. Upon levelling up, you are forced to allocate points. This prevents you from saving them up for all of the end skills, which can be annoying but has a good purpose.

    As you journey through the land, you will pick up companions. These companions will simply be the three characters you aren’t playing as, and you can pick one of them to be with you in your party to help you out through the game. As you come across groups of enemies, you attack them with your standard attack and charge up focus, which is used to use your skills for more powerful attacks or de-buffs. On the easiest difficulty, it can simply turn into a button mashing game with a little bit of mix-up, but on Hardcore you will be required to dodge and block enemy attacks if you are to have any hope of surviving. It was a pleasant surprise to have the hardest difficulty actually hard and require you to watch out for incoming enemy attacks, as well as what you’re doing. The boss fights are a lot harder than the general enemies of the game, and will often have infinite spawning enemies until the main enemy is defeated. A certain fight near the end of the game has even had people who are playing on casual struggle.

    The biggest downfall with this game from and RPG perspective is the loot. The loot is constant on all difficulties, and looking for rare items is simply a matter of reloading your saves until the shop has what you’re looking for. Enemies near never drop weapons or armour and the chests’ loot remains constant. Another downfall is how short the game is, you can do it in 6 hours only doing primary quests, and 10 hours doing secondary as well.

    This game has a top view looking down on you, from close up or a little further away, which in many cases can be a huge pain. Especially when playing in co-op, the camera must fit all characters into the screen at the same time. This can cause it to get into really annoying angles, sometimes causing you to not know there are enemies there until they are literally right next to you.

    Multiplayer
    This is at the same time a great and really bad part of the game from different perspectives. The multiplayer is what it commonly referred to as “Fable 2” co-op. This means that when you join someone else’s game; you play as their secondary characters with their stats and equipment, and take nothing back with you when you leave. Most people hate this as it means they don’t get experience or items, but I think both of these are irrelevant. The game is short, so experience means almost nothing, and rare items are easy to get by simply walking up to shops. It just means you will not keep or have progression saves.

    On the positive, the multiplayer is a streamlined easy experience. Simply join a public or friends game, pick which character you want to be, and you’re done. If you have experience to spend you will be prompted to the skill allocating menu to use your points, and then it is always suggested you make sure you’ve equipped the best items you have before getting on with it. What does player one do while you’re in the menus? This is what I think is a fabulous part of the game. Whenever you enter the menus or the dashboard, your character immediately becomes AI. Thus you do not disrupt the gameplay at all of everyone else playing the game, so you can enter the menus the instant you pick up a new item instead of waiting until everyone is ready for you to pause the game. The main menu has a multiplayer option which can let you search all possible joinable games, and thus you can join a game at where ever in the story line you were up to last time you played.

    The game also has a local co-op of 2 players, and you can play local and online at the same time (So have 2 xboxs and each with 2 players).

    Summary
    Although this game is nothing like what we wanted it to be, it is still a fun experience for what it is. If you want the successor to the previous Dungeon Siege games, then I suggest you give this game a miss. If you’re however a fan of Dungeon and Dragons style dungeon crawler games, then this game will definitely be for you.

    As Dungeons Siege III, I would rate it at a dismally low rating.
    As a stand alone game, I'm rating it 4 stars.
    4.0
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    AkkonShinigamiI´m glad that I played the Demo after that I canceled my pre order. Based on what I saw there and adding the "stay with 4 peole on the same screen" and all might to the host thing. Sacred 2 way better especially with the perfect working coop mode.
    Posted by AkkonShinigami On 29 Jun 11 at 07:08
    VannosAgree, this game has nothing to do with the previous Dungeon Siege games. Sacred 2 was good, more open then this game, I found.
    Posted by Vannos On 16 Jul 11 at 00:53
    Turner0verThanks for the review. And thanks for mentioning the Fable II co-op camera. Up until I read that I was going to buy. I cringe at the thought of that fixed camera again. Terrible! I won't be purchasing.
    Posted by Turner0ver On 23 Jul 11 at 02:24
  • BahumautBahumaut335,864
    01 Jul 2011 01 Jul 2011
    9 3 1
    The game is simplistic for an RPG (it is very hard to 'get lost' in the game both literally and figuratively) the normal character archetypes are all present, the warrior tank (made of aluminium foil), the mage (suprisingly adept at healing himself and stunning opponents), the ranged expert (probably the easiest to play as she is most effective against bosses - when not in the hands of the AI) and finally the archon a fire/mage hybrid (average but some of her abilities seem weak compared to other examples of the same - ie sorceress in Diablo II).

