May 31, 2011
Hands-on Preview: Dungeon Siege 3…..
I wasn’t always a fan of RPGs or ARPGs, but that has been changing as of late. I have enjoyed Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and its sequel, all of the Bethesda games (Elder Scrolls (starting with Morrowind), Fallout 3), the Fable series if you want to call them RPGs of some sort, Torchlight (which I may start my second play through here shortly) and of course anything that comes from that great place in the sky called Bioware as of late (yes, I am still currently enjoying Dragon Age 2). Normally my key genres of choice are action/adventure, racing, FPS, and some sports titles here and there to round it my gaming portfolio. As I grow older though, dungeon crawling, gathering large amounts of loot like swag at a convention, and stat and skill tracking are becoming more and more satisfying. I feel I am keener on these elements because I feel like I am getting more out of my game and building characters instead of taking on predetermined avatar. Enough about me already lets to the game.
Dungeon Siege 3 marks the first DS game to be published by SquareEnix and to be developed by Obsidian Entertainment. To get this out of the way because I heard quite a bit of groaning when I mentioned Obsidian, always know for great ideas but failed execution and QA, this game is coming along quite well and from the demo I played, fears can be put aside. Now, that is not to say that there are some gripes I had, but the demo of DS3 was less buggy than all of Fallout: New Vegas (zing!). It’s your typical hack and slash with loot and character building abound, and enough lens flairs to make J.J. Abrams jealous. The combat system is close in comparison with Dragon Age 2s system, (mind you I played this on the 360 early this morning) A would be your typical attack button and X, Y, B would be your skills that you would acquire from leveling. The Left trigger blocks while activating a new tray of traits mapped to the three buttons previously mentioned; the left bumper switches between attack styles. I played as Lucas Montbaron, one of only two characters available in the demo, which plays like a typical warrior class. Lucas has two load outs, one using a sword and shield, the other using a larger two handed weapon. While equipping each weapon type your powers tray loads with custom attacks and spells for each type. The right bumper is used as an action button and to pick up loot and is by far the best idea to come from this game. Playing a lot of Borderlands recently, I can’t stand having X pick things up, reloading, and opening crates at the same time, this small concept works wonders in this game. While whaling away at an enemy just a tap of the bumper and just like that nab some loot while not doing something stupid amongst a hectic battle. The camera pans out and makes the game look reminiscent of Baldur’s Gate or you can have it up close via Dragon Age. This observation was taking during my time with the game alone. I have yet to try the co-op and have no idea if the camera is static with more people to concentrate on. The action is solid, there is little I have to gripe about in the combat department, my main gripes come from the menus; there are just TOO MANY DAMN MENUS! I know it is a RPG at heart but has streamlining menus ever hurt anyone? There is a main page, then a page for armor and weapons with around 8 to 10 tabs on that page, a page for upgrades and those have tabs on them as well. I know the game wants to be deep but make it accessible without a learning curve for your menu system. The only other real gripe I have and this is just a personal one, new armor you acquire does not change your appearance. I know this is stupid to complain about but damn it, if I pick up a dragon helm, I want it to look different than the turkey I am wearing. All of the weapons have a different aesthetic approach to them but really? Is armor that hard to conjure up?
I really like the game other than my few gripes I had, I am going to give it another shot later today and hopefully can get some friends to join the loot hunt as well. I was looking for a good action RPG to play with some friends over the long summer months and this may be the one I choose, Daggerdale was in the running for this until I got my hands on that unpolished turd. Dungeon Siege 3 releases for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on June 21st and the demo is out now on Xbox 360 and will be available for the PS3 and PC come June 7th.
Dungeon Siege 3