Dungeon Siege III - game review

Date: 2011-06-24 07:55:00
The review was based on the PC version.

The market of "diablocklons" has recently experienced a renaissance - recently we are dealing with a real flood of more or less successful representatives of this genre. Many companies would like to profit from this trend - so it is hardly surprising that the Dungeon Siege brand is revived by Obsidian Entertainment. The creators of the game went a bit against the tide, not serving another typical chop, but creating something completely unique. Unfortunately, as is the case with exceptional things, they find both ardent supporters and fierce enemies. This is also the case this time.

Dungeon Siege III definitely differs from its predecessors and from the rest of its competitors. The authors tried to combine the classic, "chopped-cut" gameplay with elements typical of RPG games, and even slashers. The "Three" guarantees a lot of enemies, a lot of interesting locations and a few heroes whose development is definitely focused on combat. However, this is not the entire content of the game - there is also a really large amount of dialogue and the ability to complete some tasks in several different ways (including, attention, non-violence!). The icing on the cake is the combat system - very dexterity, based on the use of various sequences of blows and skills. No more simply clicking on your opponent, now combos count!

All this means that orthodox fans of the genre will probably welcome the latest Dungeon Siege with a lot of reserve or even hostility. This can already be seen on internet forums - players are clearly divided into supporters of new solutions and their determined opponents.

The adventure begins in the land of Ehb, known from the previous parts of the cycle. The story begins quite clichéd: the world is about to collapse due to a devastating civil war in which the fate of the entire kingdom is at stake. On one side are religious fanatics led by their saint, and on the other are the royal family. The Tenth Legion, accused of murdering the previous king - and thus causing the conflict, got into the middle of this fight. It is in the ranks of this organization that the player's character gets - its primary goal is to cleanse the honor of the legion and find its other members.

The above description is very template - the similarity to the story told in Dragon Age: Origins is particularly striking. Fortunately, we quickly find out that Obsidian Entertainment has prepared something much better than the plot created by BioWare - the plot has many twists, many of which can surprise quite a bit. The seemingly black and white world turns out to be much more complex, and our role in events is much more interesting than it might seem. Moreover, just like in RPGs, we make many decisions that are important not only for the events that follow, but also for the future of the world in general. Sometimes these are big choices (like sparing an important enemy or killing him), other times they are small (suppressing a strike or joining a trade union).

You can see a significant deviation from the Diablo-style production - some will like it, others will not. For my part, I can write that a fairly large number of dialogues and a really interesting plot are, for me, huge advantages of Dungeon Siege III.

In the game, we can direct the fate of one of the four characters - forget about creating the hero yourself. Contrary to appearances, this is the best solution - all heroes are very diverse, have skills that are typical only for them, they also have their own stories and personalities. And so: we were given the choice of the crazy technician Reinhart Manks (acting as a magician), Katarina who likes firearms, Lucas's honorary warrior and the mysterious archon Anjali. Playing each of them is an adventure of a slightly different sort - they all have their own strengths and weaknesses, and their control is also different. Every player should find something for himself.

Although we have only one hero to control throughout the game, it does not mean that he is completely alone on the battlefield. Our team consists of two characters - we can add one companion to the hero we choose. Nothing stands in the way of creating a squad consisting of melee militant Lucas and the clever Manx, supporting him from a safe distance. Unfortunately, there was no option to switch between heroes - our helper will always be controlled by the computer or another player in co-op mode (up to four people can play at a time). As a consolation, I will say that the computer is doing really well, sometimes saving us from troubles (if we fall, our companion can heal us). An additional advantage is the comments made by the characters - not only silly shouts or pathetic speeches, but also funny inserts that add an interesting color to the game. This means that we share Lucas's love dilemmas, listen to complex Manx lectures, or get seduced by Katarina. The creators deserve much praise for these elements.

It is worth mentioning the character development system - each of them has a specific set of statistics, nine skills, and several unique talents. Fortunately, this issue has not been exaggerated - do not be afraid that you will be drowned in a flood of numbers and modifiers - everything has been presented in a simple and transparent manner. Thanks to this, you can clearly see how our team develops along with each level - each promotion is associated with clear profits in the form of new abilities or better achievements. However, leveling is not the only way to improve heroes - if we often use a skill, we can specialize in it - thanks to this, we will get a chance to make a special combo with its participation.

The setting of the game is more than pretty. While the detail of the models and the number of graphic effects is at an average level, the creativity of the creators in terms of the appearance of the location is really impressive. During our journeys, we visit dark tombs and ghostly estates, we admire the raw beauty of mountain peaks or exquisite, crystal caves. There were also forests, jungles and small towns - made tastefully and with a lot of taste. There are also more sophisticated locations - like the aforementioned city of machines or another dimension (slightly reminiscent of the Oblivion Abyss). The locations and characters have been designed with imagination, they could easily be used as a background for a real paper RPG session.

The audio layer evokes a similar positive feeling. The music is very atmospheric and appropriately elevated - it's just a pity that the soundtrack consists of few songs in total. However, it is difficult to fault the sounds of the environment or the voices of the lectors - they feel their roles quite well, adding a lot of charm to the game (especially Manx).

From the above description, it could be concluded that we are dealing with a perfect production - unfortunately, each monolith will have grooves. The biggest problems of Dungeon Siege III are definitely the interface and the control system - it is clearly visible that the title has been moved alive from the console, so many solutions will offend PC players. While controlling the heroes with the pad is quite comfortable, the keyboard control is a real ordeal. The main problems are: the number of simultaneously used keys (mouse + buttons with skills + modifications of the latter), an uncomfortably positioned camera and a monstrously clunky menu. More than once, we will grind our teeth while moving between windows - even a simple change of equipment requires far too much clicking.