    Positives:

    Some of the things the game does well include good inventory management (newly obtained items are covered with a big 'new' label and the comparison stats make it easy to tell what to equip) another feather in the game's cap is the drop in drop out co-op which is always a lauded rarity in an RPG. The typical loot collecting fun is present here and can feel rewarding in casual and normal difficulty. Quests are easy to follow and normally occur in the same locations so backtracking is rarely an issue.

    Stick the game on casual and invite a friend around or over Live/PSN and just kick back and have fun.

    Negatives:

    Hardcore:


    Player abilities seem underpowered and as soon as you move into hardcore the game becomes exceptionally brutal. Some bosses taking 40 minutes plus to defeat, a lack of healing, regeneration and revival items is really noticable in hardcore (my AI partner must have died oh, I'd say around 500 times at least in a single hardcore playthrough) with enemies hitting for 600-1500+ damage (I have seen a 5700 damage hit land on me in one of the late game boss fights) the pitiful 30 hp a second regeneration is just pathetic. Armour seems laughable in this game as enemies hit for 400+ in midgame which means you are looking at 2 hit deaths constantly. Enemies will almost always home in on the Player controlled character (which is sometimes useful as nearly all boss fights can be won by running around in a circle as your AI partner attacks unobstructed but if you die, have fun replaying the last 30 mins as boss characters have ridiculous amounts of HP think in the 50-100 thousands with you doing 20 - 100 damage with normal attacks and 300-600 on criticals, this might not seem too bad, just remember you have to land your hits in a 'driveby' fashion as you are either running or dead.

    Achievement glitches:

    A lot of people have been noticing that the achievements in the game are a bit sporadic in their unlocking. 'Merchant of Ehb', Completing the game with certain characters, Enduring hero and a few others either have hidden conditions (such as being in one play session or not joining a game which is past a certain point). The achievement guide will help you out but some of them will just annoy achievement hunters out there. My advice? Keep regualar saves so you don't have to replay too much. (The glitch that got me involved activating a "trigger" (avoiding spoilers here") in a cave, however the game would flash up that it was not the right time to do this even though I had cleared the whole cave system of enemies and had the required item/s to activate it. After several save reloads and re-clears with no luck I reloaded an earlier save, killed the miniboss guarding it and the trigger then activated fine. I can only assume it is a glitch which will (hopefully) be fixed in a future patch.

    Camera control (or lack thereof):


    When in local co-op the field of camera view is just too small to make a lot of tactics plausible and locks both players into a box surrounded by invisible walls. You cannot move without the other playing moving which moves the invisible wall that is stopping you. It doesn't affect single player with the AI ally which is a relief but its something that will kill you from time to time through no fault of your own.

    Depending on how you set out to play this game it can either be a light, fun and breezy RPG to play with mates or it can be a gruelling case of bashing your head against a brick will with plenty of screaming at the TV and consideration of the aerodynamic properties of your controller.

    Ratings:

    Visuals: 8.5
    Sound: 7.5
    Gameplay: 8

    Casual/ Normal Score: 9
    Hardcore: 6


    This is a personal review after finishing both Casual (8 hours) and Hardcore (16 hours in duration - including reloads) and reflects the views and opinions of Bahumaut and no other publication.
    4.0
  • Rodeo LegendRodeo Legend95,139
    03 Jul 2011 18 Jul 2011
    8 3 2
    This may not be the longest game you will play this year. But the game play is solid and the story is pretty great. It was not the Dungeon Siege that everyone expected, but it was undeniably great.

    story:

    You start the game as one of four heros, who basically make up half of the remaining 'Legionaries', a society of descendants of the Heros from the franchises other games. Depending on which character you decide to start as, the story is slightly altered, however it does remain primarily the same regardless. You progress through the world trying to restore the Legion and defeat Jeyne Kassynder, who is responsible for the destruction of the rest of your order.

