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Dungeon Siege is a decent game but has not aged well. Released in the early two thousands it is an adventure based role-playing game. It is basically a clone of Blizzard's original Diablo game and does not quite make the same grade.
There are plenty of quests and large map areas to be explored as well as countless monsters to kill. The downside of these large maps is that they seem to get worse graphically the further you get into the game as well as it becoming somewhat tedious to explore these sometimes seemingly endless areas.
Playable solo or in a multiplayer mode, the multi player mode is a little lacking as although it saves your character it does not save the world and your progression through it meaning you can lose exactly where you were up to in multi player games. Also due to the age of the game Microsoft or Gas Powered Games (or whoever actually originally released it) no longer support playing it on there game server meaning it is unlikely you would ever get to play this kind of game unless you have a like minded friend with a copy of the game.
Graphically it is badly dated compared to more modern games (that said it is slightly better graphically then the original Diablo) and since Diablo is more finely tuned game play wise I would advise you taking a look at this game (or its sequel Diablo II) if you are new to this kind of game, for those bored of Diablo though it may be worth a look if you are after more of the same thing with around thirty hours of game play require to reach the end.
Dungeon Siege is the perfect example of a game that is all style and no substance; it was hugely hyped before its release but sadly managed to disappoint through a depressing lack of depth. It's not hard to please fans of the fantasy genre but this one fails spectacularly through its hugely clunky gameplay that the makers have tried to mask with some lush visuals.
And indeed, what stellar visuals they are. As much as I loathe the gameplay, I can't knock the graphics here; they are very good for their time, and still hold up fairly well. The character textured in particular are rather well done, and it has a picturesque quality that makes you wander around aimlessly, perhaps with the hope that a good plot might materialise in the interim. However, the sound work is diabolical; aside from a few inspired themes, the sound effects are archaic and recycled, and the voice acting is hilariously bad.
Speaking of which, the plot isn't even really worth talking about; you're a farmer and are suddenly told that some very bad people are about to show up. Cue you defending your home land from evil monsters with a fairly limited array of bladed weapons. There's not much more to it than walk, kill, advance, repeat. This isn't aided by some pretty dodgy control work; while it is refreshingly simplistic, with you just needing the mouse and spacebar, it is marred by some clunky mechanics that mean you'll be clicking frantically and the damn thing won't respond.
Sadly this is yet another instance of a game trying to coast by on its pretty visuals. The gameplay is immensely repetitive and doesn't lend itself to multiple playthroughs, that is, if you can even muster the determination to persevere with one play.
Dungeon Siege is brought to you by Gas Powered Games, a fairly new name on the Role Playing Game (RPG) front. I was bored recently and replayed this game.
I have to say that initially I felt that the term RPG was somewhat misleading, but after several hours playing the game and coming to understand the mechanics of game play and character development better, I have to admit I was mistaken. More of that later.
You have worked tirelessly for years on your simple farm, poor but proud, but all this work is in vain, as you see your farm, your family and friends destroyed by the evil Krugs.. It appears from my social intercourse with the natives (essential to complete the game)that the Krugs have always been around, simple and unintelligible, seeing themselves as inferior to all other races. Because of this (low self esteem, a lack of self worth, no future - it sounds like these maybe the equivalent of our joyriders, muggers and delinquents!), they are all too often used as tools of the evil ones. Out of the ashes of your loss arises a warrior with a burning need for revenge. You set out alone, hoping that somehow, somewhere, you will actually find out what the hell you need to do in the game! I'm still seeking the overall objective of the game - I suspect it's something to do with discovering and defeating whoever is organising the basically imbecilic Krug to attack and destroy the land.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics are exquisitely detailed and superbly done, with shadows and shading used very effectively. Colours are bright, with no 'leakage' and even in the heat of battle, all characters can be seen distinctly. Screens are seamlessly scrolled through with no flickering at all, even when moving from woodland to dungeons. Onscreen objects (trees, pillars, walls) become transparent when you walk behind them, with just the faintest outline of the trees swaying in the gentle breeze. This is extremely useful in allowing you to position your character(s).
