Dungeon Siege III’s story is set in a faraway, mystical world where decades ago the Legion was almost completely wiped out by the evil Jeyne Kassynder. Odo, one of the only surviving Legionnaires, has now gathered together the surviving sons and daughters of The Legion so you can finally defeat Jeyne Kassynder.
DSIII is a role-playing-game in a style that will be familar to anyone who’s played Baldur’s Gate. When you begin the game, you have the choice of one of four characters. Here is where this game is better than most, as all of these are characters are different. Lucas Montbarron, is a master of swordsmanship; Katarina is a skilled marksman/sorcerer; Reinhart Manx is a gifted magician with a unique style, and Anjali is a mysterious woman with a passion for flames à la the Human Torch. Depending on which character you chose, the story will unfold differently. Like many recent RPG’s, the main aspect of DSIII is choice. The decision you make will not only decide the direction the story takes, but also the outcomes of people you interact with and the way they interact with you.
It is this interaction that some players will love and some will hate. Ultimately, you spend a lot of time in DSIII conversing with the people you meet and this helps give the game a rich, thought out story for you to follow. I can understand how some gamers would find these conversations tedious and just want to skip over them to get to the fighting, and if it’s fighting your after, fans of hack and slash are also well looked after here even if, sadly, the world you run around gives you paths to follow, rather than being a sandbox environment.
You begin the game getting use to the various controls and battles techniques. You have at your disposal magic, swords and shields depending on who you are playing with. There’s a degree of depth to the combat in DSIII, if you simply button bash you will quickly die and you need to think about the way in which you will beat certain enemies. Having said that, most enemies will die with a few sword swings or fireballs and the controls do need getting some getting use to.
The music in Dungeon Siege III is well done and makes you believe in its fantasy world. It changes depending on your location, and while the top down view the game uses may not be to everyone tastes, many dyed-in-the-wool RPG fans will enjoy it. The graphics are very smooth and well rendered, and as you follow the main quest and side quests, scavenging loot at every opportunity, the attacks you get to perform are dazzling blurs of pyrotechnics.
When you level up, you are given points towards purchasing proficiencies, talents, and abilities which adds to the customization of your character. This can get confusing, especially if you not a RPG fan, but if you pay attention you will be fine, although, be warned, there’s a lot of reading to do in some parts of the game.
One aspect of DSIII I loved, was the golden balls that dotted the path you should take. As you follow the paths set out for you there are wrong turns to be made, but always there is some loot at the end of the road. The characters and voice acting are very believable and the game sometimes feels like a movie with the beautiful cut scenes and characters interactions. The story is a classic one of good vs. evil and, for me, it works very well.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing this game, and as I wondered through the mazes, hallways, forests and, yes, dungeons, I was not bored at all. I have to say that, while DSIII’s predecessor took me over 40 hours to complete, I was able to finish this game in around 10-11 hours, although, on the plus side for newcomers, you don’t need to have played the previous titles in the series to understand the story here. Dungeon Siege III brings nothing new to the table, but what it does bring is a very polished game that delivers for all RPG fans. I am not really a RPG fan, but this game got me hooked.
Rating 8/10 (Review scores explained).