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.