The soundtrack is good - moody and threatening when danger is at hand. Voices are well done and well used during the encounters and quest receiving sequences of the game and introduction. The swish of your axe through the air, the sounds of your enemies as they attack, the meaty of thud of body parts on the ground as you cleave your enemy to bits all add to the general atmosphere - brilliant!
Superb. Everything you need to know is in here, an excellent example of how it should be done. A map of the kingdom of Ehb displays the main areas that you will need to explore, including farmlands, crypts, mines, villages and towns, ruins, fortresses, swamplands amongst others.
A quick overview that details the basic commands that you need to throw yourself into the game (Who read manuals first anyway?) including movement, zooming the view, attacking, use weapons and spells, equipping items, and controlling your inventory. All of these options can be hot keyed and customised if so desired.
Following this, all navigation and 'using' options are covered in more detail in separate paragraphs.
We have a brief description of the different magic types, skills and attributes, and party management.
The game can also be played online, or on a network, and there are some comprehensive details on how best to this.
Finally, the back cover the manual is a particularly handy listing of all hotkeys. As the manual is approximately 3" by 6" inches, it is ideally sized to sit by your keyboard whilst you get used to the controls.
Character Development and your party
Earlier, I mentioned that I was a bit unsure as to whether or not Dungeon Siege is an RPG. Confused?? What I mean by this is that follows the RPG format, in that as you gain experience, you increase in character levels becoming stronger, faster, more intelligent etc. Where it strays from the traditional RPG format is that you do not create a character at the start of the game, nor do have any structured control over how your character develops - in a traditional RPG, you usually have the option to choose which of your characters attributes are increased as your character gains experience, in Dungeon Siege, this is not the case. However, what you do have control of is how your acts during combat - does he use magic, does she use physical violence, does he go all out attack or does he hang back? Surprisingly, this method of character development works very well, and it allows you to balance your character if you wish to do so. Alternate between magic use and weapon use, and you will get a balanced warrior/mage, simply hack and slash and you may have to rely upon recruiting others to make use of magical abilities.
As mentioned you may gain companions along the way - they may join your group and be useful, or become a liability! Each new member has different abilities, and often, charge for their services. How they act in battle can be decided - do you want them to wade straight in? keep their distance? Use offensive magic? Use protective magic? The choice is yours...You may want to get rid of them - easy, simply dismiss them and off they go. You can always visit them again and persuade them to join the group again. This is actually key to several quests you will become immersed in during the game, as some companions actually provided you with mini-quests along the way. You can have a party of up to 8 characters, and rest assured, there are several key points in the game where safety is only numbers! You may also buy pack mules, again essential because of the range and wealth of items to be found along the way.
When you start the game, you need to become accustomed to the controls as quickly as possible. Luckily, the game controls are simple, effective and easily learnt, becoming instinctive very quickly. Combat is straightforward - one mouse click does it all, and you can decide how you (and individual members of your party) wish to fight. Battle is nicely done, you need to think quickly and identify the strongest foe amongst your opponents. When you start collecting companions, you concentrate on the strongest and let them get on with it. If you or they die, resurrection is possible if you have a suitably 'qualified' mage in the party. . As locations are revealed, you will be given such quests as rescuing kidnapped villagers, recovering magical artefacts, clearing the way for the local militia etc. The game is fairly linear but there is always a quest to be had! The further into the game you get, the stronger the enemies you will encounter. Never underestimate your enemy! Weapons, potions, gold is readily available both while exploring and as a result of combat. This does make a nice change as many RPGs simply turn into a hunt the potion or I will die soon scenario.
There is a massive variety of weapons, armours, magic spells and magical items to be found - briefly, swords, maces, staffs, shields, combat magic and natural (healing) magic, pills, potions and balms, plenty of books to read that fill in a more detail about the game and its characters, characters to interact with, to help or kill as the whim takes. I really could go and on listing all the different items available within the game, but hey, I don't want to give too much away!
