Back when I originally dabbled in PC gaming–the Age of Mythology era–I had considered getting into Dungeon Siege when it first released, but I was warned that it wasn’t suited for newbies to PC RPGs, so I stayed away. I never heard anything from the franchise since, until I went to E3 in 2010, when Square Enix announced it was bringing the game back and was publishing it for consoles as well as PC. I wasn’t able to play Dungeon Siege III at that E3 or this past E3, but I was still intrigued by the demo. So I blindly purchased the game, and I was definitely not disappointed.
The best way I can describe Dungeon Siege III is that it is a hybrid of a linear action-RPG and Gauntlet. I say Gauntlet because it has the capabilities of supporting up to four people playing at once, and the combat reminds me a lot of Gauntlet:Seven Sorrows, but with a lot more depth. It’s definitely not a button-masher as combat requires a fair bit of strategy, but it’s not nearly as complex as typical action-RPGs.
My only complaint about the game is how short it is. Playing on Normal and finishing all the sidequests took me only 14 hours to complete. I believe the reason for this is that you have the opportunity to play as four different characters, which gives you different perspectives to the overall story and the opportunity to make different choices throughout the game. Decisions you make greatly affect the ending, which is half the reason why I’m already playing through again as a different character.
Another possible reason why the story is so short could be due to the co-op capabilities. Players can drop in and out of a co-op game at any time, but if you want to play with friends for the whole game, it’s a little hard to get four people to agree to set aside time to play a 30-hour game together. Fourteen hours is far easier to coordinate.
As for the story, it wasn’t the greatest RPG story on the planet, but it kept me guessing. I thought I knew what the twist was going to be, and I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. RPGs have a knack for being rather derivative when it comes to story, so it’s always refreshing to have a wrench thrown into the gears.
Dungeon Siege III hasn’t had a lot of marketing or discussion since its June release, but it’s a sleeper hit that’s a must for action-RPG fans, especially action-RPG fans who have a small nostalgic pension for Gauntlet. If only there was a narrator telling me that my Archon needs food badly.