Dungeon Siege 3 - All News
Thursday - January 12, 2012
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun Review @ GamingNexus
GamingNexus has a review of Obsidian's Dungeon Siege 3 DLC, Treasures of the Sun. The rating is 'C-':
Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun is a very straightforward expansion--it simply offers more Dungeon Siege III for players to enjoy. It won't change any minds, so I can really only recommend this for those who truly liked the previous outing. It wasn't enough to drag me back in any sort of meaningful way, and I'm sure it'll be a faded memory in a few weeks.
Source: Blues News
Saturday - November 19, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun Review @ WP
Another Treasures of the Sun review has popped up, this time at Worthplaying with a score of 8.5/10:
The actual gameplay is more of the same Dungeon Siege action, with few new twists. There's a new setting, but you'll mostly see the same foes in new garb. A few of the fights are genuinely distinct, but in general, déjà vu quickly sets in, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. The DLC is about as long as the first act of the game and has a comparable variety of areas. Those who paid $50 (PC) or $60 (consoles) are getting about as good a bang for their buck as they did with the game itself, as the DLC costs 800 Microsoft points, or $10.
Friday - November 18, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun Reviews
Here are a couple of Treasures of the Sun reviews courtesy of the Obsidian site. First, WeGotThisCovered with a score of 4/5:
In addition to creating a lengthy and interesting new quest line with Treasures of the Sun, Obsidian Entertainment went an extra couple of miles in an attempt to flesh out their fantasy experience. First off, the game’s level cap was raised from thirty to thirty-five, adding more reason to battle every ferocious beast in sight. Secondly, new blessing-based abilities were added alongside some disturbing and deadly new creature types. Players can also transmute special gems into weapons, in order to make them elementally proficient. While all of this extra stuff is a hit, there’s one more change that may become a favourite of Dungeon Siege III veterans. For the first time, character skills can be reset and re-done. If you feel that your warrior is lacking in a certain category, then that can easily be fixed. It’ll cost a lot of money for your follower’s stats to be re-done, however. That is unless they’re player-controlled in up to four-player cooperative fashion.
...and another called SavingContent, also at 80%:
This extension to Dungeon Siege III does not have a direct relation to the main story and so going into it early or late will not have an overall impact on outcomes. There’s a bit of a disconnect playing the story here as there isn’t much overlap as there’s a separate threat to eliminate here. As indicated by the title and the screenshot – the new locale that varies wildly from the main game is set in the Aranoi Desert. It’s full of sweeping sands and the hot, desert sun beating down on you and your companion. Environments differ in each area you enter by adjusting the time of day giving a different type of feel to the same area.
Thursday - November 10, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun Review @ Destructoid
This is the first review of DS3: Treasures of the Sun that we've tracked. The score from Destructoid is a modest but serviceable 7.5/10 and here's a sample:
If you didn't care much for Dungeon Siege III in the first place, Treasures of the Sun is not going to change your mind. It doesn't offer anything mind-blowing that magically turns Dungeon Siege III into a masterpiece. But if you thought it was great or even just alright game, this DLC offers a pretty neat package with additional features and some new powers to toy with. The story is far more interesting than anything Dungeon Siege III had to offer, even if most of it is easily overlooked in favor of just mashing those buttons. One choice at the end of the game hints at a larger impact beyond the storyline of Dungeon Siege III, which makes you wonder if Obsidian has plans for a future title that will be affected by this choice.
Tuesday - October 25, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun Released
The Treasues of the Sun DLC for Dungeon Siege III has arrived on Steam with virtually no fanfare that we've noticed. A bit from the description:
In Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun, players will extend their journey and travel beyond the borders of Ehb to an all-new environment: the Aranoi Desert. On their search for a lost Legion hero, players will fight through hordes of new villains only to find a forgotten abbey hiding a long-lost secret: the greatest treasure of the Azunite faith.
Monday - October 17, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has a review of Dungeon Siege III. As usual of GameBanshee, there are no scores, but "mediocre" would probably sum up their opinion of the game:
Since characters gain so many of their possible upgrades during the course of the campaign, character development isn't all that exciting. I played all four characters all the way to the end of the game, and for each one I always got to the point where I didn't care whether they leveled or not because there weren't any more upgrades that I was interested in. To me, if an RPG doesn't generate discussions somewhere about possible character builds, then it's barely worth playing, and I doubt anybody out there is agonizing over their choices in Dungeon Siege III.
They have also launched their subsite with a database and walkthrough.
Saturday - September 10, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Community Interview Part 3
The third installment of the community interview with Nathaniel Chapman is up at the Obsidian blog. He answers a couple of Dungeon Siege 3 questions and moves on to some general areas. A sample:
I play the game on PC, and really like it there (the keybinding helped me, though I only made very minor changes from default). Did you talk about simply not doing the game for PC? This forum suggests to me that PC gamers were always going to be angsty about a game on PC and console, particularly if the game was going to go for such a streamlined skills tree (no complaints from me there). PC folks were always going to yell “consolitis” because it offends their deep and complicated dignities about their mode of entertainment. I almost hate to ask, but is PC still worth it?
Sure, PC (generally speaking) is worth it. The questions are really the type of game, the budget, the control scheme, and the opinions of the PC market – PC gamers are very passionate about the platform and what they do and don’t want from PC games. Ultimately those are really the same considerations, when you’re developing for any other platforms, but in some cases they are magnified on PC.
One note: I do disagree that we have a more streamlined level-up system when compared to the earlier Dungeon Siege games. The level up and skill system from DS was actually quite simple – simpler than ours, for sure. I often think we’re really compared to games like WoW and Diablo 2 when people say “This isn’t as complex as Dungeon Siege.”. Now, that’s okay, people can compare us to whoever they want – but the issue isn’t that our mechanics are not as complex as Dungeon Siege 1 or 2, but instead that we’re not as complex as [insert Hardcore PC RPG here].
Thursday - September 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Treasures of the Sun DLC Announced
Square Enix has announced a Dungeon Siege III DLC titled Treasures of the Sun. The pack is due in October for $9.99 and here's the press release, courtesy of Blue's:
DUNGEON SIEGE III Downloadable Content Details Revealed
DUNGEON SIEGE III: TREASURES OF THE SUN Adds Hours of Hack ‘n’ Slash Gameplay, New Story Arc and Action-Packed Quests
LOS ANGELES (September 1, 2011) — Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, announced today a robust downloadable content (DLC) pack for DUNGEON SIEGE® III will be available in October. Introducing several additional hours of gameplay, players will enjoy more of the World of Ehb with DUNGEON SIEGE III: TREASURES OF THE SUN™ as it offers a brand new plot arc, additional quests, new enemies and tons more loot.
In DUNGEON SIEGE III: TREASURES OF THE SUN, players will extend their journey and travel beyond the borders of Ehb to an all-new environment: the Aranoi Desert. On their search for a lost Legion hero, players will fight through hordes of new villains only to find a forgotten abbey hiding a long-lost secret: the greatest treasure of the Azunite faith.
Further supporting the hours of new content in the expansion, developer Obsidian Entertainment has introduced several refinements to the systems and mechanics of DUNGEON SIEGE III:
- New abilities: Players will be able to attain mastery of the arcane through powerful new attack, defense and healing abilities.
- Level up to 35: DUNGEON SIEGE III: TREASURES OF THE SUN will further power up players by raising DUNGEON SIEGE III's existing level cap from 30 to 35.
- More monsters and items: Players will encounter new monsters in the Aranoi Desert—including mummies and giant skeletons—and will find more powerful items, adding to the thousands already available in DUNGEON SIEGE III.
- Reallocate Talent & Proficiency Points: Players can reallocate points spent in Proficiencies and Talents, enabling changes to character customization throughout the campaign.
- New Enchanting System: Transmuting items now gives players chances at gaining powerful new Vials that allow them to enhance their weapons and armor through the DLC’s new enchanting system.
DUNGEON SIEGE III: TREASURES OF THE SUN is anticipated for release in October for $9.99. Players can download the DLC via Steam® (Windows PC), Xbox LIVE online entertainment network (Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft) and the PlayStation®Network.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - August 31, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review @ Worthplaying
Dungeon Siege 3 has been reviewed at Worthplaying, for a score of 7.5/10:
Fortunately, Dungeon Siege III doesn't skimp on one thing during these long backtracks: encounters. You may be frustrated by the long hike back, but you certainly won't be bored. Even if you encounter the same spiders and bandits, the basic play of hacking, slashing, shooting, fireballing or beating them to death never really gets old. Obsidian Entertainment got this aspect right; character animations are quick, fluid and synced up nicely to mouse movements, maintaining the speed that separates single-player action-RPGs from the MMO market. Downtime between encounters is just long enough to be punchy, keeping the highly frequent combat from growing tiresome, which heightens the effect.
Another thing the game gets right is the art style. Environments, while not always unique, are consistently well designed, rarely repetitive (this helps with the map issues) and almost never fall below "pretty," regardless of your system settings. The camera does its job, other than perhaps overzealous use of zooming in when adjacent to a wall, which can get in the way. Environments have a reasonable variety to them, including effective use of environmental contrasts to keep things from being too repetitive. This also extends to characters; models are stylized and varied, even for the generic NPCs in town.
Monday - August 29, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Community Interview Part 2
The second part of the community interview with Nathaniel Chapman on Dungeon Siege 3 is now up. A sample:
Camera Angle. It’s probably the top complaint since you fixed the “keybinding” issue… or rather lack thereof, so can we expect any camera improvements? A few more zooms and angles maybe?
The game is built for the camera angles that are featured in the game – and not for others. It’s not likely that we would be able to add additional camera angles in the future without introducing a large volume of bugs, so unfortunately we aren’t likely to do it.
Friday - August 26, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Community Interview
The Obsidian blog has the first of a series of community interviews with their developers -the first features Nathaniel Chapman answering questions on Dungeon Siege 3. There are some meaty answers such as this partial snip of a long response to WorstUsernameEver's question on why they didn't continue the series' party-based mechanic:
Personally, I’d argue that the KotOR and Dragon Age games are not successful directly as a result of their party mechanics or their combat mechanics generally. Instead, I believe they are successful because they have great production values and present high-quality settings, stories, and characters that players find engaging. This is backed up by what you see reviewers highlighting as positives in their reviews for the games.
Having played a lot of more complex party-based combat games (like Icewind Dale or the BG games, or Final Fantasy Tactics) I’ve noticed that there’s actually a substantial difference between “Party Based Combat Games with Story” (like IWD or BG2) and “Story Games with Party Based Combat” (like KotOR and DA). It sounds like semantics, but the difference is that in Dragon Age or KotOR, combat is the stuff you do in between the meat of the game, which is dialogue, exploration, and character interaction. Compare that with IWD, where clearly the combat gameplay is the primary focus and the dialogue, exploration and character interaction is supplemental to that focus.
