Thoughts On The Dungeon Siege III E3 Demo
It’s been 5 years since Dungeon Siege 2. That’s a hell of a long time in gaming, and even longer when you consider that in the meantime, we’ve been treated not only to a ton of me-too games from other developers, but that horrible Uwe Boll film. Finally, Square Enix has stepped up with the long awaited next installment in the series, Dungeon Siege III. It’s still TBD 2011, which is infuriating, but we made due with a fantastic E3 demo that took us through enough of the game‘s goodies that our only real complaint is “hurry up.” After the jump, some thoughts on this long overdue bit of super-awesomeness.
Eye popping graphics.
For E3, rather than showcasing the actual story, we were shown a series of seamlessly transitioned areas that showed off how the game will look and play. Beginning in a verdant hilltop overlooking a large valley, transitioning to a dank, stony cavern, into a gauntlet style dungeon and finally, into a crypt, Dungeon Siege III has spectacular graphics. In every stage, ambient particles of light floated in the air, the lighting was both naturalistic and magic-looking, the colors popped, the environmental features were textured and visceral, and the overall mood was appropriately otherworldly and fantastic.
One thing: The health meter in the HUD looks… well when you only have half-life left, it looks like a giant orange penis. Sorry, Square Enix, but it’s true. I won’t be the last person to notice. It’s hilarious but mayyybe a change ought to be considered.
We didn’t see a lot but what we did see was fantastic. Battles with undead hordes, demonic monsters, even a giant Satan thing that reminded me of Tim Curry in Legend. I wish we’d been allowed to give it a try because it looked like a lot of fun. Easy switching between weapons and powers, and satisfyingly brutal take downs. It actually reminded me a great deal of Gauntlet (which makes sense. They confirmed it as a big influence).
It’s available at any time, and in fact there’s no distinction between the single player campaign and co-op mode. At any time during a single player game, a friend can login with a second character and begin playing without interruption of loading. Should they decide to quit, the game’s AI will take over for them. Again, without load time or interruption in play.
Big Story, brisk storytelling, is promised.
We were told the story is big, but the emphasis is on telling that it briskly. There will be some cut scenes in the final version of the game, but they’ll be kept to a minimum. Instead, in-game dialogue and dialogue-tree interactions will move it along. We saw a scene that seamlessly transitioned from the end of combat to a very brief cut-scene, then a dialogue tree conversation, back to roaming combat with in-game dialogue from the NPC as you hacked your way through enemies galore. It didn’t tell us anything about the game’s plot but it does indicate the game will be fast paced, action packed.
Unique Character Classes, variable weapon usage.
Each character class – (we saw only a couple, including the Guardian Class) will have unique powers, unique weapons skills, and attributes. They told us that no two characters will overlap in attributes, and weapons and items will have variable combined effects. There’s also two different weapon stances; 2 handed, and one handed, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Fighting two-handed will give you greater force but reduced agility. The reverse is true for one-handed fighting.
Continuity with previous Dungeon Siege games.
In addition to character classes from previous installments of the series, Dungeon Siege takes place in the same universe. Cities and locales from previous games will appear, as will powers and some weapons.
2011 needs to stop dragging its feet because the Gamefront consensus coming out of this demo is NOWWANNAPLAYNOW. We’ll be keeping our eyes out for any new information as it drops. In the meantime, we have a lot to look forward.