The original creator of Dungeon Siege helps Obsidian and Square get on the path of redemption with the series first console release.

Teaming up with Chris Taylor, the original creator of the Dungeon Siege series, Obsidian Entertainment and Square make good on their newly acquired property. Plainly titled 'Dungeon Siege III,' you will forge through the Kingdom of Ehb, and for a first, you'll be doing this on your home console. Sorry PC gamers, another series has been "borrowed."

Your heroic journey begins by selecting a hero. Four choices are available with each character having their own unique history and battle skills (a term used loosely.) Beginning with Lucas Montbarron, the skilled swordsman who is the last of a noble and respected line. Lucas is for the undeviating antagonists who doesn't mind getting up close and personal with his foes. Up next is Anjali, an archon, “a legend, come to life.” Anjali plays the role of the mystical/mysterious character who has the ability to freely to shift between her human form and fire elemental. This makes her the most interesting choice out of the bunch; and the most creative when it comes to magical abilities. Following Anjali is the mage, Reinhart Manx. An innovator of magical techniques, Manx is a good choice for those who mainly like to use magic. Last on the list is Katrina, a long-ranged fighter who comes from the mixed up path of an illegitimate meeting between a nomad witch and a Legion Grand Master. Katrina is the ranged fighter who is quite adapt at killing. Think, Elf with rifles and dual-wielding pistols.

Once each character is set into motion you will start to link up with the other supporting characters. However, you cannot take control of any other player during your quest (a ploy to make you replay the game, perhaps?.) Either good or bad, the adventure is squarely threaded, so replaying with different players will only entice gamers who absolutely love the gameplay, or those who are still suckers for completion. Oddly I didn't find the dull, which might contrast other reviews you have been reading. For a “Dungeon Crawling RPG” (as they call it,) the drama within Ehb unexpectedly kept me locked in as I wanted to find out more about the Legionnaires tales and history throughout the land.

The complexity behind 'Dungeon Siege III' has been refined making it a breeze to pick-up-and-play. The upgrading/leveling/equipment methods have been reduced to a few menus that cover the basics. However, this doesn't mean the collection aspect is reduced as well. You will still be stuffing your pockets with more loot than you can carry. Like any respectable “Dungeon Crawler” loot gathering and leveling up is key. While a small chunk of the hardcore fan-base might find 'Dungeon Siege III' to be lacking in comparison to its predecessor, most gamers who want a simple romp will be satisfied.

The combat also keeps things simple and is instantaneously rewarding. Thanks to powerful magical spells and upgraded weapons you will be slicing through waves of enemies with ease. The adversary presented are the typical fantasy affair from gargoyles, obligatory creepy spiders to massive demons; this one is by the book, and a colourful book I must add. The graphics, while downgraded in certain areas, spare no expense when it comes to lighting up the darkened world with magic spells of various colours. A few key environments also bring out the life in the more than capable graphics engine. It's not always “wow-ing,” but when it shines, it's dazzling.

For complaints, I have to flag the inability to customize the controls, which i would have welcomed. It's not that you don't adjust, they are just a little awkward at first. Then you have to factor in the camera angles/targeting system that has a mind of its own. Snap on targeting would have been the natural choice, rather than the “point it towards the enemy/close enough” mechanism Obsidian went with.

Another questionable route taken was the inventory system that needlessly adds another item screen when it's not needed. Why you cannot 'Transmute' or as we know it, "junk" your items from the equipment screen is beyond me?! Although that's not the real bugger. That comes in when you head to a merchant to purchase goods. No indicator is present so you can compare your inventory to the item you want to purchase. Therefor you either risk spending your hard earn blood coins on merch that you may or may not use. This caused me to skip the who “shopping” idea and stick with picking up loot, grrrr. Given that this formula has been done to perfection for more than 10 years, its exclusion is rightfully missed. So a few grips exists, yet when its all said and done, none of these make 'Dungeon Siege III' unplayable.

Co-op play is also available, either online or off. Having four people together on the quest has its moments, although its inclusion doesn't come without disappointment. When you're online you can't use your single player character to earn and gather loot. This immediately takes away from the experience, leaving you with nothing more than achievements to strive for. If they would have let players hop online with their characters, it would been a viable way to play the game, if not the preferred method. Obsidian missed the boat here, patch it up boys!

Constructed off the standard model for dungeon crawling, 'Dungeon Siege III' doesn't reinvent the crawl, it only provides a pleasant ride within its confined genre. Admitting, 'Dungeon Siege III' has it's issues, but what is does right, works. Without hesitation I would recommend 'Dungeon Siege III' for those who don't mind a short-by-RPG-standards crawl into a surprisingly interesting world. Although, there is nothing “really” new to see here, sometimes the simple joys of annihilating hundreds of enemies and gather loot is reward enough.

  • The drama within Ehb is surprisingly interesting
  • Lots of loot to find for each character
  • Fun and simple to get into
  • Dual weapons and upgradeable magic skills are fun use
  • Four characters some diversity, although it could have been expanded upon
  • Needless menu screens when dealing with inventory
  • No compare option when dealing with merchants; why am I collecting loot anyway?
  • Character customization options could have been expanded
  • Linear path, no real reason to replay the game aside from trophies/achievements
  • Can't take your campaign characters online
Quote: "Constructed off the standard model for dungeon crawling, Dungeon Siege III doesn't reinvent the crawl, it only provides a pleasant ride within its confined genre."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 06.24.11

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Dungeon Siege III

Square Enix

Obsidian Ent.

Action RPG

US Release
June 2011


PS3, X360

Players 1-2
Co-op 2
Online MP 1-4
HD 720-1080p
5.1 surround