Since the announcement of Dungeon Siege III in June 2010, information about the attempts to rebuild the 10th Legion and stop Ehb from falling into darkness have been scarce on the ground. However, a preview on Gamespot AU has revealed a few more details about the gameplay. Players assume the role of adventurer Lucas Mont Barron. Orphaned at a young age, Lucas has been living in exile since the near destruction of the 10th Legion by the villainess Jeyne Kassendar. Now that he has finally come of age, he is helping to restore the Legion to its former glory.
Battles are fought out using stances, and each stance has a different set of abilities associated with it. The default sword and shield stance includes a shield-bash ability. Funnily enough, the shield can be used to bash an enemy across the face, thus knocking them prone, and occasionally stunning them. A second stance abandons the shield for the use of a two-handed broadsword, and includes a dash ability. This allows you to reach ranged units that are hiding behind enemy lines. The third stance is a defensive block stance. I don't think that I need to tell you that this allows you to block hostile attacks, although your special ability means that you can regenerate health at the same time.
New abilities can be unlocked for your stances when you level up. Players can also modify the effects of these abilities, as well as upgrading your stats. There will be a limited number of skill points throughout the game, but these can be spent across any of the available ability trees.
Interaction with NPCs is carried out using a dialogue wheel, and this is where you acquire your companions. Players will be able to manage a party of up to four heroes, either in a single-player game with complete control over all four characters, or with a group of up to three other people in co-op mode. Your AI companion's attitude towards you is affected by the way that you interact with other characters. When played right, this can result in small performance boosts for your approving companions.
The Dungeon Siege games are known for loot collecting; sure enough it plays a big part in this game too. Colour-coded loot in the form of currency, weapons and armour, can be gathered from most enemies. The statistical differences between the various pieces of equipment are displayed in an equipment screen, and each piece can have an effect on the Lucas' appearance. All items and equipment that players find are unique to certain individual characters; therefore "only one character may wear a particular pair of gloves or wield a specific staff".
Players don't need to worry about running out of inventory space either; excess items can be "broken down locally" into currency, so you don't have any need to throw things away. The inventory is also shared among all party members.
Here's a gameplay trailer and a few screenshots:
As mentioned above, Dungeon Siege III will include a new four player co-op mode. This will allow two players to play split-screen, whilst adding another two players online. Co-op play is completely drop-in and drop-out, with the computer regaining control of that hero. Unfortunately, the other players will only "serve as assistants" to the host player and "no progress will be carried over to their game". The ramifications of this have not been expanded upon, but it could mean that XP and equipment earned will not be transferable between games.
In an interview with CVG, Obsidian's Nathaniel Chapman, lead designer on Dungeon Siege III explained how challenging it was to implement a co-op mode on a console:
That is almost one of the hardest things on the console. The big open multiplayer experience is a lot harder on console because you don't have things like dedicated servers, all that stuff you have on the PC. That drove a lot of the focus of the co-op, having small buddy-style co-op, four guys playing through the game.When asked about how the co-op mode would work on the PC, Chapman replied:
It will work just the same; you can have another person on a controller and it will work just the same. As far as other multiplayer stuff we can't really talk about that but there will be more in a few months.Dungeon Siege III is due to be released in 2011.
There's nothing PC specific. What I mean to say is that we've taken the heart of what you expect out of a PC RPG and brought it into this game. You should have a similar gameplay experience no matter what.
We've got the full list of Dungeon Siege III achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.