Getting rid of the traditional party-based system, deep character customizations, and slower strategic format of its past two games, Dungeon Siege III is a refreshing take on the series that provides you with a fast-paced action role-playing experience that is great to share with friends.
Iíve noticed that most action RPG games suffer from an identity crisis and either give you too much fighting and little customization or they bombard you with too many potions and not enough battles. Luckily for us, Obsidian Entertainment and Square Enix have teamed up to give us just the right balance of action and role-playing in a nice looking package.
With the exception of a handful of tough fights spread throughout the game, it's possible to go tumbling through Dungeon Siege III with half of your brain playing and the other half chatting idly to your co-op partner. You simply tap away at the attack button, dodge on those occasions when you see an attack being aimed in your direction, and fall back and use your healing ability when you're hurt.
But don't think this means that Dungeon Siege III is a brain-dead game. It's just an adaptive one. Because your character has up to 11 abilities, as well as charged versions of each of those, and each is best used in a slightly different scenario, trying to play Dungeon Siege III perfectly is a totally absorbing dance of glossy particle effects, small victories and even smaller failures.
If you play on Normal, you're never in too much danger of dying, but you'll have plenty of occasions where you spot at the last second that your health bar is a shred of its full self - and you'll duck out of the fight sucking air through your teeth the whole way.
And Dungeon Siege knows its way around a boss fight. That way just happens to be "run for your life!" Big monsters owe more to action games than RPGs; these brutes don't politely wait for a turn to come around, they come at you fast and furious. Identifying attack patterns and timing dodges is as important as keeping an eye on the stats.
Even with all its frustrations and flawed combat, Dungeon Siege 3 is a well-polished game and can be a good action RPG experience; that's assuming you get used to the gameplay mechanics. Somehow, it still feels satisfying. After you get used to it, it grows on you, so fighting for survival and trying to restore Focus proves to be a rewarding and challenging experience when all's said and done. The single-player campaign could've been a bit longer. Also, we would've appreciated a wider area to explore, more choices and more side-quests. While the lack of potions might be a problem for some gamers, it's not impossible to get used to the gameplay as it is. Just takes a bit of practice, that's all. Notwithstanding the drawbacks, we did enjoy this game and we appreciate the fact that Obsidian Entertainment finally managed to launch a technically sound game. Issues we noticed may easily be addressed in a potential sequel (or reboot or whatever the hell they plan to do). Dungeon Siege has clearly been brought to life and we're double-glad things turned out the way they have. The developers now have firm ground on which to build upon and if they take the time to rethink and address some of the issues, in addition to providing extra content and possibly more open-ended gameplay (or slightly less linear, if you will) then we have no doubt this will continue to be a well-liked franchise in the world of action RPGs.