Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date: 6/21/2011
For Fans Of: Dungeon crawlers, Looting, Stats
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The Good: Beautiful visuals, engrossing story and character, fun and fast paced combat, varied locales, challenging boss fights, choices make an impact on story, compatible with AlienFX
The Bad: Very linear, loot isn’t very good, predictable enemies, boring cut scenes, and dialog segments, bad partner AI, issues with AlienFX
Dungeon Siege is one of the fathers of the dungeon crawling genre on the PC. There’s just something addictive about running around smacking everything and trying to find the best loot. Don’t forget about challenging boss fights though for the best loot. Dungeon Siege III continues this tradition with an engaging story, interesting characters, and beautiful graphics. The game, however, falls flat on a few notes.
You get to pick a character amongst four with their own unique background story. I chose the Lescanzi female that uses guns for combat. I got a long-range carbine as well as a pistol and shotgun combo backup for close range. As you run around killing enemies you can use a variety of powers that use focus, and you gain this by killing enemies and hitting them. Think of this as mana. Then you have power orbs you can use for special attacks, but these only regenerate when enemies die. These powers vary by character, but they are essential for winning battles. I found combat to be fun and addictive here, but I never really felt I had the upper hand. I ended the game at level 35, did 99% of side quests, and still struggled through some tough fights. I had the best armor and weapons, but always I was struggling. Using my offensive, defensive, and passive powers really helped for healing, staggering enemies, knocking them back, and slowing them down. If you play single player you get a partner (Anjali the fire archon), but there are some problems here.
The game is best played in multiplayer, but the single player AI for your partner is touch and go. When you fall you don’t die until your partner dies, but they can revive you. I had issues where I was in tough fights and she just kept fighting and never came to heal me, then she became overwhelmed and died. This was frustrating because you revert to the last save point, and long boss fights towards the end can make you tear your hair out in frustration. However, the game would be impossible to play without the revive feature so I am grateful for that.
Exploring is very linear with a few branching paths, but at least you won’t get lost thanks to the quest line you can pull up and follow around. Besides, going off the beaten path isn’t worth your time because there’s no “major” loot. Every chest seems to have a few various items and some gold. The armor looks great and shows on your character visually, but most of it was junk. Unless you access a new area the shops will have poor armor, but rarely did I get one that boosted every attribute. Usually, I had to sacrifice attack power for more armor, agility for will, elemental damage for will, and so on. Where is all the good high-level armor at? It doesn’t really exist, and enemies drop armor and weapons that are worse than what is at stores. Dungeon crawlers are all about the awesome loot and Dungeon Siege III is lacking it.
At least the story is interesting with your character trying to recruit legionnaires to stop Jeyne Kessynder’s army. There is dialog choice that affects how the game turns out, and these actually meant something. A choice early on can make a boss fight later easier. My only problem here is that the conversations are dull because you just stare at the characters and usually skip most dialog. The voice acting is good, but that’s no excuse for dull ways of doing dialog. Between each chapter are hand drawn art slides, but they are ugly and I would have liked to see some nice pre-rendered ones.
The graphics are gorgeous with great lighting effects and high-resolution textures. The locations vary immensely and you always look forward to seeing what area you will be in next. The music is great as well with beautiful orchestral scores the following in your footsteps. Dungeon Siege III is worth the bargain bin price these days, and dungeon crawler fans will have a blast here with challenging boss fights, and varied locales to explore. Don’t expect great loot, or even varied enemies because the enemy setup tends to be predictable. Dungeon Siege III is a fun dungeon crawler but could have been better.
Note: The game is compatible with AlienFX for those lucky enough to own an Alienware computer. When your health bar is green all your lights are as well, same when yellow, and then red. This is really neat, but the problem is there is a delay for some reason and it was never patched. Your health will be red, but then your lights are still green. This only happens some times, but nonetheless, it is a cool feature.