by Robert Zak
reviewed on PS3
A shame to kill her
The dungeon crawler genre is one that has been seriously under-represented on the home consoles. While it hardly screams ‘INNOVATION,’ there is something about ploughing your way through hordes of fantasy creatures using a plethora of increasingly powerful abilities and weapons: it never gets old. For those people who, like myself, are endeared to this simple yet appealing genre, the news that the third title in the well-renowned Dungeon Siege series was arriving on consoles was warmly received.
Dungeon Siege III has a plot that actually deviates, if only a tiny bit, from the usual medieval-fantasy scenario in which you must save the world from some long-dormant evil force. Here you are a member of the legendary 10th Legion which, in the wake of the death of the Kingdom of Ehb’s King, has been accused of his murder and is being hunted down by a people’s army assembled by one Jeyne Kassinder. She is a ruthless and ambitious woman of the sort rarely seen in video-games. Almost a shame that it is your job to kill her…
Who needs choice when you can just slash everyone up?
The game lets you choose from one of four well-varied heroes; a mage, a warrior, a gun-wielding rogue, and what can best be described as a walking fireball-lady. Sadly, the story isn’t affected much by your choice of character, or by most of the choices you make in the game for that matter. Still, if you do away with the expectation of this being a choice-driven RPG, then there is plenty of fun to be had here with the hack-n-slash, loot-em-up formula that it offers in abundance.
The gameplay depends more on quick reflexes than strategic thinking. Each character has three stances in the game; two of which offer different sets of attacking moves, while the third focuses on defence. The square, triangle and circle buttons activate your abilities, and repeatedly tapping X unleashes your basic attack combos. Holding the L2 button raises your character’s shield, and while in this position you can flick the left analog in any direction to quickly roll/teleport in that direction. All this makes for a dynamic, hit-and-move style of gameplay that’s actually great fun, especially as you’re often fighting at least 7 enemies at any one time.
Looks good (from a distance)
Graphically, Dungeon Siege III is a funny beast. From the default distant perspective, the lighting, shadows, and pleasingly varied environments make it a game that is easy on the eyes. However when you get up close either for dialogue sequences or if you choose to use the unnecessary close-up camera in an attempt to immerse yourself in the game more, the cracks are visible. The textures are flat – fire effects are literally paper-thin walls of flame – and the characters’ faces and movements are very limited.
Fast and fluid combat, a refreshingly traditional Action-RPG.
Poorly developed multiplayer, trivial dialogue.