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Dungeon Siege III
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Style(s): Third-Person 3D Action RPG
Synopsis: Classic isometric-action/role-playing continues, on home computers and for the first time on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. As in the 2002 original and its sequel, players begin Dungeon Siege III by designing their main hero and choosing a character class. As he moves through the adventure, exploring the world of Ehb and accomplishing quests, the hero may be joined by certain NPCs he meets in his travels, to form a player-controlled party of adventurers. The game can also be played cooperatively, in both same-screen and online multiplayer modes. Character-specific loot drops help to keep the hack-and-slash action flowing. As an alternative to the traditional mouse-and-keyboard control scheme, combat in the cross-platform game can be controlled through battle stances. Different stances prepare a character for different offensive and defensive situations, with three main abilities available in each stance. Players can switch quickly between stances to access different attacks and skills. A selection of new abilities becomes available with experience, allowing a character to be gradually custom-developed for a favorite combat role. As well as their different combat proficiencies, characters have different perspectives on the tumultuous events occurring throughout the land. The player's understanding of the game-world truths and consequences broadens as party members vocalize their sometimes-conflicting concerns, but the group must be guided to work together in order to survive. In good "epic RPG" form, the development of the story is poignantly influenced by decisions that the player makes, which may alter alliances, affect opportunities, and ultimately determine who is victorious and who has been vanquished at the adventure's conclusion. In ages past, the storied Kingdom of Ehb was defended by the virtuous warriors of the legendary 10th Legion. Betrayed by the people they were sworn to protect, soldiers of the Legion have been disgraced and driven underground. As a new darkness looms, the few loyal Legionnaires who remain must regroup and retaliate, to save an untrusting nation from an evil it does not yet fully comprehend. Offering console-friendly adventure in the series' storied setting, this three-quel was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, under consultation with Chris Taylor's Gas Powered Games, creator of the original Dungeon Siege. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 12-page Instruction Manual
The Dungeon Siege series returns after a six-year, hack-and-slash hiatus with a new developer, publisher, and lead platform. While this third installment is still an action role-playing game, it was clearly designed first and foremost as a console title. Compared to the first two computer games in the series, Dungeon Siege III offers neither the freedom nor customizability fans might be expecting. Instead of creating a character from scratch, you instead choose from four pre-defined heroes. Instead of freely exploring the world around you, you instead follow surprisingly narrow paths to your destination. And instead of saving progress anywhere you want, you must first find save points. The limitations are going to be a big sticking point for those looking for something in the tradition of Diablo or Torchlight. The environments offer little interactivity, outside of breaking crates and barrels, and it feels like you are being funneled toward your destination. Those who enjoy these types of games for the exploration and sense of adventure will be disappointed by the relatively small, confined areas. Another issue is the camera, which is positioned above your character. The problem is that it doesn't always give you the best view of the action during battles. Sometimes it will zoom-in on your character while enemies fire projectiles at you from off the screen. This is rather unhelpful. The combat system is otherwise enjoyable, with responsive controls and fast-paced action. Each character specializes in a distinct fighting style that can be further enhanced with equipment, talents, magical abilities, and specializations. The console-style interface feels natural, although one gripe is that you have to tap a button to pick up items instead of automatically scooping them up like a vacuum. While the combat will satisfy one's need to slay mobs of spiders, humans, and monsters, few enemies are tactical experts. If they're not rushing directly toward you, they're standing around waiting to rush directly toward you. Some of the boss battles are frustrating due to the camera limitations and some rather cheap attack moves that must be avoided with near perfect timing. The problems don't stop there. There's support for online co-op play, which is one of the best reasons to play Dungeon Siege III, but like so much of the game, there are limitations. The person who joins your game won't be able to import his or her character and continue to earn experience points, level up, and acquire loot -- they are essentially "renting" one of the host's characters, which all but kills the interest to join random games in the community. The game's replay value suffers as a result; after the 12 or so hours it takes to complete the storyline, there's not much of an incentive to keep playing. The quests are always the same, there's no new game plus option, and the rewards don't improve when you increase the difficulty. While those starved for action-RPGs might enjoy their time with the game, it's hard to look past the rough edges. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.