The Technical Bit
The basic system requirements for Dungeon Siege are as follows:
8MB/3D Graphic Card
1Gb hard disc space
Online/multiplayer - 56k modem for 1-4 players, broadband or LAN for 5+ players
These requirements may well run this game but I have serious reservations about how well it would so - I suspect it may be very slow and the graphics somewhat basic under a platform like this.
Buy it - it's not particularly original being similar in nature to the Diablo games, but with sufficient RPG elements to appeal to hardened RPGers and those who just want a good hack and slash. Colourful, atmospheric, well thought out quests, no major bugs, this shows how a game should be, challenging, not impossibly difficult and fun with a capital F. It is possible to pick this up now for about £5 now - well worth it!!
This review also appears on Ciao under name MarkKerr
I remember when I first started playing this game, and the very first thing that captured me was the wonderful scenery. Even today when I installed and ran it for nostalgic reasons I found the environment to be beautiful and abundant in elements. A feat you'd find lacking in older games as the more things you had on screen the more intensive the game was to carry, and let's face it, 5 years ago... computers were just getting over that "well now we're just going to rock!" hurdle.
The music for the game was uninspiring, delightful at times but nothing spectacular. Perhaps they felt that music wasn't that important but for any game, it is in my opinion one of the most critical elements to pay attention to. Great music is often the first step to preparing yourself to submerge into a game.
The combat system was how you would expect most RPG's back in the day to be. Not that great. Click on the enemy, and watch them battle it out. I was never a fan of this battle engine though admittingly it would make micro managing all of your forces all the easier.
The story line was pretty good and the world vast and varied to explore. It seemed like they spent a huge amount at the beginning to make it look awesome, but once you get further into the game, it looks more stoic and bare.
Dungeon Siege is an excellent game , is a little old , I have to say, but basically you will find everything you need to find in a game of this kind.
The games takes a lot from diablo, I have to say that basically is a good clone, there are a lot of quest and so on, the map is pretty big and will be nice to play in such a big map in the beginning but it will somewhat get boring after a while.
The game is still playable in multiplayer but you have to set up your own server and another bad thing of the game is that it will save your character but not events of the world, that means you will have to keep the server up or lose everything done to that point , if you have some quest objects they will remain and in that case the game will going on like nothing happened but if you were in the middle of a quest all that you have done will be lost.
The graphics is nice even if the game is somewhat old.
The game is somewhat old that means you will find it probably at a very low price , around 5 pounds or so.
the worst part is that microsoft took away the possibility to play it online in their match zone and that mean that the only way to play it is by ip with tour friends
the game only require a pc with windows 98 or more and a simple video card, so I think almost all pc right now will be able to run it.
If anyone asks me I say "I don't play games, on my computer" but this one got me hooked quite quickly. I watched my children playing this and one day sitting here decided to have a go, it took me ages to work out what I was doing, although I soon managed to run around the beautiful world and kill the odd baddie monster.
This game is classed as a role play game/Adventure. It is so easy to navigate, but difficult to stay alive until the end.
At the begining you choose what you want your character to look like, and press next. Off you go.
Your character finds him/herself in a clearing with very little in the way of armour, weapons or money, to move them around you click the mouse on a spot and off they go. They can be set to move freely also. They will attack any monsters and collect any bounty that are dropped when these monsters die. This is the way that you get better armour, weapons and gold to buy even better things. There are also spells to collect or buy when you reach a shop.
As you fight and collect bounty, you gain:
As you collect more powerful weapons and spells you can use them as your skills increase.
There are four different skills you can develop. You can switch from one to another thus increasing your skills in more than one area.
Using sword and axes you can develop you skill until you become a fighter.
Using bows and arrows you increase your skill and become an archer
Nature Magic Skill:
My favourite, you start as an apprentice and can end up as a Nature Mage, casting the most powerful and beautiful spells.
Combat Magic Skill:
You increas your skill and can end the game as a Combat Mage.
So here you are, running around, killing all these monsters and gaining power and wealth along the way. There are also a series of quests to complete. And people to talk to on the way, some of them are shopkeepers, some of them ask you to find things or deliver things for them and some of them want to join you in your fight to free their land. Some of them just give you directions and are helpful.