So, because of that difference, I’d argue Dragon Age and KotOR are successful because of reasons other than their party-based gameplay. And, our ability to succeed at the elements KotOR and DA succeed at – that is, crafting an engaging story, setting and characters – is partly independent of our particular combat mechanics. So when I look at the success of games like Dragon Age and KotOR, the message I take away is not “party based games are successful.” Instead, it is “story-driven games with engaging characters and high production values are successful.”
And, due to the nature of the series, we knew were going to rely more on combat vs. storytelling to get you through the game. So, those things added up in my mind such that I didn’t feel the success of other party based games was a strong reason to pursue party-based gameplay in DS3.
Friday - July 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 8
Another batch of reviews for Obsidian's latest game have seen the light of day. I'll quote from three of them and list the rest:
First up is The Adrenalise Vault - 3/5 - Play It. A snip from the conclusion:
Having beaten it I am not at all inclined to think that my time was wasted, I got a fair dose of reasonably good entertainment, and I have nothing to complain about. Price-wise, however, I would probably not be overly willing to pay $50 for it. Waiting for a sale or a price-drop sounds much more reasonable to me, but then again, I am not a fan of this particular genre
Then we have Beef Jack - 5.5/10 A snip from the conclusion:
Dungeon Siege III is toast without butter, beer without alcohol, and Bruce Wayne without his Batman alter-ego: it’s entirely functional, but entirely uninspiring at the same time. It just feels like a Friday afternoon at work, where the clock has become trapped in a time vortex that leaves you longing for an end that never comes.
Dungeon Siege III does everything you would expect from an action RPG. It’s not flashy, but it doesn’t try to be. Instead, players get a solid game with a compelling story and a quest that’ll make you want to keep playing until the end. I’m definitely looking forward to raising the banner of the 10th Legion and defending the Kingdom of Ehb again in the future.
And the others:
Thursday - June 30, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Patched
Obsidian has launched a new blog format and the first item - other than a greeting from Feargus - is news of a Dungeon Siege 3 patch that offers keybinding and strafing. I received a Steam update for DS3 yesterday so presumably it has already been released:
With Dungeon Siege III‘s release across the world, we’ve been very busy reading what everyone’s saying and we’re listening! Two of the most talked about features folks have wanted for the PC version are coming within the next week in a free Steam update:
Keybinding: Don’t like some or all of the default key controls in DS3? Fear not! With the new keybinding tab in the Options menu, you’ll be able to remap the controls to however you prefer them. Each control option has two bindable keys, so if you like having one function controlled by two different keys, that is available as well. (As an example, some people might like having both W and Up Arrow as options to move forward.)
Move Left and Right: In addition, we’ve added two new controls that will allow you to move left or right (think strafing.) For example, if you’d rather have A and D on your keyboard move your character left and right respectively instead of rotate the camera, you’ll now be able to set that as well.
Even though Dungeon Siege III has shipped, we’re not done! There’s still a lot planned on the horizon – stay tuned!
Wednesday - June 29, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup #7
Another handful of Dungeon Siege 3 reviews from various sources.
GameZone enjoyed it a lot, awarding 8.5/10:
If you’re looking for an enjoyable, dungeon-crawling, hack-and-slash, action role-playing game that two people can play on the same screen, then this game is right up your alley. To be honest, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a game of its genre in quite some time. The game takes place in the same lands as the other Dungeon Siege games, but aside from some references and evolved environments, you would never know. The story stands completely independent from the other games.
Gaming Illustrated were around the same mark, awarding 83%:
Dungeon Siege III is a really solid game and while not a total linear step forward for the Dungeon Siege III franchise, it’s a fun game that offers tons of great action and combat. The graphics are outstanding and the audio in the game has been done really well, too. The storyline won’t grip you and become the central focus of the game, but it’s just good enough to keep the game together. The gameplay is solid, offering good controls on all platforms if you use a controller and if you are on PC, it’s also recommended but utilizing a keyboard and mouse turned out to be fine after some getting used to. The multiplayer turned out to be the most disappointing aspect of the game, but overall, we really liked Dungeon Siege III and thought it was a really fun game to play.
OXM were almost overwhelmed by the complexity but managed to recover for an 8.5/10:
And what of the core gameplay? It’s all about the goodies. En route to the level cap of 30, you’ll attack, kill, loot, and repeat, gaining talents, abilities, skills, and proficiencies that allow you to kit out your hero to your specific preference. The many layers of these buffs and talents is a bit overwhelming at first, but before long you’ll have a firm handle on it. The same could be said of the Equip screen, where you’ll spend a lot of time trying on all of the new gear you scoop up from fallen foes. As soon as you realize that the best item is always at the top of the inventory list, you’ll be fine.
...and Basharran writes in with a Dutch review at Tweakers.net, where the score is 6/10, and apparently the game isn't worthy of the "Dungeon Siege" title.
Monday - June 27, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review @ RPS
Alec Meer has written his thoughts on Dungeon Siege 3 for Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "Mixed", is probably a fair description of the article:
Still though: too often the overall experience is as dry as a plywood sandwich. For every power that does something visually over the top (like dog-summoning or turning into a human torch), there are two that just emit a small purple glow and change a number for a few seconds. There are a reasonable number of side-quests (quite a few of which you’ll need to do in order to level up enough for the main quests), but they’re almost always long, samey kill-treks through more disguised corridors rather an an adventurous diversion in and of themselves. Some of the deathly-dry conversations between missions offer response options, but bar a few that have a poorly-explained positive effect on your companion NPC, it pretty much doesn’t matter what words you click on. This is a game about pressing the left mouse button until everything’s dead – it might have been better if it had concentrated on making that element as glossy and varied as possible, instead of cramming in unengaging cutscene filler.
But also this:
Of course, for all its shortcomings I played it for hours anyway, stayed up too late, got RSI, ate only chemically-flavoured snackfoods… That’s how these things go, isn’t it? It’s a solid enough hack’n’slash game with varied environments and some inventive skills, and that certainly kept me playing – but when you can pick up something like Torchlight or Titan Quest for pennies (both of which are also far more attractive and characterful), it’s really hard to recommend dropping £30-odd on this. If a patch that fixes up the PC control and display oversights and rethinks the presentation of stats does show up, I’ll certainly feel a lot more fond of Dungeon Siege III. For now though: resume frustrated waiting for Diablo III.
Sunday - June 26, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 6
Another round of review for Obsidian's Dungeon Siege 3 game has appeared. I'll quote from two of them and list the others:
First up is The Escapist - 3.5/5
The combat in Dungeon Siege is fairly shallow, relying more on fast fingers than strategic genius. It compensates for this simplicity with flashy special abilities that can wreak havoc on the battlefield, but require an expenditure of Focus. It might be tempting to hoard your Focus until the really important fights, but the only way to master your abilities and gain access to their stronger "empowered" versions, is by using them repeatedly.
Then we have GameDynamo - 86/100
Playable characters are basic: tanks, magic users, and ranged attackers, with the single-player mode employing an AI sidekick. Unfortunately, the single-player side of Dungeon Siege III eventually wears down and becomes yet another grindy lootfest. However, the game shines significantly more in co-op mode. Playing in four-player co-op keeps the game fresh and entertaining.
And then the others
The Sacramento Bee - 3/4
Dungeon Siege 3 - Analysis for Performance @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer did a performance analysis of DS3 to find out which of the three versions would perform best. And while the PC version did come out on top, they also noted that many would be put off by the keyboard and mouse control. They also talk about the difference in three versions in relation to Obsidian's Onyx Engine. A sample:
There's a very definite sense that the PC game is the "master" version of Dungeon Siege III. It does everything the console releases set out to do and just a little more besides. In comparison with the console versions, it's interesting to note that the mild technical compromises Obsidian made for the 360 and PS3 releases are completely absent in the PC game, which has the best of both worlds. Actual visual improvements to the game are somewhat few and far between, but they are there if you look for them. Anti-aliasing is selectable, with 2x, 4x and 8x MSAA as options, but perhaps because of the post-processing effects blitzing the effect after it has been applied, the overall effect is very similar to the console versions.
Thursday - June 23, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 5
Yet more review have surfaced for this game. I'll quote from two of them and list the others.
First up is NY Daily News 3/5
Not here. For some odd reason, Obsidian tries to add a strong narrative with limited success. You get to make decisions with a dialogue wheel that’s “Mass Effect”-inspired, and these decisions affect the narrative. But the dialogue scenes never make you care, especially because of the camera frames these scenes as unattractively as possible, forcing you to stare at your own party’s backs.
Then we have GameReactor 7/10
Dungeon Siege III's biggest problem is that it obviously can't figure out whether to lean more towards a more hack'n'slash romp or traditional RPG, and therefore probably will disappoint both camps due to the fence-sitting. Towards the end is a blood-bath of swinging swords and cast spells, and some puzzles would have been welcome to break up the action.
And then the others:
Wednesday - June 22, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 4
Yet more reviews keep coming for this game. I'll quote from two of them and list the others.
First we have GamesRadar 6/10
The game is also stiflingly linear. The minimap shows the narrow paths leading to most objectives with little variation, and hitting up on the d-pad will give you a Fable-like golden trail to follow, saving you the need to do any exploration yourself. The vast majority of the game takes place in overworld settings like forests and mountain roads that don’t exactly make the eyes pop.
Whether you are new to the land of Ehb or are returning for another adventure across the lands, Dungeon Siege III really gives you a great loot drop game with some fantastic multiplayer to boot. Downloadable content with also be available for this title so the play value is very high. Even if you just play through the main quest and skip side questing all together you are in for a great amount of play time.
LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2011) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, announced today that its highly anticipated action-RPG, Dungeon Siege® III, is now available. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment®, Dungeon Siege III presents the next exciting chapter in the classic role-playing franchise, which, for the first time, is available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. For players who enjoy dungeon-crawling and loot-hoarding on their home computers, Dungeon Siege III is also available for Windows PC via Steam®.
Tuesday - June 21, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer talked with the game's Lead Designer, Nathaniel Chapman about Obsidian's reputation, DS3's reception, a short comment on Obsidian's next game as well as if gamers can expect bug-free games. A snippet about this:
I've played games that are more buggy than other games but I enjoyed them a lot more. It's hard for me to say whether gamers have a right to less buggy games. Where a developer spends their time is often... It takes time to fix bugs and it also takes a certain... there are some really ambitious games that have bugs because they're ambitious, and they don't have the time [to fix them], or they spend time on making the content cooler rather than fixing the bugs.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 3
More reviews for this game have surfaced. I'll quote from two of them and list the others.
