Dungeon Siege III Hands-On Preview

We have a treat for the Dungeon Siege fans as we got to take a little walk through of Dungeon Siege III while visiting Obsidian Entertainment offices last week.  We were able to play through the first level of the game and get a feel for the once PC game (beside a brief showing on the PSP) that is slated to be released sometime this year for the PC, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.  Now this game isn’t just geared towards the hardcore action RPG fan or the novice action RPG fan, but does offer a great game for both for of those core gamers and for those of you that are just wanting to try out an action RPG for the first time Dungeon Siege III is going to be for you.

Before we delve into the game I do want to touch on the multiplayer aspect of the game as you will be able to drop-in and drop-out of your friends games without any noticeable interruption.  The multiplayer is not a split-screen multiplayer but  relies on the camera to track the players while you are playing.  I was very surprised by the look of the multiplayer and the tracking of the two characters that were on screen.  With it’s multiplayer and action packed RPG gameplay this will be one you must check out.  Now we are still unsure of a demo for the game but if there is one we will let you know as soon as we find out.

Now on to my hands on preview with Dungeon Siege III.  The game brings you into the drama of the fall of the 10th Legion as most of the 10th Legion has have been hunted down and killed, but some still remain and scattered descendants of the legion are being summoned by Odo.  I began my first play through with Lucas a warrior, as I began my first journey to see what has taken place and I was briefed by Odo that we must find Anjoli also a descendant of the 10th legion. (You can also start out as Anjoli in which you will be searching for Lucas).  You are taken through what seems like gameplay you would expect from an RPG as you wield your sword and bring your enemy down with a crashing blow, but without the point and click just the fluid movement of using a controller on your favorite console.  This isn’t one of those games that you will have to take the time out to learn all the controls as you just pick it up and start playing.

I am not going to spoil the plot of what I played during our preview of Dungeon Siege III but what I am going to tell you about some of the features and feels of the game.

Right from the beginning the game pulls you in not only with a great background story but also with great graphics and sounds and it makes the game very appealing right from the time you start it up.  The game is fast moving and you would expect to find some frame rate issues and such, but from what I played I could not find any.  I even attempted to loss my character behind some of the massive outcrops of rocks and valleys, but I couldn’t the camera continued to find me and kept me from getting lost in the world of the unseen that many of us have faced while playing our favorite RPG or even open world game.  The Onyx engine that Obsidian used making this game is a tailored fit as far as I am concerned and a lot of work has been placed into the detail of that engine to not only make it work but to give us a playable game.

Now the leveling system may not be one the hardcore RPG fan will appreciate at first because it just seems to simple but as you get into leveling your character it has a lot of grit for those players to customize their character, but easy enough for those that aren’t sure of what attributes your character should have.  The leveling system will allow that new RPG player a level playing field as it is an easy to learn system.

Breakables throughout. What’s an RPG without breakables in the world.  Breaking barrels or pots may just lead you to a treasure or sword you were looking for.  Let’s not forget when laying the smacketh down upon your enemy that may lead to them dropping great armor or maybe even a gold bar or two and let’s not forget to pick up the green orbs to replenish your health.

Changing your fighting stance in the game is so easy during battle I was able to switch from my two-hand sword to my short sword and shield flawlessly and on the fly and while doing this my character did not stop fighting and loss valuable hit points during the transition.  This is something we all hate as we change weapons or go into our inventories just to be beaten half to death.

That brings me to inventory management.  The inventory management is a key feature for RPG players and should not be overlooked by any means.  Of course you have a limited number of spots in you inventory so picking up everything throughout the world could either fill your inventory up with things you may not need but on the flipside it will get you a pretty coin at a merchant or will allow you to keep a great piece of armor for your character to sport at a later time.  This with ease of navigation through your inventory makes this a valuable piece of the game.

Combat was easy enough as striking your opponent is as easy as a press of a button, but there is no target system to speak of.  Now this may sound like a turn off for some, but this system works fine as long as you are pointing in the direction of your foe, you will attack that enemy and not be scattered and swinging wildly about hoping you hit someone.  This is another one of those great features Obsidian prides themselves in and will make this an integral part of battle.

Dungeon Siege III contains a lot of depth and will provide hours of unique gameplay that will not disappoint.  When I wrapped up playing the game for the day all I could think of is what will the next levels contain.  The graphics throughout were a pleasure and the rich textures are appealing to the eye, I didn’t know what to focus on next while playing.  The overall gameplay just wasn’t a button masher as you had to also take a defensive stance to survive some of the larger battles and using your different fighting stances prove to be very helpful as you will be changing up mid fight to fight your way to the next level.

Be sure to stay tuned as we will be bringing you an interview with George Ziets and Rich Taylor both from Obsidian Entertainment.

For more information about Dungeon Siege III head over to their website.

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  • wow, how i love the Dungeon Siege series and this look immense especially the drop in, drop out multiplayer

  • Brian Heitzenrater (FrehleyzComet)

    This is on my radar. Great write up Scott. I love me some rpg’s. 🙂