The graphics for this game are truely beautiful, more like watching a film than a computer game, some of the scenery is stunning and you feel as if you are there looking up at the trees or down into a great canyon. There are different weather conditions as well, I really got a surprise the first time it started to rain on my character and the snow landscapes are lovely.
At the bottom right of the screen there are buttons that show you a map of the game, this unfolds as you progress, so you can check where you are and look to see if you really are lost or if you are just going round in circles. The map is very helpful to follow when in the dungeons to see which parts you have been along rather than randomly search and not know whether you have been in a particular spot before or not.
There are also buttons to change the way your characters act or where they stand in order to get the best fighting stance.
You can buy a donkey who will carry your excess weapons and armour, he/she will fight although you need to keep an eye on him because he isn't that strong, as time goes by the donkey increases in strength. This way you can carry loads of spare weapons so that as you gain strength you can switch to better ones, also you can sell your spares when you arrive at a shop. You also collect mana and health vials which you can use to top up your health and mana. You use health every time you get hit by monsters weapons and you use mana every time you cast a spell.
I don't want to go into too much detail of the gameplay and what to do and where to go because it would ruin it if you knew what it was all about. But the whole idea is to free the land of wickedness and let good rule, which is something we can all relate to. Like any game it is pure fantasy, but a most enjoyable way to waste time.
There is background music and sounds of fighting and casting spells which can make you lose yourself in the game entirely.These are controllable in the settings, turning the sounds up or down, having louder music or shooting sounds. There is also settings used to make it less real for if youngsters are playing, like turning the blood green instead of a realistic red or not showing blood at all.
Other settings give more complex graphics depending on what sort of card your computer has.
If you play the game for hours on end then sometimes it does freeze up but most of the time on my 1900+AMD Athlon running Windows XP it works fine.
Find below the official website, which will tell you all about it and includes a downloadable demo to try for anyone not sure whether they would get their moneys' worth or not.
You can travel alone or with the people you meet on the way. I travelled with three others and we kept to our specialised skills so gaining power and complimenting each other. I now have a hankering to try again and travel alone. I am told this can be done but it is very much more difficult.
Prices for this game were £34.00 but probably now you could buy one on Ebay for a lot less.
Thanks for reading
Dungeon Siege might not be everones taste, but seeing as the sequal is coming out very soon, I only thought it fair to remind you about this game. It's made by both Microsoft and Gaspower Games, but it doesn't feel as though you're playing a typical game made by Microsoft. The functionality of the user interface is fantastic, allowing you to move the camera angle around the character in all directions, and also zoom in and out. The game not only plays well but looks good too, and doesn't require an enormously powerful PC to run it either. Unfortunately, as with all of these types of games, they can get boring very quickly, in the same way games like Diablo do. After a point you gain barely any experience, and all the items you seem to pick up are boring. However, there are loads of different maps (levels) out there for you to download, such as Yesterhaven, which quickly relieve this bordom. I'm not sure if any other game like this has ever had other maps available for download.