First up is Gamespot, 6/10 for the pc version and 6.5/10 for the console version.
Here's a snip from the review about the story in the game:
These chronicles are recounted with great gravitas by a throaty narrator, as if this were a tale for the ages to be passed down from one generation to the next.
If only the tale were worth such solemnity. You play as one of four different characters, each of which has a different relationship to the Legion and different ties to Ehb's past. Dialogue and other story elements differ based on these elements as well as on your dialogue choices, and it's easy to appreciate how the story machine flips all the right switches as you move along. But mechanical intricacies don't necessarily make for an engaging story.
Then we have IGN, equally harsh, 6.5/10 - a snip from the conclusion.
But the rest of the game mostly falters, unfortunately, to a degree that overshadows its achievements. Dungeon Siege III is a dungeon crawler with a boring loot table, poorly implemented multiplayer, and little lasting incentive to continue running around the world once the tedious story ends.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interviews with Feargus and Nathan Davis
Gamestm.co.uk talked with Feargus Urquhart about Dungeon Siege, a new IP and - Fallout. The interview also covers history of Obsidian as well as the games Obsidian has made - and much more. Here's his answer when asked about how the game compares to say Diablo:
It’s an odd thing, I would say. It’s almost unfair not to say that RPGs over the course of the years have been dumbed down for consoles. But, I wouldn’t say that I would necessarily make a PC role-playing game the same way that I would have made one fifteen years ago either.
A company I used to work for was Black Isle Studios and a PC game I worked on was Icewind Dale, which required you to roll six whole second-edition D&D characters before you could even start playing the game. No one would get through character creation nowadays. You know, people back then loved it, and there are still people that would love that, but I think the thing is when it comes to the console, and maybe all gamers, it has to be accessible, people have to be led into it. And so, my best answer is that the game is easy to get into, and then we ramp up the complexity and sort of add the layers of the RPG system as you play, and that is how we approach things now with the modern console gamer as compared to PC games fifteen years ago.
The rest of the interview is really illuminating to read, especially since he also answers questions like what Obsidian have learned from working with various publishers during the years.
GI: So with this game there are four present characters, you build them up. It’s not open ended as get to make your own guy and you start as a peon. How big was the tug of war in putting that into the game and what’s the payoff?
ND: Well the payoff is that each character plays really well. They have interesting things they can do, they look great, they have really cool visual effects. Just game play wise you’re not going to make a bad character. You’re not going to screw up doing something, it’s going to be something that’s a really fun build no matter what you do. However I will say that within each of those characters there is a lot of customization. You can actually customize each of your abilities to work exactly how you want them to work and I think that ended up being pretty successful. So no matter what you do, when you pick up a controller and play the game you’re going to have fun.
Source: RPG Codex
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup # 2
Some new reviews for this game have surfaced. I'll quote two of them and link to to the rest.
First up is the Gaming Experience 4/5
The AI is actually one of my favorite things about Dungeon Siege III; not too smart, and not too stupid. Maybe it is just that enemies in numbers appear smarter than they truly are? The entire enemy base seems to work well together, it is usually a predictable rotation however as to who will attack you next. Of course this is not a game shattering thing as there are far more games with worse AI. The AI in Dungeon Siege III however does lose its predictability when the difficulty escalates; I found that playing the game on hard offers just the right amount of challenge to a player such as myself. It took away that entire predictability that went along with the Easy difficulty and really did challenge me at times.
Then we have All Age Gaming 5/10
Obsidian had established themselves as the master of the sequel, delivering great instalments of Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic and more recently Fallout, with Fallout: New Vegas. But this title does nothing to build on that reputation, instead stamping it into the dirt with not only a game that does no justice to the classic original series, but rather makes a mess of the game in every sense of the genre’s it tries to be a part of. Dungeon Siege III is not worthy of the Dungeon Siege name, and Obsidian had better deliver the goods next time if they ever hope to re-establish their good name.
Saturday - June 18, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review Roundup
Well, Dungeon Siege 3 is out in EU and the early reviews are in. The response is quite favourable, with these scores a little over or under 8/10. The camera and loot get some criticism but the coop is widely praised and most find the campaign satisfying, despite some niggles.
A general intro from VG Revolution - 8.4/10, X360:
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.
I’ve 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.
Eurogamer on combat and difficulty - 8/10, X360:
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.
CVG - 7.9/10, X360:
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.
ActionTrip, who played on the PC. 7.8/10, PC:
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.
PC Gamer on the story campaign - 78%, PC:
The real shocker for Dungeon Siege fans is the terrific 18-hour story’s memorable characters and choices, where a spared enemy might turn out to be a convenient ally later.
But adding story depth seemed to cause Obsidian to forget some action-RPG fundamentals. The mini-map provides no indication of which direction you should be going, convoluted stats (such as Doom and Withering) are never explained, and you have to press E to retrieve every single piece of loot you want to grab.
Finger cramps aside, fighting through this imaginative, stunningly beautiful world is good fun. There are better single-player RPGs out there, but if you hunt for loot in a pack, Dungeon Siege III is a satisfying battlefield to conquer.
Destructoid on the simplified character system - 7.5/10:
Those looking for deep skill trees and manual stat tweaking will not get what they want out of this game. In what is both a blessing and a potential curse, Dungeon Siege III is very much a "casual" role-playing experience, in which most of the thinking has been done for you and your only concern is amassing vast quantities of loot while kicking the crap out of giant spiders and goblins. This approach will be seen by some as a "dumbed down" experience, but if you want a game that dispenses with busywork and gets right down to the acquisition of riches and power, then Dungeon Siege III provides the instant gratification you're looking for.
[...] Despite the restrictions, Dungeon Siege III's fights are pretty satisfying, overall. At first, the game comes across as far too easy. The opening hour or two puts the players up against paper-thin enemies who fall to the blade without putting up much resistance. Once the game throws some more challenging enemies your way and your character gets a few interesting abilities, fights turn into a suitably action-packed affair and a number of later bosses will give out a decent fight, even if none of them will ever truly keep you stumped for long.
Thursday - June 16, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Review @ Suicide Girls
The first full web review for Dungeon Siege 3 seems to be up at the Suicide Girls Blog. Before we take a quote, SG is a softcore scene-girls nudie site, so don't get lost on the way to the actual review. ;) The article is generally positive and here's a snip on bugs:
Fortunately, from my experience so far, having played through this game twice as different characters while doing every side quest and vacuuming up every bit of coin and loot I could lay my hands on, it appears Obsidian have maintained their winning tradition in the writing department, while also delivering a solid and highly polished technical experience. Playing the PC version, I experienced absolutely zero significant issues: no crashes, no unfinishable quests, no pathing weirdness, and no corrupted saves — even though I never passed a save point without using it. It also ran smoothly and looked gorgeous on maxed settings even on my fairly mid-range PC.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Shipping this Week, Live Action Trailer
I'll start with the new Dungeon Siege 3 live action trailer - which won't tell you anything about the game but I found mildly amusing - and move on to a pre-shipping press release:
Dungeon Siege III to ship this week
Square Enix and Obsidian Entertainment's anticipated next chapter in the Dungeon Siege lore is set to ship this Friday, June 17th, in Europe and other PAL territories, with North America following on Tuesday, June 21st.
In DUNGEON SIEGE III, players assume the role of one of four heroes, fighting for the sake of their fallen comrades to restore the land of Ehb. Conflict is constant in this action-RPG and decisions have lasting consequences, allowing players to alter the storyline. Choose to battle along with a companion or fight for honour with up to three friends via online co-op play. DUNGEON SIEGE III allows for two players to experience the story from start to finish in local co-op mode. Thanks to the robust AI, DUNGEON SIEGE III’s co-op multiplayer mode allows players to seamlessly drop in and out of battle without interrupting the action or impacting the campaign.
Players will experience the much-awaited next chapter in the DUNGEON SIEGE lore from 17th June, 2011, on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. For more information about DUNGEON SIEGE III, please visit the official website at: www.dungeonsiege.com
Monday - June 13, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Spells and Empowerment Video
The Dungeon Siege 3 site has a new spells and empowerment video on offer.
Tuesday - June 07, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - PC Demo On Steam
The PC demo for Dungeon Siege 3 is now available on Steam. Have at it and let us know in the comments what you think.
Wednesday - June 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - X360 Demo Available
You should now be able to grab the X360 demo for Dungeon Siege III on XBL (at least in NA) - PC and PS3 versions should follow in a week.
Monday - May 23, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Demo Coming
Looks like a demo is planned for Dungeon Siege 3, which is good news. According to a Square Enix newsletter quotes at PS3 Vault, the X360 demo will hit in only a few days (May 31st) and PS3 and PC will get demos on June 7th. The PC demo will come through Steam, according to the newsbit.
Source: Blues News
Saturday - May 21, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Previews @ NowGamer, GamesRadar
A couple of new Dungeon Siege 3 previews. First, NowGamer:
Stances grant special unlockable attacks that rank up – we chose Shield bash, which stunned opponents, and a Charging Dash, which cut through swathes of enemies, tossing them into the air. These are driven by your Will, which like your heath is replenished by pick-ups, bringing a real tactical edge to play.
Thanks to this hands on approach there’s a real sense of engagement in Dungeon Siege III’s combat, augmented by your ability to attack, block and roll – here your quick reflexes are often as important as your armour class.
A similarly dynamic approach surrounds narrative with Mass Effect/Dragon Age-style conversation trees as you talk to quest givers and confront enemies. Your choices alter narrative, and the fully voiced presentation is far more engaging than the usual crawler fare.
With names like “Determined Shatter Gun of Shrapnel” and “Carbine of Life-Stealing,” it wasn’t easy narrowing down which three weapons to equip, however, RPG-style stats like agility, will, block and attack made the decision a bit easier. In addition to crunching those numbers to determine which hand-cannons offered the best bang for the buck, some guns also sport chaos stats; we found ourselves relying heavily on the aptly named Shocking Double Barrel because its chaos perk held the promise of occasionally giving our enemies an electric jolt as well as a body full of bullets – watching blue bolts course through enemies while they wonder if you’ll finish them with a headshot is pretty satisfying.
Adding more depth to our arsenal – and blood to the battlefield – is DSIII’s use of abilities and proficiencies, which you access as you level-up. Abilities allow you to select items that further complement your attacks. As Katarina, for example, we were granted Heart-Seeking Shot, as its name suggests, this ability stands a chance of scoring a critical shot. Proficiencies inject additional elements of danger into abilities; we chose to load our points into one called Magic Bullet, a proficiency that increases the chances of those heart-breaking bullets ricocheting into other potential victims. If all that’s not RPG-ish enough for you, talents are also unlocked as you level. In Katarina’s case, we decided to split these into offensive and defensive disciplines, choosing one that steadied our aim and another that healed her quicker.
