Dungeon Siege II Preview

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Microsoft
Developer:Gas Powered Games
Release Date:2005-08-16
Genre:
  • Action,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
Three years ago, Gas Powered Games and Microsoft Game Studios released the much anticipated action RPG Dungeon Siege. In addition to offering a memorable RPG experience with no "loading" screens, Gas Powered Games released a toolkit for Dungeon Siege to provide the modding community with plenty of freedom to create their own worlds and adventures. Now, GPG and Microsoft are teaming up once again to release a sequel. Expanding upon the original game's design, Dungeon Siege II looks ready to stir things up in the online RPG community once again.

In Dungeon Siege, the Seck threatened the vast Kingdom of Ehb, and only fate and a simple farmer stood between the return of the demons and the salvation of a nation. Legends of Aranna saw the return of the Shadowjumper, a demon of immense power with a vendetta against the world. Both of these horrors were destroyed, and Aranna has had many years of peace. But the Prophecies of old are starting to ring true. In the time when Azunai the Defender walked this realm, Zaramoth the Unmaker held strict control of the use of any Magic. His dark Mages were the only other creatures permitted its use, and the Unmaker's sword destroyed any challengers who dared oppose him.

Thus, the Kingdom of Stars was formed, and ancient texts speak of the profound peace and wisdom that held the Kingdom together. The land was rich, and none dared to oppose the power of the Kingdom. Zaramoth had destroyed an entire race to ensure his rise to power, and his sword hungered still for the blood of any foolish enough to challenge his power. Azunai the Defender, however, found his own magic, playing while still a boy by a fountain of mana. He journeyed to the realm of the fallen giants, where he was gifted with a mighty shield, constructed and enchanted to withstand the Unmaker's sword. With an army of rebels at his back, Azunai strode unto the Field of Tears, and Defender and Unmaker dueled. The sword and the shield clashed, killing the Unmaker, Defender, and both armies in a cataclysm that released magic back into the world.

Now, dark things stir in forgotten lands. Powerful and evil mages are once again seen throughout the realm corrupting the very fabric of nature, and magic is becoming scarcer among the commoners. The Unmaker's sword has been seen in border skirmishes, but the Defender's shield slumbers still. War is on the horizon, a war where it has been foretold that the Unmaker and the Defender shall once again come together in battle.

Now that the story has been set, let me introduce you to some of Dungeon Siege II's enhancements. The AI system has been changed to a new (Coach AI), which means your enemies will now act as a unit, with different monsters doing different tasks as the (Coach AI) deems best during the battle. This AI system will also adjust the difficulty of the monsters based on how well you play, and was developed exclusively for this game. This new AI system should provide more realistic in-game combat, and, if all goes as planned, a better gaming experience over that of the first game.

Your main character will always be the center of attention, although you have the option of starting the game with a party or picking up NPCs as you go. Single and multiplayer games are supported, but both now play from the same campaign, allowing you to travel the game's main storyline with the help of your friends.
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