“ Publisher: Microsoft / Genre: Role-Playing / ESRB Rating: M - (Mature) / ESRB Descriptor: Violence / ESRB Descriptor: Blood and Gore / Platform: Windows / Online: Online Gaming Support / Control Elements: Mouse / Control Elements: Keyboard / Distribution Media: CD-ROM „
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Dungeon Siege II was released in late 2005, and from the outset it seems pretty appealing - it's like Diablo, but in lovely 3D, with epic seamless environments and a whole party to control.
At its heart, Dungeon Siege II is an action RPG, and is split up into several 'Acts' of hacking, slashing and spell-casting through forests, swamps, caves, temples, and (of course) dungeons. The idea is to accrue gold and experience points to upgrade your various characters skills and defeat increasingly difficult foes - for the most part the usual suspects, giant spiders, skeletons and the like. The interface is quite similar to games like Diablo.
The gameplay in DSII is fairly easy to get to grips with. You can have a party of up to six characters, and you're basically able to take control of one character at a time. The other party members are reasonably smart, being controlled by the AI, and depending on the behaviour you have chosen they will act in various ways to assist. You have a good amount of control over these party members, and there is room for strategy - although I personally found myself often telling all of my party members to focus fire on my target, which may be inefficient but is certainly powerful.
Character and skill development is implemented nicely. Different skills level up as you use them, kind of like in Oblivion. This way, you'll find that the way that your characters develop matches your play style. This is good for new players, who may not know the best ways to spend their points, like in Diablo.
There is no denying that hacking and slashing your way through Dungeon Siege II is fun. The game offers over 40 hours of gameplay, and with no loading screens between areas the feel is suitably epic. One nice touch is the ability to recruit a mule - yes, an actual mule - as a member of your party. The mule doesn't do much, but it can hold a large amount of loot. This is really handy if you, like me, find that your adventuring is often brought to a quick and abrupt halt by full bags!
One disadvantage of DSII is the graphics - they're not particularly great, and some of the angles are a bit harsh and jagged. As far as I'm concerned, though, this isn't too bad, because it means the game works fine on a computer that's more than 2 years old - something that seems to be hard to come by these days!
One unusual thing I noticed - not sure if I just missed it, but nowhere in the game's huge rambling world did I encounter, at any point, a dungeon that was either besieged, or that I had to lay siege to myself. Odd.
Overall, DSII is a fun action RPG romp, great if you enjoyed games such as Diablo. It's pretty challenging, and it'll take you a while to complete, if you don't mind the dated looking graphics give it a go!
Dungeon Siege II follows on from the original Dungeon Siege game in both story and gameplay.
The game is in concept a fairly typical third person RPG (Role Playing Game), although instead of controlling just one character, you control a group of up to 6 adventurers.
In the single player game, you control one of these directly, and the others will follow and assist as instructed (you can, of course, switch which is your character at any point); in the multiplayer mode, friends on other computers will be controlling the second character.
You have a choice of 4 races to play - Dryads, Elves, Half-giants and Humans, each with it's own advantages and disadvantages.
The story line is fairly linear - each mission leads on to the next, although you can end up with several side missions to complete at any one time.
The graphics are spectacular - although of course your results may vary depending on your system configuration.
Similarly, the sound - music, sound effects and voice acting - are well put together and bring the player deeper into the game.
The gameplay though is the controversial aspect. Like Dungeon Siege, advancement in skill is gained through use of that particular skill, although there are some choices to be made when levelling up that make the talent tree more noticeable in this game
However, almost all missions resolve to "Find the bad guys, kill them", or often just "Go here... kill all in your path". This is a true hack-and-slash game, with no finesse in the execution of missions.
To me, that's great... I don't want to have to think all the time... but don't expect the complexities you'd find in a game like Neverwinter Nights or Morrowind.