All though Dungeon Siege has the name Microsoft branded onto it, it is NOT a Microsoft product, but in fact a Gas Powered Games product. Many people fear Microsoft labels as it usually means bugged out, crashing and dull. This is not the case in this game, however, unless you are a full on Dungeons and Dragons fan, biding for nothing simpler. Being GPG's first ever RPG, Id have to congradulate them on a job well done. Instead of Baldur's Gate or Diablo series flat graphics, Dungeon Siege has taken on a fully 3D engine, with a camera that can rotate 360 degrees around the character, and, from a fully top down perspective, about 60 degrees down from the top of the screen. This allows you to see everything in any angle, and can give you that much of an early warning when peeking around corners. Im sure we've all found ourselves leaning over in FPS trying to look around the corner. The model's look great, but unfortunantly (as far as Iv seen) new models cannot be made, only skins. All though I have seen some mods which allows you to play as one of the bad guys, no originally creative model can be made for the multiplayer character. In Singleplayer, you get to choose to be either a Farmboy or a Farmgirl, and you can customize them from a small range of clothing, faces, skin, and hair, allthough there isnt much variety. Also, any items equipped and selected show up on your character as if they really are holding the legit item, not just a copy of all the others. When you equip armor, you will see yourself fully in that armor, even the patterns and symbols. The same applies with shields, helms, boots, gloves, and melee weapons. Bows usually seem to be copies, just shooting arrows with the magical effects on them. Looking at a characters weapon, you can sometimes determine the magic effects on them. A sword with blue stars falling from it indicates that it adds Mana to your stock, while a flaming sword represents added Fire damage. This even applie
s with the enemies, who can change their weapons whenever they wish. A Trog may be weilding a sword at first, but then you might see it being replaced by a magic staff, and when its been killed, it will usually drop both those weapons. Gameplay is a bit easy, especially on Easy, while Hard is almost impossible. This is where die-hard D&D fans will lose interest. Basically, you must run to the end of the game, exploring the few towns there are, killing the thousands of enemies on your way and completing a few quests, most of which must be done anyway. The interface is easy, as characters will generally use whatever weapon they've been told to use automatically. If a Swordsman has "Move freely" and "Engage" set, and are attacked by a ranged enemy, they will move to kill that enemy. A spellcaster with Healing Wind set as their current spell will automatically cast the spell when one character is at half health, thus healing everyone. Formations can be set to protect the weaker Spellcasters and Archers, and everyone will drink a potion at the click of a button (when in battle, only people below half health will drink a potion, too), and they will only use the amount they need, instead of gulping the whole potion down like in the Diablo series. Also, leveling is achieved by training. Attacking with Melee will increase Melee skill and strength, while increasing Magic the least, Archers will increase in Ranged Skill and Dexterity, and Mages will increase in a Magic skill (either Combat or Nature Magic) and Energy, while increasing Strength the least. AI has a bit to make up for, though. Generally enemies will simply fight you to the death, and NPCs say the same lines over and over again (all though they mostly have about 2, maybe 3 things they say over and over again), and people who join your party will only join for a price, so they can pay something off. Some will join for free though, for all you cheapskates. Mules, the "Item stas
hing" characters in other games, are hirable party members, literally mules, which will gather items and store em, while running away from enemies. They will attack if cornered, but dont count on em beating the monster. A "Gather All" button forces all selected characters to pick every item in sight up and store them into the nearest Mule. The game, however, is far too linear, and the story (if you can call it that) goes basically like this: "A mighty kingdom had fallen, forcing people to live on another country. They set up another kingdom. 300 years later the Ancient Evils of the past return to finish the job. A farmer's house was destroyed by Krug, and now this single farmer is off to save the Kingdom of Ehb from the Ancient Evil, which an entire army could not beat." Bit simple storyline, eh? However, all of the above is the SINGLEPLAYER campaign. Online, not only can you play that campaign with or against other people (Player vs Player, what all RPG fans love to do) but there is also another whole campaign, which is far less linear, allthough there is a recommended path for new characters. But why make a new one? You can take your best developed character from Singleplayer and import him into the Multiplayer experience. And in Multiplayer, you also get to choose from a Dwarf and a Skeleton, each with their own skins. Finally, at the end of the Multiplayer scenario, a single riddle points you to the bonus level, similar to Diablo 2's Secret Cow Level, the Secret Chicken Level, a must see for all Cow Level fanatics of Diablo 2. I recommend this game to newbies of RPGs, any RPG fan who isnt strictly die-hard D&D, any RPG player who loves to play online and those who love PVP and the Secret Cow Level. Like the title of my review says, Singleplayer is only the training for Multiplayer, as thats where the true fun of this game is. Heck, Im even content with playing by myself on lan settings :P
