Dungeon Siege III Reviews

We have another batch of critiques for Obsidian's take on the Dungeon Siege universe, which generally seem to follow the trend of mostly favorable to semi-favorable reviews.

VideoGamer.com complains about the price point but still awards the title a 8/10.
Alternatively, four-player drop-in co-op means you can play as a sidekick. This brings up its own issue: it's brilliant fun for the person hosting the game, but multiplayer falters slightly thanks to its refusal to let the co-op partner bring their own pre-made character into the game. There's no added incentive them in co-op at all beyond a few Achievements or Trophies.

But if you can find a selfless friend the game's combat system is likely enough to hold their attention, as this is where Dungeon Siege finally finds its footing. Each character gets two attack stances that you're encouraged to switch between, at no cost. Console controllers in particular are tailored for it: in Lucas' case, hitting the left shoulder button instantly switches you from attacks tailored for one-on-one combat, to those that deal slightly less damage across groups of enemies. Anjali, on the other hand, switches between melee and ranged crowd control.

It's a surprisingly elegant system, and kind regards go to Obsidian's minimalist approach to the usual complexities of combat. Dungeon Siege 3 offers characters 11 abilities to use, as well as three upgrades per ability. That means the skill tree you'll be frequenting looks relatively meek it's nothing near as robust as anything you saw in Torchlight, and at times puts min/maxers at risk of feeling overlooked but it's a one of the more manageable alternatives you'll find within the genre.

Digital Chumps, 8.4/10.
As with some of the other aspects of DS3, the sheer volume and depth of the quests is not at the level of bigger, deeper RPGs. Were this solely a single player adventure, that would be more of a negative than it is given that this game is intended for relatively quick co-op sessions. That said, most of the quests boil down to fetching something for someone or seeking out a particular person. Quests take place in forests, swamps, castles, mines, graveyards, and several other locations. Each time, you are blazing through numerous weaker enemies, some stronger ones, and finally a boss character who ups the ante with spectacular attacks and a lot of HP.

At many points in the story, you will talk with NPCs and the dialogue system gives you several paths to take. Most conversations are about gathering information or quest details, but others can get more confrontational and have a bigger impact on the story. Decisions you make while conversing may affect the influence on your companion, as well as the outcome of the game. These moments are not as apparent as maybe I would have liked them to be, but I like that a consequence system like this was included.

Finally, there is a Deed system as well. Think of these as a series of challenges and rewards that you can optionally due to earn some additional status boosts. I received a "Full Time Hero" Deed, for example, for completing ten side quests which netted me a +2 Stamina boost. There are a variety of Story and Challenge Deeds, the key difference being Story ones usually have to do with a decision you make in dialogue while Challenge deeds are about performing some action (like killing a certain type of monster) x number of times.

Games.on.net seems to damn with faint praise, calling the game "fun but forgettable" and awarding it a 3/5.
During the single player campaign, players are joined by an AI companion. These companions help out immeasurably in fights, but the AI isn't always the most reliable. Ranged companions like Katarina or Reinhart are as likely to run into melee as they are to use their more powerful ranged attacks, and the melee characters are seemingly incapable of keeping mobs away from the player. The drop-in, drop-out multiplayer fixes this problem for the most part humans are far better players than the AI but brings with it some unique frustrations. Only the host actually benefits from multiplayer; anyone else playing is forced to play one of the host's companions, and outside of a few achievements or trophies there is no reward you can't take any loot or experience or progression back to your own game. For a game all about loot and experience it's a pretty major oversight.

There are also a few technical issues that can get in the way of fun at times. The auto-targeting for ranged attacks is erratic, sometimes focussing on the wrong target or no target at all, even when you're surrounded by enemies. The camera also has a tendency to the claustrophobic which doesn't help matters of aim. Still, it's a stable and bug free game. That may sound like a bit of a backhanded compliment, but, you know, it is an Obsidian game.

It sounds like a lot of complaining but despite it all, Dungeon Siege III is a strangely satisfying game. It has a pleasantly uninspired story, some fun encounters and a very approachable combat system. It's not a deep RPG experience by any means, and you won't give a hoot about any of the two-dimensional characters, but that was never really the purpose of the game. Dungeon Siege III is an old-school hack and slash game with some newfangled gloss, fun but forgettable.

Interactive Distractions, 3/5.
You will notice that I have failed to mention any story elements up to this point, and that's on purpose, because it takes a back seat in the game. You're one of four characters who has a unique opening cut scenes. They all also have a small back story that is never fleshed out to any degree. But besides that, there isn't much different about each character besides their abilities. I feel that if you had played the other games there would be a bit more insight not to the characters, but the world it self, but unfortunately for me that is not the case.

Dungeon Siege while it is a very well made and fun game, has a few key choices that stop is from rising to the top. The lack of constant leveling while playing with a friend is annoying to the point I don't think many will play online with people. Also, having no new game+ feature discourages multiple playtroughs with the same character. All that said and done I had a blast playing it. The gameplay if fun and addicting, and I'll end up playing it with a different character for sure.

All Age Gaming seems to be the harshest so far, finding very few redeeming elements in the title and awarding it a 5/10.
The game is an Action-RPG, but takes a lot of influence from the Dungeon Crawlers of old (hence the name), resulting in a very straight forward adventure with a few RPG elements thrown in for good measure. Combat takes place with a single-button for standard attacks with mapped special abilities on the remaining face buttons, according to the order in which you choose to unlock them via the games levelling system. Coupled with 2 fighting stances per character, this combat is actually very enjoyable and complements the style as well as it can.

The aforementioned levelling system is very basic, only allowing power and ability upgrades, not the desired skill point system that most RPG's benefit from. Coupled with poor dialogue choices and very few moments of real decision, most of which have next to no impact on the story anyway, makes the game very weak in the eyes of an RPG enthusiast.

The game can be played co-operatively via Xbox LIVE, which makes it very easy. This is actually the most enjoyable way to play, with some friends, as Dungeon Siege III as a single-player experience is quite lacklustre. The narrative is weak, and character development is severely limited, which eliminated a lot of the sense of personalisation that comes expected with this territory.

Finally, The Gaming Experience seems to have had an opposite experience and awards the title a 4/5.
The AI is actually one of my favorite things about Dungeon Siege III; not too smart, and not too stupid. Maybe it is just that enemies in numbers appear smarter than they truly are? The entire enemy base seems to work well together, it is usually a predictable rotation however as to who will attack you next. Of course this is not a game shattering thing as there are far more games with worse AI. The AI in Dungeon Siege III however does lose its predictability when the difficulty escalates; I found that playing the game on hard offers just the right amount of challenge to a player such as myself. It took away that entire predictability that went along with the Easy difficulty and really did challenge me at times.

My party however did exactly what I had hoped it to do; attack enemies. When the game asked who I wanted to be, I had picked Lucas Montbarron who is a swordsman; my party consisted mostly of playing with Katarina who is pretty familiar with guns. I did this because Lucas reminded me of Gene Simmons from KISS and I thought I could relate. Most of the time though I would usually let Katarina take care of business, as she is quite powerful when she performs attacks. Not to mention she is a ranged character, offering me the ability to escape battle and not have to worry too much about her taking too much damage. However, I did have one issue with the entire AI and that was a simple (gimme) for this type of game. I was not fond of the amount of time it took my partners to realize that I was down and I needed to be revived. Often times when I would need to be revived in boss battles, they would be nowhere up until the point of them dying. This bothered me because my close range attacks are meant for destruction whereas Katarina's where more midrange and required me to successfully operate effectively.