Friday - May 20, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ G4TV
G4TV has a quick look at Dungeon Siege 3 and playing the Anjali character:
One of the aspects of Dungeon Siege 3 that I don’t think many people are talking about is tempo. This is a fast ride. In other dungeon crawlers, you often find yourself going back into areas just to level up, collect more money, or running back into town for potions. The good people over at Obsidian have practically done away with that. That’s not to say that this RPG is easy - far from it. DS3 gives you the tools you need for each battle. By varying the kinds of attacks, you can take on different situations such as the fight that I described above.
Wednesday - May 18, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Surround Preview @ GeForce.com
This article at GeForce.com is really an advertisement for nVidia's GTX 560 video cards but some readers might like to see the screens and performance for a triple-monitor setup, using Dungeon Siege 3 as the example.
Sunday - May 15, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Previews @ IGN, Games On Net
Dungeon Siege III has been previewed at IGN in short video form, with explanations from a very young-sounding woman. Thanks, Zohaib.
In other news, Games On Net also has a preview, although the author certainly doesn't agree with the direction Obsidian has taken:
The game's pre-written characters are interesting for the most part when taken on their own (although it's hard not to cringe at the absurd levels of cleavage on display) but the problem is that they are pre-written: you feel like you're simply acting out somebody else's lines. When I play Mass Effect I'm my Shepard, but here in Dungeon Siege III I'm just Reinhart, a pretty snappy wizard whose personality is... well, he's a snappy wizard. This is hardly unusual for the "action RPG" genre: Dungeon Siege as a series bears a lot of mechanical similarities to, say, Diablo, except that in Diablo you're just "the sorcerer" and everybody expects you to burst into flames rather than conversation.
The counter-argument to that is of course "isn't it better to have some RPG elements than none at all?" For my money, no: while it's true that in Diablo your characters have no personality at all, nobody expects them to and nobody complains when they don't. Here in Dungeon Siege III the personalities of the characters feel tacked-on, the conversation choices feel irrelevant, and the inter-party dynamics lack the richness of Obsidian's other efforts. In many ways Dungeon Siege III is the opposite of Obisidian's efforts in Alpha Protocol, where the mechanics and execution were sloppy, but the roleplaying elements were layered and complex. Here the shallow roleplaying ontop of a deep series of combat mechanics just feels false and unnecessary, which is in many ways worse than feeling nothing at all.
Friday - May 13, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Hands-on @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a look at Dungeon Siege 3, based on 10 hours with the preview code:
Dungeon Siege slots into the space in between these two extremes. Never quite big enough to attract Diablo-level passion (the movie adaptation fell to Uwe Boll, after all), but too ambitious in scope to fit comfortably with the new download aesthetic.
As it turns out, Dungeon Siege III looks set to define the middle ground. In a good way. Based on ten hours of roaming around the latest preview build, it looks like a robust, well-paced and carefully balanced dungeon crawl with a decent storyline and a journey that takes you through dozens of varied environments.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ OXM UK
There's a short Dungeon Siege 3 preview at OXM UK based on the X360 version. It doesn't offer anything new but here's a closing snip:
Reassuringly, too, the cutscenes are much better now. There's lip-syncing for starters, which stops the game accidentally feeling like a low budget '80s kids' cartoon. The dialogue is all typical fantasy fayre, but that's fine - it's competently written and performed, and Obsidian hasn't completely stifled its humorous side - some of the loading screen text is pleasingly sarcastic.
It'll be interesting to see how the story pans out, and whether your character progression and the difficulty of the game keeps up the pace throughout. From what we've seen so far, we're optimistic.
In other news, Zohaib points out some screens at Neocrisis.
Saturday - May 07, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Co-op Trailer
Shacknews news has a Dungeon Siege 3 trailer that shows off co-op gameplay.
Wednesday - May 04, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ AtomicGamer
AtomicGamer has an interview with Obsidian's George Ziets and, later, Rich Taylor on Dungeon Siege III. George focuses on the writing and the conversation with Rich wanders onto broader cRPG topics:
AG: There have been so many RPGs, especially first games in a series, that try to build lore. One of those ways is with lore books that are really long. Morrowind did that. Then there are games like Mass Effect, where you get it more by talking to characters, with long dialogue trees you can optionally dig into. Where's the mix in DS3 between reading books and character exposition?
GZ: A lot of the lore that you get, you won't see a ton of it in conversation. I know Obsidian has a history of some very long conversation trees, and there are a few in this game, but we tried to keep them more direct and more to the point, so you'll get more suggestions of the lore. You might ask a character at the beginning of the game, you'll see the Lescanzi mercenaries coming after you. At some point in that sequence you can ask a couple characters about those guys, and they'll give you their perspective on them. You get a suggestion of what those guys are, enough for the casual player to be like, "ok, that's who they are". We also have some lore books that talk a lot more about it, and there are a couple places where you meet some Lescanzi NPCs that give you more of a suggestion. But if you just focus on the dialogue, we really tried to keep it more about the story and driving the narrative forward, whereas the extra stuff can be suggested in dialogue but we go into it in more detail in lore books.
That was the balance we tried to strike in this particular game. It's not so much based on a principle or "the way we want to do things now", but this style of game is much more action-oriented, and we wanted to keep the dialogue as a result a little more spare and focus more on the action so action players don't have to sit through the dialogue and read and read just to understand what's going on.
Source: Blues News
Friday - April 29, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Quick Look @ Giant Bomb
Obsidian designer Nathaniel Chapman joins Giant Bomb for one of their video Quick Looks at Dungeon Siege III. They play the X360 version, and as usual, the video shows a live play session. The video shows 1 hour long, so I haven't watched it all but it certainly gives a good look at the game.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has a hands-on with Dungeon Siege III that focuses on a report of co-op play:
My favorite scenario is set deep in a shadowy forest, beyond the Lescanzi occupied town of Raven’s Rill, where we must rid a haunted mansion of spectral terrors and deal with the trapped soul of a little girl that has been ensnared by an ancient artifact. Although there’s quite a bit of narrative backdrop going on, DS3 doesn’t allow that to get in the way of the fast-paced, narrative disinterested nature of co-op play. Cutscenes are skippable and almost every dialog sequence has an easy-out option. When we enter the mansion, my partner and I are almost instantly engaged by hordes of skeleton warriors complemented by undead archers and spell casting wraiths—it’s here that DS3 really shines.
Thursday - April 28, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Free Digital Comic
Dark Horse is offering a free 10-page digital comic book for Dungeon Siege III:
Return to the world of Dungeon Siege with this special free digital comic revealing essential pieces of the story from Square Enix and Obsidian Entertainment’s hotly anticipated game Dungeon Siege III!
The Tenth Legion has fallen, but heroism is not dead in the nation of Ehb. In the first of three exciting vignettes by writer Jeremy Barlow (Star Wars: Rebellion) and artists Iban Coello (Iron Man: Iron Protocols) and Sergio Abad (The Transformers: Prime), a village already in the grip of the Azunite faction must also contend with a series of fires in the surrounding forest. But when a ragtag group of villagers encounter a lone man in the woods, have they found the perpetrator, or does the forest hide something else?
Friday - April 22, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Anjali Trailer
Destructoid has the next Dungeon Siege III character trailer, showing off "Anjali":
A living legend in every sense of the words, Anjali is an archon, a spirit of fire. Raised by friends of the Legion, she is unaware of her past, or the fate of her archon ancestors. In her human form, Anjali brandishes a staff or a spear in combat. When she releases the burning spirit inside of her, she wields scorching fire magic.
Wednesday - April 20, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Reader Interview @ IGN
IGN has posted te completed Dungeon Siege 3 reader interview we mentioned a week or so back. It's not very long but there are some decent questions, such as this first one:
Obsidian games are known for their emphasis on choice, favouring meaningful consequence over simply binary reactions. Does DS3 contain the same element of storytelling, or is it more linear? If the latter, how did this provide more freedom in story telling? – TheVelvetAnt
So if you're looking at the line of non-linearity, it was way out of the stratosphere as far as what choice was and what consequence was, so that being said, our focus on Dungeon Siege was a little bit different, it was on the game-plan to make sure that within each hour those things were meshing really well. We don't have the level of choice and consequences that you'd find in something like Alpha Protocol, but it is more than you would find in most action RPGs, and we certainly do have meaningful decisions that you make throughout the game, like where you fight an enemy and you defeat them, they live, die, or you put them in prison… What do you want to do with them? That has consequences later on in the end game.
Tuesday - April 19, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Odo's Journal Updates
It's been a while since we checked the updates at the Dungeon Siege 3 official site and they've added three additional entries into the in-character lore pieces of Odo's Journal.
Saturday - April 16, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Reinhart Trailer
A new character trailer for Dungeon Siege 3 has been released to showcase Reinhart.
Friday - April 08, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preorder Offers
Dungeon Siege 3 is now available for preorder on Steam, with bonuses of the first two games. Looking around the other vendors to keep things fair, Gamersgate is offering 10% off and I couldn't see it on Impulse or Direct 2 Drive.
Thursday - April 07, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Slips to June
Square Enix Europe sent us a press release announcing Dungeon Siege 3 has moved a couple of weeks to June 17:
Square Enix updates Dungeon Siege III street date to 17th June, 2011
Square Enix announced today that the launch date for Dungeon Siege® III in Europe and other PAL territories is now 17th June, 2011. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, Inc., and shipping for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC, Dungeon Siege III blends a robust RPG system, an endless variety of loot and a compelling storyline with intuitive action gameplay.
The official website can be found at www.dungeonsiege.com.
In other news, IGN is collecting questions to send to Obsidian's Nathan Davis if you have a burning question.
Friday - April 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Lucas Trailer
Destructoid has a Dungeon Siege 3 trailer showcasing the Lucas Montbarren swordsman character.
Tuesday - March 29, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Hands-on Preview @ G4TV
G4TV has a video preview of Dungeon Siege 3 with input from Lead Designer Nathaniel Chapman.
Thursday - March 24, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Katarina Trailer
A new Dungeon Siege 3 trailer is available that reveals the Katarina character. Word is Katarina "wields the power of long range combat and magic for the ultimate offensive presence".
Friday - March 18, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Chat @ RPS
This isn't a traditional developer chat but some back-and-forth between two Rock, Paper, Shotgun contributors who have both played Dungeon Siege 3. I can't say I got much out of this format but they do get the chance to make some quips:
Quinns: But on the subject of what we played, I suspect I got the better deal. (HA!)
