Review: Dungeon Siege III

Aug 14, 2011

Obsidian takes the action-oriented franchise to new heights in this installment of the series and unfortunately missed a few steps leading the genre back on it’s heels and plummeting to a sad low place on my list of games to play.

As I popped in the game, I am welcomed by a gorgeous setting and character selection screen. At first cycling through the list of character heroes felt rewarding, then my curiosity fell as there was not much detail into the four heroes and the similarities and differences focused more on what attacks I wanted to spam and how hard I wanted hand to hand combat to be and less about what type of player I wanted to bring into the world. Once the story began my fears were realized and I then felt cheated as it didn’t really matter who I picked.

You are thrown into a world engulfed in flames, amidst a few NPC’s and a burning manor house to which you must traverse to your escape. Camera angles were awkward and combat unrewarding. Button mashing, at least at this point in the game is really all it takes, save for playing on the hardest difficulty, to get from one point to another and clear the enemies in your path. This is no Devil May Cry, or God of War by those standards, at least the moves are flashy, but DS3 seemed slow, deliberate and unnatural as my female heroine slammed enemies with her staff and lit some on fire as combat moves appeared almost in slow motion.

Let me back up and confirm your previous thoughts of the first two games. Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege II were not too complex, the game primarily was just attacking and popping potions to make sure you didn’t die and not much on top of that. Compared to those previous titles, DS3 in terms of combat is more involved but not to the degree that a game in this genre should be or that did the franchise a service. The combat is two dimensional at best and killing one or many didn’t excite me or give me a sense of accomplishment.

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The visuals in DS3 are done quite well and this never got old. One limitation to this though is the small environment. The camera and narrow maps, really provides too much structure to the scope of the world this game takes place in and doesn’t really allow you to look around and enjoy what is around you other than what is immediately on the screen. By the same token the camera takes you so far back that details if seen are dismissed and do not hold any weight to your exploratory curiosity.

At times I felt like I was playing Fable, as several references were apparent to the warrior monk-like charter-houses of Albion and the Order than protected the surrounding area, complete with living quarters, opening quest areas in the forest and the ever present old guy inside providing wisdom and guidance to all the young heroes. This really put a sour taste in my mouth as I felt like I have been there and done that and the uniqueness of this world was now out the window.

One redeeming quality to this game is that the mechanics of the early dungeon experiences felt somewhat like old school RPG’s and were less linear than I expected. Also I was relatively pleased with the dialogue between characters and that all of what I have experienced were actually voiced well.

The item/loot system is terrible. I can’t sugar coat anything about it or tell you that the enthusiast will enjoy the item system more than just anybody, bottom line is that a rookie on the development team put together a bad system and you just have to deal with being disappointed. Not just loot drops, but treasure chests, breakables and stores provide little opportunity to become attached to your gear and form any preference into how you want to be equipped or how those item models look on your character. The strengths and weakness can be viewed when determining an items usefullness to you but the stats hold no value as you basically just equip what has more “green” arrows on it than “red” ones. That really sucks!

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The item system in DS3 actually made the rest feel like an obvious grind and after three days of playing have little to no desire to earn trophies or experience anymore of the game other than seeing one of the few bosses that are ravaging the land and how the story was tied into the character and the battle itself. So far the story feels decent but does not redeem the shortcomings. One major one being the multiplayer experience, I can’t even go into this because it’s so lame, don’t get this game for multiplayer!

Normally I completely finish a game prior to letting others know whats up, but I am without a doubt, from what I have experienced so far that this game falls way short of my expectations and I couldn’t help but let those who haven’t played it that may be thinking of picking this up, to wait, hold onto their money and get some insight beforehand. If it wasn’t for the polished graphics and decent story, this game would have fallen straight on it’s face and though this may seem odd after reading my rant on all the bad things, DS3 wouldn’t be a bad game to pick up. The value at this time isn’t there and those interested should look at picking this up from a friend or buying new or used around $20-$25. At that price, you really get something good for what you pay for but it is a far shot for me to say it is worth $30 or more, I just don’t see it.

Purchase @ $30

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