It took me some time to complete this review, exams, good weather and the addiction of CastleQuest2 but it’s finally done.
Dungeon Siege is hack ‘n slash to the bone. You get yourself some party members, some nice armors and some kick ass weapons and you are ready to fight the nasty creatures that have been polluting your land. No worries about skillpoints and such cause they are automatically appointed by the game. Let’s say you have one mean fighting machine with melee weapons
(a nice axe or pointy sword will do) and only use this kind of weapons then your strength and ability with melee weapons will rise. For archers with their bows it’s the dexterity and ability with ranged weapons that will increase. Magicians will see their intelligence and nature magic or combat magic rise.
There is quite some freedom in how you wish to play the game concerning party members, you can stay alone or go with about 8 members if you please but I like to have a bit of overview so I choose to stick with 5 members. One melee fighter with heavy armor, a lot of health and very big sword or axe and in his back some backup from one archer, one combat magic and two nature magic sorcerers.
It’s very nice to see a party with all the possible abilities, the nature magic guys can heal parties or give them extra defence and/or rage and they have some nasty spells to aid in the ranged weapons department. The summoning of a gargoyle or skeleton for instance can prove handy as well when facing a lot of creatures, they can take the damage while the rest stays in the background shooting arrows or casting spells.
The one game where it is compared to is of course Diablo and it’s follow up Diablo2. When comparing these two personally I found Diablo2 better in the concept of items, it was always a thrill finding a new item and taking it to the town to let and old mage tell you what it actually is. In DS however it’s immediately clear what the item is and what it does, you find a lot of items in both games but in Diablo you had the possibility to teleport yourself to the town to sell them, in DS you can buy a mule to take it along in your journey. But even 5 party members and one mule aren’t enough to take all the items you find on your way (there is no teleport spell to the town) so it was a bit heartbreaking every time I had to leave an item on the ground which I earned so hard by fighting all those creeps. Needless to say I left all the lame items like rugs and daggers behind… but still, I’m a real capitalist and want to have all the money I can have.
Another difference with Diablo is that there are no loading times, you go from the land above into a dungeon without having to wait one second while enjoying a “loading” screen. Maybe not that important concerning the gameplay but still I found it enjoyable never having to wait.
In the beginning I started the game with 5 archers. That wasn’t too bright of course, but I wanted to see what effect it had. At that point the mule was very handy, when entering a dungeon where it was too quiet for my own good I positioned my archers and made the mule enter. A lot of screams were heard from inside that room, some scorpions, skeletons and spiders their way of saying “Aha, a good meal has just entered our dungeon!”. Little did they know when pursuing my mule they got caught in a rain of arrows, ha! But in the end it wasn’t very useful, so I restarted with my present party I told above, which is much more effective and more pleasant.
There is even an ability to pause so you can swap items and equip your men to be able to face the opponents, could be use full at times but I rarely felt the need of using it.
The locations are somewhat typical, you got your outdoor rocky environment with green grass, the icy caves with according creatures, the forests and of course lots of dungeons.
What really struck me was that the graphics, music and sound effects are really great, it’s a feast for the eyes and ears and that’s something I missed in Diablo2. I know graphics aren’t everything but combined with great gameplay it makes a game a real topper in my opinion.
A must have for fans of the hack ‘n slash genre.