Richard: Yes. I got to play the traditional RPG Bit In A Generic Village Before The Game Starts. Note to RPG designers: For the love of god, stop making those! Beyond a slight Slavic twist to it, it was just regular running around and hitting stuff with a sword, doing odd-jobs, and having a plot hinted at.
Quinns: While I got to check out the co-op monster thrashing, which very much felt like what the game was made for. The nearest I got to a conversation was deciding what to say to the Big Bad at the end before staving his head in with a flying kick.
Wednesday - March 16, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Odo's Journal
The official Dungeon Siege III site has been updated with an in-character journal from Odo. A quick sample of this first entry:
I write these words by the light of the moon, as I listen for the baying of hounds.
For five days, I've hidden in these woods, taking a long and circuitous path toward the Montbarron Estate. My pursuers are never far behind. It seems like a dozen times I've thrown their mastiffs off my trail, but somehow, they always find me again.
Tuesday - March 15, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Hands-on Video
Machinima has posted a ~5 minute hands-on video preview of Dungeon Siege III from a recent trip to Obsidian. The first minute is taken up with an old trailer but as it goes along, you get a pretty good look including the UI and glimpses of dialogue.
Monday - March 14, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup
Apologies for ripping these Dungeon Siege 3 previews straight from Obsidian but I've limited time today and they've done the job for me. Obviously the quotes were picked by them for their awesomeness, so take that into account.
- Destructoid - "deep combat system and multiple endings based on characters and choices should keep you playing Dungeon Siege III with friends for a long time."
- totalplaystation.com- "Obsidian is delivering a solid, polished dungeon crawler with engaging narrative elements to keep players hooked"
- Goozer Nation - "Dungeon Siege III will be a game you’ll want to pick up with your friends for some story-driven monster-smashing fun."
Friday - March 11, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup
Here's a small collecion of Dungeon Siege 3 articles, starting with our friends at GameBanshee who have an excellent five-page hands-on look:
Without a doubt, Dungeon Siege III is the best-looking Obsidian-developed game to date. Not only do the animations and buzzword-laden effects look amazing on PC (and slightly less so on consoles), but the camera swivels and zooms in smoothly and comfortably, too. There are two separate zoom modes (near and semi-far), and both suit their purposes well (the former being something of a vanity cam and the latter being your standard action RPG vantage point). You can tell The Onyx Engine suits this type of third-person RPG very well - it reminds me of a modernized version of the Snowblind Engine that powered the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath titles - and based on what the team told me during my visit to the Obsidian offices, the toolset that accompanies it sports all of the options they've found to be most valuable through years of RPG development experience.
A colorful fantasy art style is utilized when moving through the game's early overland regions, but the castle, caves, and dungeons I saw had a foreboding and moody style to them. Some areas even had a steampunk feel to them, and as you might have expected, they were filled with automatons and bomb-tossing goblins (that flew across the screen when struck hard enough). The subterranean levels are fairly dark, but doorways and important objects are illuminated by deliberately placed candles and torches. The light being shed from such sources realistically dances on any characters that pass by and, in one of the dungeons I was shown, will even paint a sparkly sheen on underground rivers as they pass through.
When we last visited the world of Dungeon Siege III, we helped young Lucas Mont Barron escape the burning Mont Barron estate, adventured through the countryside, and rescued a supposed Archon, Anjali, from some cultists. Now, we're back in developer Obsidian Entertainment's action role-playing world. However, this time Lucas and Anjali are teaming up for some cooperative gameplay as we go hands-on to investigate the spooky Gunderic Manor.
Based on my experience with Dungeon Siege III, having two people in play definitely helped. I was playing as Anjali, a female spear-wielding magic caster and fighting alongside Lucas, the more traditional armored knight class. While holding a spear Anjali can run around and string together some basic combos using the length of the spear to her advantage, tagging enemies further out of reach. With the click of a button her feet lift from the ground and her hair catches on fire. This magically-inclined stance lets her toss fireballs across the entire screen and opens up a different set of special abilities. There's no cost associated with swapping stances, so it can be done as often as the situation demands or just to annoy your co-op partner.
...and Worthplayng has some new screens.
Monday - March 07, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Limited Editions
Alrik writes in to point out the Dungeon Siege III Limited Edition listings at Amazon (UK and Germany). Looks like the LE is offering four in-game items: the Burning Band of Scorch, Bite of the Arakun, Talisman of the Grand Mage and Sacred Heart of the Legion.
Friday - March 04, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview #3 @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee sat down with Dungeon Siege III creative lead George Ziets for their latest interview:
GB: With such a large amount of additional lore, how many quests did you create for the game? Is this going to be a very, very quest-driven game, such that I'll have ten quests in my journal at any given time?
George: It is a quest-driven game. There will never be a point in the game where you don’t have the main story either telling you to do something or branching off and letting you do any of these different things. Typically you won’t have ten quests in your journal before you get to a region. Usually, a couple of quests will be sending you to a new region and once you get there, then you’ll be opening up a bunch of side quests.
You probably didn’t get too far into the Rukkenvahl for the sample that you played, but there are a good number of quests in that region. You won’t necessarily get them where you show up in town and see something like 15 exclamation points. Typically, you’re going about your business doing whatever it is that you need to do for the main quest, and things pop up as you go along. So because of things that you’re doing, something happens and then someone has a quest for you.
There’s a wide range of quests. There are quests that are fairly complicated - main storyline stuff and some of the side quests are pretty big deals, there are decisions at the end of them, and they’re fairly long. And then there’s the quick one-off quests, like sending the player over here to do something relatively brief and come back. And we did that to make sure that the player has a good stream of rewards and quest offers coming in throughout the play experience. I'm finally doing my massive play through right now. I feel like it’s a pretty good balance.
Wednesday - March 02, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview #2 @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee's second Dungeon Siege 3 interview from their trip to Obsidian's offices is fielded by Rich Taylor. Unfortunately, Rich confirms their they don't plan to release the toolset but here's a snip on their Onyx engine:
GB: In your opinion, what makes the Onyx engine perfect for a game like Dungeon Siege III? What are the strengths of the Onyx engine?
Rich: The reason we decided to make our own technology was because RPGs are a different beast than a lot of different types of games. There's a lot of data, a lot of class abilities, creature and loot tables, and things like that. And we really wanted make an engine that catered well to that - something that let our designers do a lot of the work without having to wait in line for a programmer to have time to add or modify this or that. The designer can just go in there and manipulate it.
An example of something that we have in place in the engine is class abilities that each of the classes have access to. [Our designers] can open up a tool that lets them attach visual effects at different points in a timeline, or produce damage here or there. This attack should hit three enemies. This one shoots three projectiles. They just toggle a flag - all that stuff is right there in the tool for them.
As soon as they want to do something that isn't in there yet, we're just like, "Oh, okay; well let's work on getting support into the engine for that." And they can tweak and tune and adjust those things working with the animators and the visual effects artists. So it really catered well to the type of game we were making.
We also have things like our dialogue editor, which is perfect for the type of dialogues we write. It shows the dialogue tree, and because we always have these branching dialogues in an Obsidian title where the player can make so many different choices, having editors that cater specifically to that is the kind of thing we were looking for.
So those are a lot of the advantages of working on it. It's a lot of data-driven systems that let designers iterate quickly. And systems like quest and missions and the dialogue system all cater very well to Dungeon Siege III.
Tuesday - March 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee sent over the first of four Dungeon Siege 3 interviews they have from a recent press trip. Square Enix' Director of Business Development, David Hoffman, answers this first batch of questions with a focus on the origin of the development:
GB: Was the Dungeon Siege IP specifically what you were looking for initially? Or were you originally hammering out ideas to see what would be the best fit for a partnership?
David: We did not talk about Dungeon Siege originally. Obsidian had – I don’t know how much they want to me say, but – they had a very, very cool original design, and I was personally pretty excited about it. And that’s what we were talking about at first, and then it just kind of naturally evolved into an opportunity that came about within Square between Square and GPG to acquire the Dungeon Siege IP, and it seemed almost like a natural fit to say, “You know what? The original idea is fantastic, but I think we can mitigate risk and have a lot of success if we instead build Dungeon Siege III."
And to Obsidian’s point of view, I think they were very excited about DSIII. And because DSIII fit their proprietary engine and what it was really designed to do, which was to build an action RPG with a dungeon-crawling emphasis.
Monday - February 28, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - On Co-Op Experience
GameSpot's recent Dungeon Siege 3 interview muddied the water on receiving XP for co-op characters with the article creating the impression you wouldn't receive XP. Destructoid has followed this up and it turns out to be simple - you do get XP, with a dedicated MP character:
"Dungeon Siege III’s cooperative multiplayer mode is designed to be easily accessible and allow for a drop-in, drop-out multiplayer structure," explained associate producer Nathan Davis. "To bring this vision to fruition while maintaining both the deep story-based experience of the game and the balance of characters versus enemies, your single player characters will be distinct from your multiplayer characters -- however both can be persistently grown, equipped and adventured with over multiple game sessions.
"Co-op players can absolutely expect to have the loot and experience they gain in multiplayer games to be saved to their multiplayer characters ... Achievements and Trophies earned in multiplayer are still saved to your profile as normal and there are additional awards that you can only receive from playing in a multiplayer co-operative game."
Thursday - February 24, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Feargus on Respecs
Dungeon Siege 3 won't have a respec option, which seems reasonable to me, but Siliconera asked Feargus to explain why:
I asked Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment, why the team decided not to add in a respec feature. "I think respec is an idea… you know that’s a hard question. If we were making a MMO like Warcraft and I’ve put a billion hours into this character and I kind of want to do something different with this character. Instead of doing PvE [player vs. enemy] stuff, I now want to do PvP [player vs. player] stuff I absolutely have to respec it do that," Urquhart replied.
"In other words, it’s not like the player becomes less successful with their character because of the game or because now they can play the game in a totally different way. In a lot of ways, it is not as necessary, but it was a hard decision to whether to provide that or not. A lot of it came down to it’s not like you’re making a decision like ‘I played 75% of the game PvE and now I want to play PvP and now I have to respec or I’m not going to be as good as players at the same level.’"
Wednesday - February 23, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup
Here are three new articles on Dungeon Siege 3, from the recent press event.
A sample from Joystiq:
I was told that the current build of the game didn't let you respec characters at all, because Obsidian wants to make sure you really identify with the character you choose. The game's story plays a part in that as well. "The game sort of reacts to who you are in specific strategic locations," says creative lead George Ziets. "Lucas is descended from the old Legion, son of the old Grand Master. Arjalis is an Arkon, like Dungeon Siege's version of an angel, and she has this mysterious backstory. So at certain points in the game, that becomes an issue based on who you run into. Someone knows Lucas' family, so they'll respond differently to him than they would to someone else." While there's not a full morality system in the game, there are a few choices to make, and a few consequences to deal with as well, though Ziets declined to say more for now.
