Dungeon Siege 3 Review
I was feeling nostalgic a few days and remembered playing a game on my friend's Pentium 4 with TNT Graphics, Dungeon Siege, It brought back a flood of memories and I proceeded to go and "acquire" it. The first time playing through, I realised one thing, it was helluva fun and it was much much more tougher than anything I have ever played in the past 2 years. I have died at least more than ten times, it wasn't just about clicking it was about positioning, timing and skill, I was frankly taken aback that a game released 7 years ago was so much fun. There were no frequent save points, with them being so far apart than I was accustomed to, which was fine actually. After hearing that Dungeon Siege 3 released I was ecstatic to go and get it, so I ordered it from FlipKart for Indian Rs. 622.
This time Square Enix of Just Cause 2 fame has taken it upon themselves to publish the game, while Obsidian responsible for Fallout 3 Las Vegas, Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic all very successful RPG's. So I was pretty excited to see how the game will turn out.
So let's get straight into it.
I have established some sort of a format by which I will write game reviews, so please don't mind.
| Pretty exciting cover no?
The story begins with the telling of the Legion which united the whole kingdom of Ehb, then when the king died, his daughter turned evil and started hunting down the entire Legion. His death caused turmoil and he was more than a king, he was the force uniting the kingdom, and when things started to fall apart, the royal bitch starts a genocide against the Legion, we (all of the playable characters) are the members, you guessed correctly, of the Legion. We rebuild it and bring a new age of prosperity-blah blah...
The story is generic at best, perhaps the best story was of its predecessor, which showed us working as a mercenary FOR the evil guy. Which was pretty cool.
Let's meet the characters shall we?
Although there are four characters, while playing offline, you can have only 2 characters which is kind of a let down considering that the previous installations had provisions for upto 4 characters. Bummer...
The story is a typical Evil vs. Good scenario, quite similar DA:O, the execution was what made Dragon Age Origins simply the best RPG I have ever played. And quite frankly the game falls flatly on its face in the story department, the voice sync is poor, with a shocking lack of expressions. I am not saying each and every game has to have expressive gameplay like L.A. Noire, but even when Odo mentions the slaughter of his own kind, he says it without any remorse on his face at all, I mean a simple sad face would've done the trick...
Some basic expressions would've been appreciated:
So, originality and execution wise...
I will say one word which will make you all groan in unison. - Consolified.
The controls are as follows: W and S for moving while the A and D buttons are for moving the camera. With LMB for attacking and RMB can also be used for moving, here's the kicker.
You can't change the controls.
How are you feeling now? Something burning in deepest depths of your body? Yeah, same feeling here...
It is a simple point and click affair, but the controls are screwed to the point where you are forced to get an Xbox 360 controller or quit stop playing the game altogether. I chose the latter.
But one of the key points that drove me forward was the loot, you almost always want to get better gear and the shops themselves don't stock the rare items, so you roam around looking for a fight. Depth of the combat engine:
The depth of the combat engine isn't always a necessity but its nice to have a complex one if the other aspects of the game fail. Till date, DMC3 boasts probably the best combat engine I have ever played with. On to Dungeon Siege 3, there are several invincible frames while rolling which can be abused. There are however reload cancels and swing cancels which come in handy, its basically like the pump cancel in BC2, you switch to your heavy weapon, attack, switch back to your primary and then revert back to the heavy. It makes for almost instant firing/attacking. And adds a superficial depth to the game.
As you could probably glean from the above paragraph, the game really isn't difficult to the point where you want to throw the keyboard at the wall, I certainly did while playing the game's predecessor.
What really bugs me is the distance between save points...
15 seconds later...
Audio and Video
Although the characters lips may not sync with what the character is saying the voice acting is actually pretty good. Martin Guiscard, Katarina and Odo sound great. The background score is pretty good, nothing award-winning. Typical classic mixed with sad music. The graphics on the other hand are nothing short of brilliant, the game engine is designed in such a way that it loads the path you are taking while you are playing the game, so its not uncommon to experience lag
while playing even when on medium. That way, there are no loading screens (Yes, I am looking at you Portal 2) and it is a seamless experience.
The zoomed in character models are well-detailed with textures that aren't too well detailed, but nothing to complain about, this is definitely a step forward in the RPG graphics genre.
So in the graphics department, Dungeon Siege 3 wins hands down. :D
Instead of boring you with a wall of text, I shall attach a single image that will explain to you the state of the Dungeon Siege 3's multiplayer scene.
Of course there is an option to host a public game, which I promptly did. And was joined by a guy with the Steam Name "Gulp" who sang, spoke in Czech/German/Polish and insulted through the Raven Rill's quest, and then rage quit when we both died.
So yeah, if you are buying this because you read it has 4 player co-op, then forget it. Unless of course, you have friends who are willing to shell out Rs. 622 each and get a copy and then play, but frankly it isn't worth it.
Offline co-op is a much better experience, but its like Vcop 2's co-op, the other player has to make do with the keyboard, which really is a pain to play on.
So finally after a particularly painful week of playing Dungeon Siege 3, and comparing it with its predecessors which, if you had the patience to read through the whole review, I have done a lot. It really proves something, slap on some game engine with ambient lighting, occlusion and MSAA and brilliant models, on a RPG game with nothing going for it, all you have in your hand is a big steaming heap of fail that just looks nice.
So concluding this review, I would say at the current price point, I wouldn't exactly suggest this game for those looking for an RPG, I would rather point you towards Dungeon Siege 2 and Legends of Aranna expansion, which can be "acquired" at very high speeds quite easily. Pros:
1. Looks pretty.
2. It has Katarina.
3. Loot system keeps you entertained for some time.
4. Voice acting is actually pretty good, pity the sync is poor. Cons:
1. Horrible controls.
2. Story is nothing spectacular.
3. Voice acting is sometimes really out of sync.
4. Combat system.
In the end, this game has shattered my hopes of a decent successor to the classic Dungeon Siege 2. It's a decent game, but not worth the money you have to pay for it now.