    Main story is good, and pretty interesting if you go as far as reading all the Lore you find in books scattered around the world.

    Some side quests provide deeper insight into the back story while others offer returning franchise fans nice easter eggs. One such mission is the Hero's Crypt mission, which has huge easter eggs that deal with the first games heros.

    9/10

    single player:

    Not a lot of down time in this game, it's full of action that is only briefly and sparsely interrupted by RPG style dialog which keeps the game moving quicker then most RPG style games. Dungeon Siege offers a lot in way of upgrades, so customizing your play is largely personal and hugely rewarding.

    The games campaign is great with tons of side quests to keep one busy. Side quest turn out to be better then your run of the mill fetch quests from other RPG's although those do exist in Dungeon Siege 3 as well.

    The combat is fun a pretty evenly paced as to not overwhelm nor bore with too much time out of action. The different powers that each character has keeps the game's combat from feeling to stale.

    The world is rich in loot, with items for your character falling off just about every group of enemies, as well as items for your companion characters falling a little less often, however often enough. Looting and upgrading equipment and powers make up a huge part of the game, however it's not difficult nor is it too time consuming.

    9/10

    co-op

    Only two players can play on the same screen, however the game does offer four player play over xbox live. It's pretty fun to play with a friend or friends.

    A big problem with co-op, is only the first player or the host player actually progress through the world. all others do not take anything back with them to their game.

    7.5/10

    mechanics:

    A very good upgrade system is at the core of this game. As stated earlier loot is very prominent, so you will have plenty of opportunity to get good equipment that increases stats for character as well as offing bonuses called chaos. Chaos is a passive ability that usually has a chance of inflicts additional damage to a targeted enemy.

    The power upgrade is also great, although ever character is limited to only 9 special abilities, the mapping and usage of these powers is very easy. They are also varied enough to allow players to play around and not feel like they are using the same move over and over again. Each of the nine powers can also be upgraded into two different trees. players can spend points between the two trees any way they wish, however only five points can be put into any singular move.

    Another menu of more passive abilities are available for each characters, with 10 total passive abilities with 5 tiers in each. Deeds, which are actions performed while in the game, also grant the player permanent passive boosts. Many side quests, among other things, often give the player these Deed boosts. The game offers plenty in the way of upgrades, and the menus are all very easy to understands, which is a great plus for more casual RPG fans like myself.

    Fighting is great, with all abilities mapped between the three stances, all moves are easily performed using the X, Y, or B buttons. While A offers use of that stances primary attack, it also provides a super attack if used at the same time as RT is held down. Figuring out slightly different technics when challenged by different types of enemies is great for keeping things varied and enjoyable.

    The ability to control all characters by switching between them is the only thing that seems to be missing. It bothered me at first, however I got use to it, and even ok with it.

    9/10

    achievements

    First inspection makes one feel like this may end up taking four plays to get 100%. This is not the case. If you follow the guide on the forum on xbox360achievements.com: http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/showthread.php?t=31... you should be able to get all with just one play following those instructions.
    ****Thank You My Pet Worm for letting me post the guide****

    A pretty good balance of both automatic achievements you get by progressing through the story and ones you will have to work for. More decision based achievements like the Legion Caretaker and the Lescanzi Ally would have been nice

    8.5/10

    longevity

    Upon writing this review, I have only finished one play through, But I am excited about at least one more, if not three more. A single play took me 14 hours, although I suspect rushing through dialog as well as knowing how to perform all quests will speed the game up by at least 4 hours. I had a lot of fun while the game lasted and I personally think it offers enough to get a lot of players to go through the world again. It probably won't last longer then a first play for most however.

    7.5/10

    I really like this game. If you are a Fan of action RPG games I believe this game is something you will enjoy. Maybe not a good game for casual gamers nor hard core RPG fans.

    (9+9+7.5+9+8.5+7.5=50.5/60=8.4/10)
    FINAL SCORE: 8.4/10
    5.0