Taylor says that old-school PC players will appreciate that Obsidian hasn't dumbed-down the interface completely on that platform. "That's something we're starting to tackle right now," he says, "in terms of the control inputs and things like that. I think people will find that it plays very much like a PC game when we're done with the pass."
Previewers like Shacknews are still praising the visuals:
The game looks very good in action, and each area that I saw - from outdoor town and forest areas, to caves and dungeons - utilized a rich color palette and light sources to great effect. The hand-painted fire effects and crackling embers I saw when making my way through a burning estate looked great, and the same sort of care extended to the effects for spells and abilities. Though I only fought a handful of enemy types in the game's opening areas, it didn't feel as though more variety was needed.
AtomicGamer on general gameplay:
That being said, the gamepad scheme made Dungeon Siege 3 feel a hell of a lot like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, which for those of us fond of that game’s light-hearted action, is easily a close second to a mouse-based scheme. But no matter what controls you use, it’s important to point out that this is not a brainless action game containing only a smidge of RPG sprinkled in; there are a ton of loot choices to make, and your character will be juggling which proficiencies to drop points into every level - and when you do, it comes at the cost of choosing other ones. Then there are quite a few talents for each character, which you’ll also get to drop a point in each time you level up, and these bestow passive bonuses on your character. Toss in the ability to have one of these four characters as a permanent companion on your single player campaign - and the ability to fully control their equipment, proficiencies, and talents as well - and we’ve got a pretty deep game for what, on the surface, might look like just another Diablo clone.
Tuesday - February 22, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ GameFront
Obsidian is pointing out a preview of Dungeon Siege III at GameFront after the recent press event at their offices:
Special moves are fueled by a bar called “Focus,” which appears beneath a character’s hit points. Executing moves drains it, as does blocking — instead of taking damage to HP when you block, you lose Focus points. Focus is restored by using standard attacks on enemies, and this has the effect of really pushing you to be offensive at all times. Most spells and moves have little or no charge up or cooldown times, either, creating an environment in which combat is almost non-stop. You might want to step clear and dodge an arrow or roll clear of an attack (possible by holding the block button and attempting to move), but for the most part, the key is to combo enemies with melee attacks leading into different special moves.
Monday - February 21, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Old School @ IGN
IGN thinks Dungeon Siege III is rather old-school, so they have an article that discusses the apparent pros and cons. Here's their take on the camera, for example:
Viewing your party from on-high is well-established in the world of video games. So well established, in fact, that it has slipped from 'established' to 'extinct' in most genres. There just aren't that many action games that still use it. After all, ditching that perspective and going for an over the shoulder viewpoint allows players to see what's ahead of them and more often than not that's helpful. Sure, it should give you a decent tactical awareness of where your enemies are, and looking down at the world has some charm, but it feels pretty restrictive unless you're in a dungeon.
There's no real technical reason to stick with this viewpoint any more – today's games are more than capable of rendering epic landscapes. Is it just tradition, then, that has prompted Obsidion to stick with what has come before? Quite possibly, but I can't help but feel that gamers who are less familiar with this genre will get annoyed by the decision. We're used to being able to scope out our surroundings, so being unable to lower the perspective will be an inevitable frustration for some. And yes, I am aware that there's more than one viewpoint to choose from; but even the one that's closest to the character and looks ahead the most still left me wanting to see further.
I wonder if they'd write the same thing for Diablo III?
Friday - February 18, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ CVG
CVG has a general preview of Dungeon Siege 3 after briefly playing a melee fighter:
A close-range fighter, Lucas has a few skills to make him flexible. Every hero has three combat stances, but they're not all the same. For example, Lucas has the one-handed weapon position, which leaves a limb free to hold a shield, and the damage-dealing two-handed option.
Finally, he can focus on healing. You'll swap quickly between these in even the shortest battle, giving Dungeon Siege III a much more action-packed feel than the previous game.
It's no God Of War, but it's a happy mile away from the genre's 'click on a guy until he dies' roots.
Each of the stances has a set of special powers. Your range will grow, but early on, Lucas has access to a one-handed skill called Shield Bash, an instant attack that stuns an enemy and helps with tackling mobs.
In two-handed mode, he can use a charging attack to close the distance between himself and a ranged fighter. All these moves take up energy, which is quickly restored by landing non-special attacks on enemies. It's a system designed to keep you fighting, and the regular foes with magical auras are great at breaking up any routine you might find yourself falling into, forcing you to develop new strategies.
Tuesday - February 08, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - "Loyalty" Trailer
A "Loyalty" trailer has been released for Dungeon Siege III, offering around 30 secs of story cinematics and a few seconds of gameplay. You can also grab seven screens from Blue's.
Source: Blues News
Monday - February 07, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ Eurogamer
Dungeon Siege 3 Project Director Rich Taylor chats with Eurogamer about the upcoming game:
Eurogamer: Comparisons with Diablo III are inevitable, but are they fair?
Rich Taylor: People will find they're two completely different games. With Dungeon Siege you're going to feel like you're playing an Obsidian RPG in terms of story. You're going to meet NPCs that have quests for you. You're going to have branching dialogues. You're going to have influence with your AI-controlled companions, similar to what we've seen in out other games. So you're going to see a lot of the Obsidian-style RPG mechanics present in Dungeon Siege. It's going to feel more like that.
So while we do have some similar mechanics to Diablo – we have the randomly generated loot – that's really about where the similarities stop. Outside of being a game where you can get a lot of loot and level up and kill monsters, they don't have a lot in common, and people will see that when the game comes out.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Footage @ 4Players.de
German site 4Players.de has some footage of Dungeon Siege 3. The text overlays are German, obviously, but the actual gameplay is English.
Friday - February 04, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - NA Release Date - May 31st
So, the NA release date for Dungeon Siege 3 is just a couple of days after the EU release. Here's the PR, along with the preorder bonuses:
Return to the Kingdom of Ehb! DUNGEON SIEGE III to Launch May 31, 2011
Square Enix Reveals Preorder Incentives for Reincarnation of Classic Action-RPG Franchise
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in North America, announced today that DUNGEON SIEGE® III will be available at North American retailers on May 31, 2011. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment™, Inc., the all-new incarnation of the classic action-RPG franchise will make its debut on high-definition home video game consoles alongside its familiar place on PC Windows-based machines. This May, players will experience the much-awaited next chapter in the DUNGEON SIEGE lore on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
Source: Blues News
Thursday - February 03, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - EU Release Date - May 27th
Square Enix and Obsidian have announced Dungeon Siege 3 will be released in Europe and other PAL territories on May 27th. You may recall I questioned when GameSpot suggested a May release date in their recent preview, so presumably the NA release will be similar. Here's the official press release:
RETURN TO THE KINGDOM OF EHB! DUNGEON SIEGE III TO LAUNCH 27th MAY, 2011
Square Enix and Obsidian Entertainment bring classic action-RPG franchise to high-def home video game consoles for first time
London (03 February, 2011) – Square Enix Ltd., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in Europe and other PAL territories, announced today that DUNGEON SIEGE™ III will be available from 27th May, 2011, in Europe and other PAL territories, with an exclusive Limited Edition available for pre-orders. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the all-new incarnation of the classic action-RPG franchise will make its debut on high-def home video game consoles. This May, players will experience the much-awaited next chapter in the DUNGEON SIEGE lore on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
In DUNGEON SIEGE III, players assume the role of one of four legionnaires in the crumbling kingdom of Ehb, fighting for the sake of their fallen comrades. Conflict is constant and decisions have lasting consequences, allowing players to dictate the outcome of the tale. Do battle as a lone hero or fight alongside up to three friends and, thanks to robust AI, DUNGEON SIEGE III’s co-op multiplayer mode allows players to seamlessly drop in and out of battle without interrupting the action or impacting the campaign.
Available exclusively for pre-orders, a limited edition Dungeon Siege III pack will be available in PAL territories featuring four unique in-game items available to activate on day of launch, enhancing and increasing your characters’ abilities as they venture forth through the Kingdom of Ehb.
“With DUNGEON SIEGE III we are bringing the rich world and lore of Ehb to an all new audience,” said Ned Browning, Brand Manager at Square Enix. “The depth of story and wealth of characters and classes will take players on an incredible journey whether in singleplayer or with up to three friends online.”
Prepare to honour thy legion and reclaim the Kingdom of Ehb in the ultimate DUNGEON SIEGE experience on 27th May, 2011. For more information and to pre-order now, visit www.dungeonsiege.com.
Wednesday - February 02, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Previews @ G4TV, PALGN
The Dungeon Siege 3 previews continue to be positive with new articles at G4TV and PALGN. Off to G4TV:
While the enemies we encountered were admittedly a bit addle-minded – rushing at us, screaming, seemingly ready for death – the combat proved both compelling and fun, especially once we journeyed into a dimly lit cave filled with more monstrous opponents. On a mission to rescue an eventual ally held captive by the witch Vera, we descended into the subterranean caverns, lit purple by magical torchlight, and found that the battles required a substantially more deft approach even with an admirable load-out. We even found ourselves gladly switching between the standard overhead, top-down view and a more console-friendly, over-the-shoulder perspective depending upon the situation at hand – a nice touch in variety if you ask us.
...and a quote from PALGN:
Dungeon Siege III is an action RPG that features a hack n’ slash style of gameplay as opposed to a highly strategic and menu driven style of gameplay found in most RPGs today. It gives the game quite the old school Gauntlet feel where the battle system is far more hands on than your typical modern Western RPG. We were able to dish out melee combos using two different combat stances, block and dodge attacks and basically have full control over our character during battle. It’s a nice change from the usual ‘dice roll’ mechanic of games like Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age, which is largely driven by random luck. We quite enjoyed the combat system of the game as it has quite the old school feel, where pure gaming skill matters more than cycling through menus and taking your time with stratergising. At the end of the build we encountered a witch who served as a boss, and to defeat her we had to study the pattern of her main fireball attack and dodge it properly, showcasing the kind of hands-on action driven combat experience that isn’t common in RPGs anymore.
Source: Obsidian Entertainment
Tuesday - February 01, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has a preview of Dungeon Siege 3:
Obsidian’s president, Feargus Urquhart, talks about how the developer is finding a balance. His own career’s been pretty illustrious. From Interplay to Black Isle, he oversaw Fallout 2 and the critically acclaimed reading game Planescape Torment. He described how Dungeon Siege has had to change slightly to suit a multiformat release.
