Western RPG’s – even of the hack and slash variety – are traditionally involving, complex affairs replete with a litany of statistics, deep character customisation and well…roleplaying.
And then you get Dungeon Siege III.
Coming from from RPG veterans Obsidian (most recently responsible for Fallout New Vegas) Dungeon Siege III is, I guess, what you’d call a “streamlined,” simplistic RPG carrying a pick-up-and-play ethos that’ll likely deter hard-core genre fans, but those people probably weren’t interested in this to begin with.
Dungeon Siege III features a rather linear, clichÃ©-ridden and wholly predictable, but pleasantly enjoyable narrative linear story that brings players back to the established Kingdom of Ehb. This time it centres around the mystical 10th legion, an ancient force that – accused of regicide – is decimated by the powerful Jeyne Kassynder. There’s no character creation whatsoever here, so your task – as one of four pre-created characters is to rebuild the legion, bring Jeyne Kassynder to task and, quite obviously, save the entire Kingdom.
Though there’s no character customisation, you’ll likely find one of the four characters suits your play-style. Lucas Montbarron is your typical warrior-class, dispensing evil with swords and shields. Anjali, the fiery Archon, can switch between human and flaming Archon forms, using fire-based attacks. The pedantic and curious Reinhart is your mage, who has a surfeit of entropic spells at his fingertips. Katarina is a ranged specialist, mostly employing rifles and handguns that can be bolstered though the use of black magic.
It employs a rather simplistic combat system that comes across as simple button-mashing hack and slashery – but there’s a certain depth to it if you look for it. The basic attack powers up your focus meter, granting you access to focused attacks. Your focus attacks – simple spells, essentially – are more powerful . Using those focus attacks in turn fills up a special orb. That completed orb can be used to unleash a furious super attack, or used to cast a healing spells and the like. This simply, but effectively forces you to mix your attacks up, keeping combat interesting and varied.