...and what scenery! In fact you'll notice I haven't written an op. for some time. Mostly due to a complete immersion in this and another similar game (Op. to follow... Eventually.) What's it all about? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RPG = Role Playing Game. You the player take the part of one or more fictional characters in a fictional world, populated (usually) by creatures from Tolkiens Middle-Earth. In this case you are a lowly farmer (male or female) toiling in the land of Ehb, who is plunged into adversity as your village is burned to the ground by raiders, and picking up the pieces, taking revenge and saving the Kingdom falls to you and any hapless companions you meet on your journey. The interface ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In one word, "simple." ... Is that good or bad though? This is the first attempt by Gas Powered Games to enter into the RPG scene, they have an impressive though relatively short track record in the games market, and in this case they have used Microsoft as the publisher, which may well put some potential buyers off. What they have tried to do is take the classic pen-and paper RPG, which has already been transferred to the PC by the likes of Black Isle, and bring it to the masses. In this, the interface they provide reigns supreme. Unfortunately it will probably not suit the hardened Role-Playing Gamer. Much of the complexity of character development has been removed, and replaced by a gradual self-development system, whereby the more you use a weapon or a type of magic, the more advanced you become in its use. As you would expect of a Microsoft-sanctioned game, point-and-click reigns supreme. The visuals ~~~~~~~~~~~ This genre of game has developed rapidly over the last few years, and from its origins in pen-and paper, the representation of the fantasy environments has become an artform worth beholding. Full 3D in a 3rd person view which relocates from character to character as you select them. The camera positioning is easily controlled, and at the same time as an element of automatic behaviour so that you do not spend the whole time trying to see what is going on. Unlike many attempts at presenting a useful in-game camera view, if the camera angle is deemed too obscured by the game, instead of presenting an unusable interface, it simply fades away some of the scenery until you can see what you should! The downside to this is that much of the scenery is not solid. For example, you rarely need to walk around trees, as they fade away and let you walk through them :-( Gameplay ~~~~~~~~ Simple progression, should allow RPG novices to enjoy this game, but it is overly repetitive and horribly linear. You beat up progressively harder baddies, collect better armour, spells and weapons until you meet the big 'ol baddy. This is offset by a superb range of locations, technologies, magic, weapons and monsters. It is ridiculously gripping. Once I statred, I couldn't stop until I'd finished it, having said that, I will not play it again. Overall ~~~~~~~ Not really worth the shop price of about £40, but check out www.play.com, or similar for prices as low as £25, which is excellent value, for a game not to be missed. © 2002 S.Davies
Ok, it's that long since I wrote anything that this might turn out to be stilted, uninformative and not particularly useful. On the other hand, I just finished playing this game a few days ago, so it's fresh in the mind. I'm going to start off with my blurb on the game, then my criticisms, praises and a brief cheerio. Where to start then? Well, straight to the point, Dungeon Siege has a black mark of sorts against it right away from the more cynical amongst us, as it was published by Microsoft. This, for those of us who've been around for a while, implies several things - It's dumbed down, crashes a lot and you pay through the nose for it. Well one of these is certainly true, but we'll get to that later. However, it's not a Microsoft product, it's the first release of GPG, Gas Powered Games. GPG is located near Seattle (Where else?) and was founded in 1998 by designer Chris Taylor, whose list of credits include Total Annihilation if you're interested. It requires a minimum of 333Mhz processor, 128 mb RAM and an 8mb graphics card and is rated 15+ according to the box. I ran the game in its entirety at the highest resolutions on a 1333 Athlon with a 64mb Geforce2MX and 256 mb RAM and could occasionally see it start to falter, but on the whole the machine ran it very well. So what does it consist of? The game, so it says on the box, is an RPG set in the Land of Ehb, a place of hugely diverse geography and cultures where Dwarves and Men live under the same King. You, a humble farmer, have to investigate why the Krug (Ugly Neanderthal types) have just burnt your house down, and subsequently save the world. Blahdy Blah. 'Nuff said about that, I think we'll go straight to the criticism at this point. Is there much to criticise about DS? Well, yes, as it happens, there is. The main gripe, and I think that anyone who's a fan of the genre will agree, is it's claim to be an RPG. Pause for