“It’s direct control versus mouse click. As soon as you make that change, a lot of time is spent on how it feels. The idea isn’t to turn it into an action game like Ninja Gaiden or a Devil May Cry, but you don’t want it to feel like there’s no action, which is why we’ve added a lot of combos.” The “combos” that Urquhart mentions aren’t a huge list of light-heavy timing combos – instead, they’re automatic animations that trigger on your third attack. “And then, blocking and rolling, they’re not RPG skills, and we’ve included them, too. In a lot of action RPGs, particularly on the PC, you run after something and you just hit it. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll play any of those, even the bad ones! But that’s not what this is.”
Monday - January 31, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup #2
More Dungeon Siege 3 previews have hit the 'net, so here's a small collection.
The whole fantasy setting here is absolute, with sporadically placed villages, forests, marshland, narrow ridge-lines over-looking valleys below from up on high and those all-important dungeons. My escapade took me through a few desolate villages and encampments before coming across a massive, derelict mansion. The mansion itself was unassuming, but being the exploratory gamer I am, I found a mass of hidden goodies and rooms, and a locked door that required a key... oh how it had me chomping at the bit for that key. But I was pressed into a more main-story oriented direction by my Ubisoft guide to get the most out of the demo, but damn if I don’t want to get back and find that key.
Players can choose to take part in new sub-quests given by villagers, or ignore them. One quest saw us volunteering to locate a mysterious creature said to be living in a nearby lake, with the aim of retrieving a tooth, as proof of its existence. Doing this successfully will grant you a reward should you choose to accept it. Decline said rewards and you’ll be honoured for your generosity. Your reputation stays with you throughout. Perform negative actions, and villagers are less likely to help you out in future.
Slaying foes fills up your focus meter, and using special abilities expends said focus -- so combat is a constant back-and-forth between regular combo attacks and abilities such as Shield Pummel or a Sword Charge. Each class has two stances that utilize distinct abilities (the sword-and-shield stance obviously can do the Shield Pummel, while I need to be in the two-handed-sword stance to use the Sword Charge). To add some variety, each special ability has two distinct proficiencies that you can develop -- such as a Shield Pummel that stuns foes versus one that knocks them flat on their bottoms. Again, it sounds simple and rudimentary, but that probably helps a lot in simply making the game work. Dungeon Siege 3 already has its gameplay loop and fundamentals feeling more solid than previous Obsidian games, and that's before I get to mess around with other classes, multiplayer, more abilities, or branching dialogue/story choices. At the moment, compared to other times I've played Obsidian games in a similar state, Dungeon Siege 3 simply looks and feels better. ...and grab some screens at My Gaming.
Slaying foes fills up your focus meter, and using special abilities expends said focus -- so combat is a constant back-and-forth between regular combo attacks and abilities such as Shield Pummel or a Sword Charge. Each class has two stances that utilize distinct abilities (the sword-and-shield stance obviously can do the Shield Pummel, while I need to be in the two-handed-sword stance to use the Sword Charge). To add some variety, each special ability has two distinct proficiencies that you can develop -- such as a Shield Pummel that stuns foes versus one that knocks them flat on their bottoms.
Again, it sounds simple and rudimentary, but that probably helps a lot in simply making the game work. Dungeon Siege 3 already has its gameplay loop and fundamentals feeling more solid than previous Obsidian games, and that's before I get to mess around with other classes, multiplayer, more abilities, or branching dialogue/story choices. At the moment, compared to other times I've played Obsidian games in a similar state, Dungeon Siege 3 simply looks and feels better.
...and grab some screens at My Gaming.
Friday - January 28, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview Roundup
Hey, a sudden avalanche of Dungeon Siege 3 previews - and apparently the game might be due in May, though that sounds too soon to me given the lack of exposure to date.
Let's kick off with Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
In true RPG style, the place was quiet, but combat clearly wasn’t going to be very far away. For starters, as soon as I showed up, I was met by a ridiculous looking girl called Katarina in an incredibly hardworking +2 Corset of Holding, who warned me of a nasty ambush just outside the town gates. Since ambushes in RPGs only ever mean “Yippee! More loot!”, that didn’t seem like a huge problem, but I figured heroic honour demanded at least chatting to the locals and doing their inevitable odd-jobs first. Needless to say, they had plenty – but the style was slightly unexpected. I was expecting quick and dirty mission briefings, like the ones most hack-and-slash games throw in to pad things out. Instead, the appearance of the dialogue wheel quickly reminded me that I was playing an Obsidian game, and that they like their talky bits.
Dungeon Siege III offers far, far more dialogue than most hack-and-slash games, with full conversations, optional subjects to chat about, and proper back-story. This is good. Most of it is clearly optional, but its presence hopefully means a bit more narrative weight behind the later hack and slashing, as well as a return of Obsidian staples like proper relationships with companion characters and maybe even some decent choices. I doubt we’ll see the villain of the piece delivering lectures on Hegelian dialetics like in New Vegas, but every little helps.
The most intriguing bit though came once I’d been given a mission, dutifully headed off to put my sword through its face and take its stuff, and returned. Now, in a game whose name is synonymous with ‘give me more stuff’, I had the option to… turn down a reward. How… odd.
Eurogamer, with a snip on the engine:
Who knows, eh? It's certainly looking like a decent game, though. For one thing, Dungeon Siege III's driven by the team's own technology this time, with the all-new Onyx engine doing a very reasonable job of crafting shadowy caves with water trickling down the walls and sun-dappled forests where fireflies litter the afternoon air. Sword swings send out glitzy little flashes of light, crows erupt from trees when you pass, and while character models may not be over-burdened with charisma, the animation has a nice flourish and weight to it during combat, and the game manages to shove a decent number of enemies and particle effects on the screen at once without falling over when things get hectic.
On to Gamespot, with a form of after-action-report, though I'm going to quote the summary because George Ziets rocks:
To help curb potential living room fisticuffs, items and equipment you find during your travels are unique to the individual characters--meaning only one character may wear a particular pair of gloves or wield a specific staff. Inventory is also shared among the party members. Players may drop in and play and drop out when they're finished, with the computer retaking control of their discarded hero. In addition to co-op play, Obsidian is pouring a lot of effort into crafting a robust story. Creative writer Geroge Ziets, author of the moody Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer expansion, is penning this tale, with series' progenitor Chris Taylor serving as a project adviser. Be on the lookout for Dungeon Siege III this May.
In Dungeon Siege II you have your basic attacks and spells on the one tier, then on the others you have your powers, which take a while to charge up then allow you to unleash a high damage attack on one enemy, or a big area-of-effect attack. In Dungeon Siege III there’s an intermediate tier of abilities that don’t take long to charge up, aren’t that powerful, but do add a bit of variety and tactical choice to proceedings. It’s not revolutionary though, it’s just good. And that’s Dungeon Siege III all over.
Since this is the first Dungeon Siege coming to home consoles the controls have also been re-imagined for use on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 pads. Obsidian’s solution to cramming all your typical hot bar abilities on to a controller is a pretty elegant one. Each character has several combat stances, each with three unique abilities linked to them. Each stance can be toggled through with the press of a button, effectively enabling quick access to all of your available skills yet keeping them grouped in a common sense manner.
As an example of what we mean, the Guardian class featured two distinct stances. The more defensive one had him wielding a one handed sword and a shield, accompanied by an equally defensive shield bash ability which stunned enemies. His more offensive stance had him wield a more powerful double handed sword but lacked a shield for defence, which was linked to a suitably aggressive charging stab skill.
Obsidian's "choice and consequence" mantra, even its history of turning out thick story-centric RPGs, might seem at odds with Dungeon Siege's own tendency to lean toward a pick-up-and-play direction. But the result is a lovechild of both genre variants. Dungeon Siege III is a combination of the combat-centric role-players of old, and the kind of intimate involvement with story that has been adopted by modern Western RPGs; a worthy stop-gap between now and the upcoming Diablo III.
Thursday - January 13, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ GamePro
GamePro has a preview of Obsidian's Dungeon Siege III, although the link doesn't seem to be working at the moment. It was working before and it's clearly promoted on their front page so I'll toss this up and perhaps it will resolve itself during the day.
Tuesday - January 11, 2011
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interviews @ Mods Reloaded, CVG
Obsidian's Nathaniel Chapman has been interviewed at Mods Reloaded about Dungeon Siege 3. Here's a quote on story and dialogue that sounds interesting:
How much of a focus is story in this third game compared the last few entries?
NC: It is a core focus of the game, for instance we have a full branching dialogue system like Alpha Protocol or Mass Effect. That is something that wasn't in the first two games and is a core strength of Obsidian. It's what we're bringing to the franchise and one of the reasons why Square and Gas Powered wanted us to work with us.
It appears to be a canned interview, because exactly the same content is also at CVG.
Wednesday - December 22, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Six Things You Didn't Know
Actually, you'll probably know most of these but USA Today has a piece titled Six things you didn't know about Dungeon Siege III. Producer Nathan Davis provides the answers.
Power of ancestry. When you start a new game, you can choose to play as one of the descendants of The Farmer, the hero of the first Dungeon Siege. There are a number of nods to the original game throughout Dungeon Siege III, including the opportunity to adventure in a memorial built in honor of the player's character in the first game.
Wednesday - November 10, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Screens @ Worthplaying
Monday - October 18, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ RipTen - Demonstration Video
RipTen was present at NY Comic Con conference where Obsidian did a demonstration of Dungeon Siege 3. Their coverage includes both a short write-up of the event as well as a
49 minute tech video demonstration.
Here's a quote from their short write-up about what you can expect:
Some things you may want to take note of are: the environmental effects, the spell effects, the lighting and shadows, Lucas’ animations and armor detail, and of course – that sweet flaming sword they looted at the end. We’re also a fan of the new camera angles that let you get up close to the action.
Tuesday - September 14, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ RPS
Chris Taylor (the Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor) has been interviewed at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about Dungeon Siege 3. As a consultant only, he often doesn't have much to say about the game directly but he does make some interesting comments on game length and other issues:
RPS: So! How do you feel about Dungeon Siege, looking back on it?
CT: I think we made a game that was bigger than it needed to be, and that delivered more hours of gameplay than people technically wanted. It’s important that people get through a game. If somebody stops playing because of the sheer, daunting size of it, they don’t advertise the game to their friends, which is a really interesting byproduct of game completion.
Think about a game that you don’t get all the way through. You don’t talk about it. But the game you get all the way through in 8 hours, you come to the office on Monday and say “Yeah, I got through this, this and this.” “How was it?” “Pretty good.” “Can I borrow it? Ah, I’m gonna pick up a copy on my way home.”
But when you don’t finish a game, these kinds of conversations don’t happen. You don’t market it to your friends.
RPS: I guess if you don’t finish a game, you don’t finish it for a reason, so the last taste in your mouth…
CT: Is the quitting taste.
RPS: Yeah. You don’t finish it because, say-
CT: The end level boss was too hard.
RPS: And when that happens, you don’t say “Hey man! You have to play this game. It’s probably good. I don’t know.”
CT: Exactly. “I wouldn’t know because I haven’t finished it, but you should go buy it.
While we're on this game, PC Gamer has a short preview:
The technology is impressive. The dungeon they’re fighting through is miles deep. You can see it spiralling down into the depths. Each little goblin that gets knocked off the ledge can be seen pinwheeling into the river below. This isn’t an off-the-shelf tech solution like the Unreal engine: this is developer Obsidian finally flexing their technical muscles.
Thursday - September 02, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Gameplay Trailer
The debut gameplay trailer for Dungeon Siege III has been released at Gametrailers, with a little over a minute of logos and brief gameplay sequences. As indicated in previews, there's a definite sense of height to some locations and, otherwise, it looks like you'd expect from a pretty hack'n'slash.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview @ G4
During GamesCom, Obsidian's Nathaniel Chapman and Gas Powered Games Chris Taylor sat down and talked with G4. They talk about the game, and how it will be, not much new info there. But then they talk about this:
G4: So when you got access to the franchise, was there anything you were desperate to add or take away right from the start?
Nathaniel: I think the thing that felt very natural for us to add was what we're doing with story and companion and choice and consequence of dialogue. That felt like something that would bring a lot of value and the trick was to figure out how to do that without breaking what made Dungeon Siege great: the fast paced combat. So, that's been one of the bigger additions and something we've been excited to add to the game.
There have been a lot of other things that we've thought about keeping or changing, but really it's been very important to us that we stay true to what made Dungeon Siege great, like fast paced, fun gameplay with a lot of loot.
Friday - August 27, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ G4TV
Omega points out a preview of Dungeon Siege 3 at G4TV. As with the other articles so far, the details are light. Once again, the graphics seem to stand out to the previewers:
Dungeon Siege 3 is a beautiful game. Between the varied color palette and the impressive depth of field effects when looking down through vertical layers of the level, it's a feast for the eyes. This vertical perspective is something the developers at Obsidian were keen to highlight during the eyes-on demonstration. The level that was being shown, along with others throughout the game, were built so that it has a tremendous feeling of vertical depth.
This means that you're looking down through a level and you feel like you're moving deeper into the world as you progress. The effect is so good that I had to ask the developers whether the areas I was looking at were really traversable, or whether they were background. They answered my question by winding their way down through the level to the areas that a few moments ago looked so far below.
Monday - August 23, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Video Interview @ IGTV
Feargus Urquhart chats with IncGamers TV about Dungeon Siege 3 in a four minute conversation. I haven't had the chance to listen to all of it, but it doesn't seem there is any footage or other material so we're still waiting to see the game in action.
Thursday - August 19, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - New Screens
A batch of Dungeon Siege 3 screens have been released for GamesCom. Check them out at Wired.
Wednesday - August 18, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ MyInsideGamer
MyInsideGamer has a Dungeon Siege 3 preview based on a 15 minute GamesCom presentation:
But what of the game you cry. There are many tools and skills that Obsidian is able to bring to the table and during the quick 15 minute demonstration it was clear that they brought everything and more. Their Onyx game engine is certainly an engine of great capacity. The dynamic lighting, vast maps that utilise vertically impressively, agreeably textured objects and entertaining physics are all traits of a well-designed engine.
The control system used during the demonstration was the Xbox 360 controller, for which there seemed to be no negative effects on gameplay. The controls seemed intuitive and fun to execute for a first timer, whilst at the same time it offers enough depth that hardcore players will be satisfied. With a mixture of stances and weapon choices, players will be able to deal with any situation how they choose, be it crowd controlling power attacks, high damage per second quick swipes or tactical spells.
Tuesday - July 27, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - First Screens
I'm pretty sure these are the first released in-game screens from Dungeon Siege 3 - check the pair out at Eurogamer.
Dungeon Siege 3 - Interview, Preview, Cinematic Trailer
Obsidian's Rich Taylor has been interviewed about Dungeon Siege 3 at IGN, with a cinematic trailer also embedded in the article (or head here just for the trailer). Sounds like they really are beefing up the story and quest aspects:
IGN: Obsidian's always been known for doing a great job of embedding interesting stories into its game worlds, so can you talk about the story surrounding Dungeon Siege III and how much of an integral part of the experience it is?
Rich Taylor: We can't go into story details at this time. We can say that story is every bit as important in Dungeon Siege III as other titles we have developed at Obsidian such as Neverwinter Nights 2 and Knights of the Old Republic 2. The player will be an integral part of the story that unfolds as they progress through the adventure. There will be decisions the player has to make. These choices can impact how your party feels about you or affect the way other characters in the game respond to you. There are times when the player has to make a decision that will make one group or another unhappy, and this will have a long term effect on aspects of the story.
Rich Taylor: One of the refinements we are making to this system for Dungeon Siege III is that we are having each of these decisions have a short term, mid-term and long term affect on the game. So, you'll see the effects of your decisions constantly as you play through to the end.
Games Radar also have a preview; here's an interesting replacement for minimaps:
Perhaps the most striking new feature was the one that showcased the game’s stunning graphics. You’ll be able to survey your surroundings more effectively by using vistas – vantage points in areas that let you see far out into the distance, giving a better glimpse of the areas and goals that lie in wait. This has allowed the developers at Obsidian to remove the unsightly mini-map that mucks up the view in most Action RPGs from Dungeon Siege 3’s HUD. It might seem like a terrible design choice at first, but once you see the beautiful landscapes stretching before you from a vista point, we doubt you’ll miss that ugly thing.
Thursday - July 01, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Video Interview @ Inc Gamers
During the E3 2010 Inc Gamers talked to Feargus Urquhart. The result is a nine minute video interview. Subjects they talk about is commitment to bring choice and consequence to the sequel, the challenge of making the action rpg available on the consoles, why no reveal on the mmo content right now - and much much more.
Wednesday - June 30, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Q and A @ Gaming Union
A very short Q and A of two questions session has Gaming Union had with Fearqus Urquhart from Obsidian Entertainment. Here's the second question and the answer:
Gaming Union: “Can you tell us about any of the influences behind the changes to the game? You’re a studio picking up from another studio’s work, and you’re adding to it obviously.”
Urquhart: “A lot of the changes are bringing it from the PC to the console. Really a lot of it has been focusing on is that’s it’s gone from a point and click game which is very different from an animation and how the animation system works. When you’re controlling it, you want it to feel good and look good. One of the things we’ve really had to spend a lot of time on is figuring out how to get all that animation transitioning to look good and feel good. … And the PC will have a PC interface, so it won’t just be the game controllers, and we’re not going to turn off the controllers, so you can still play co op that way, but we’re PC guys, we want to have a really good PC interface. It’ll be mouse, it’ll be keyboard, it’ll be hot buttoned, all that.
Sunday - June 27, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Previews at Examiner and Worthplaying
Both The Examiner and Worthplaying have posted previews for this game. First The Examiner:
One thing that they wanted to do was make the world of Dungeon Siege III much more open, giving the player more things to explore and the option to backtrack to previously visited areas, than the previous titles. Obsidian also wanted to cut down on the amount of dialog that we are accustomed to seeing and focus more on the action and game itself, so while the character will still make much of the decision making there will be fewer cut scenes with long dialog than we may be used to seeing from them. One thing you may recognize from Obsidian though is the use of the dialog tree, which is actually shaped like a tree this time, in which players will choose their dialog option.
In the demo, the developers were quick to point out some of the elements they had carried over from the old games. The idea of major loot drops is still there, and the basic combat system in this early stage still plays like the original did. The combat has been tweaked, though, as the idea of stances is now thrown in. Different stances dictate what kind of attack you'll be able to unleash, so you'll be constantly switching depending on if you wanted to get in some crowd control with more quick, wider hits or if you wanted to focus on killing quickly with slower, more powerful hits. The class system also makes a return, though the demo only showed off the Guardian and Archon classes. The developers have also promised that each class will have unique attacks and equipment unique to their class but, again, we didn't see much of this in the E3 demo.
Thursday - June 24, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ Eurogamer
A very positive preview of Dungeon Siege III is up at Eurogamer:
You don't see a lot of the world, then, but what you do see is lush, colourful, solid and sumptuously lit. The air sparkles with dust motes and there's a lovely, shallow-focus depth-of-field effect which, combined with a fair amount of vertiginous verticality in the level designs, makes the most of the unusual viewing angle. It's richly atmospheric and makes the environs seem very inviting to explore.
Your window onto Dungeon Siege III's world is also left pleasantly uncluttered by a very simple, clean user interface, and we're promised that you'll never encounter a loading screen once. For a game that just has a 2011 release window at present, it looks very slick, with even menus and inventories having a bold design and finished sheen worthy of Blizzard itself.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - June 23, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Previews @ GamePro, Gaming Bits
Obsidian is pointing out a pair of short Dungeon Siege 3 previews we haven't posted before. Here's a sample from GamePro:
The other big talking point is plot -- Obsidian plans to bring its signature story style to the game with branching dialogue options and a deep relationship-building system with companion characters. There’'s no dating sim, but you'll laugh when you see that the icon interface for dialogue sections is actually a tree with glowing branches that point to different conversation choices.
...and from Gaming Bits:
From what was shown of Dungeon Siege III behind closed doors at E3, it is simply looking amazing. The third-person action-RPG looks stunning: from the subtle details of fish swimming in ponds to the distant towns on the horizon, Dungeon Siege III is full of ambient, rich and colorful environments that all load in seamlessly (no loading time seen from outside world to cavernous depths!). The lighting looked particularly spectacular. You have a variety of classes to choose from (Archon, Druid, Guardian and more), all of which offer a different gameplay experience.
Tuesday - June 22, 2010
Dungeon Siege 3 - Preview @ AtomicGamer
A short preview of Dungeon Siege 3 can be found at AtomicGamer:
There's a verticality and fluidity in Dungeon Siege 3's environments that we don't often see in games like this. Off in the distance and far below us we saw a town, and were told that eventually we'll be working our way down the mountain towards it. The intent is for this to be a fully-rendered world with no load times, so switches in lighting and dynamic loading of distant areas must mesh in with the action that's in your face. From that perspective, DS3 is already delivering on some of the promises, as early as they are in their development cycle.