those of you who aren't familiar with the term, a Role Playing Game is exactly what it says. Those of us who're a bit older than Microsoft started off playing Pen n' Paper RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons. The idea is that you lovingly develop you're imaginary character (Who is usually a way cool version of yourself), gaining skills and wealth through cunning, bravery, murder or whatever takes your fancy. It's absorbing and demanding and the nearest anyone has come to capturing this on the PC is Black Isle with the Baldurs Gate series (I haven't played Neverwinter Nights yet, before anyone says it), anyway, this game is way off the pace, you can't even be an Elf!! The game is 100% linear - very boring. RPGs should allow some scope to wander round aimlessly and get lost if you so choose, to get lost in DS you'd need to be horribly insane, as most of it is running along paths through ravines, paths along the sides of cliffs, and paths through simple cave systems. The idea of Artificial Intelligence seems to have passed the creators by too, maybe it?s a post-grunge Seattle thing that Intelligence is no longer requisite. The lack of AI hardly matters as you meet very few npcs (Non-player characters - people in the game you can co-opt to join you). In the main most of the characters who can join you approach you and endearingly say something along the lines of, "I'll join your gang if you pay me Seventy Grand so I can pay for my Nan in Bermondsey to go a cruise". Scintillating, isn't it. Other major gripes include the few towns there are to explore are tiny, the oh so few quests are of a standard that ITV Digitals Monkey could complete them and for 99.9% of the "interaction" with other characters, read killing them. There's also the not so small matter of the game only taking me 45 hours to complete, which is a bit on short side when it comes to value for money in my opinion. An
other niggle is that I first played a demo of the game from the cover of PC Format, and when I installed the complete game found I couldn't start from the end of the demo but had to go back to the beginning, very annoying when you consider the linearity issue. It does warn that this will happen in the read-me text for the demo, but who the **** ever read a read me file attached to a demo? Lastly, and that's not because there's nothing more to complain about, rather, I'm starting to sound like a real whinger so I'll stop, the ending is crap. You kill a big monster and that's it. I killed the big monster at the first attempt too, something that should never happen in a PC RPG in my not so humble opinion. This reflects the whole game though, as it really is just too easy. So, with all that said you might be inclined to think that the praise is going to be thin on the ground, well not quite, the game is good in many respects, especially if RPGs aren't your bag. The graphics create a sumptuous 3D world, and were probably the hook for me, the sound is pretty good too. Anyone paying attention will notice I bought this game after playing the demo. That's because I wanted to see more of it. There was a real sense of atmosphere and a cinematic feel to many of the scenes, and this compensated to a degree for the many lacking features I've mentioned. If this had been advertised as an adventure game or similar a lot of the criticisms I've made would be unfair. It wasn't though. Another thing I liked was the way the characters improved. If you fought with a sword a lot your strength increased, if you used a bow your dexterity increased more, and if you used magic a lot your intelligence increased. Good idea, but not wholly original as Dungeon Master on the Amiga used the system. A pity they didn't expand on it here. Other plus points for DS are that it has an on-line multiplayer option (Didn'
t try it) and a built in editor (Didn't try that either). The fact that the game only lasts 45 hours is also a plus in some ways, as 100 hours of the same thing would have been downright boring. Also, the game didn't exhibit any nasty Microsoft tendencies, as it never crashed. Well that's it in the praise stakes. As an aside, I'm a bit annoyed with some of the magazines as they rated it so highly, PCGamer, for example, gave it 92% (They gave the awesome BG2 93%), this is a ridiculous rating and 80% would be fairer. If you're an out and out RPGer I would avoid this game, but if you just like a gore fest it could be right up your street. My copy is long gone anyway, it went straight on to ebay on completion and I got 15 quid for it.
Well yes it is, this game combines elements taking from many different RPG game, i think the game it takes most of its ideas from is diablo, the inventory system is similar, some of the layout is the same, and theres alot of other little bits that seem familiar from somewhere. The games starts of by you creating your own playable character, the character has to be a human, which is a bit of a draw back, i would have loved to be an elf, or a dwarf or something. The game is set in the kingdom of EHB, EHB has always been a beutiful place of peace and tranquility until the Krug start killing and slaughtering innocent people. Its then your task to save your world and your people from this danger, but being a smnall time farmer that could be a quite a tsk, so you have to journey on quite a similar linear path through out the game picking up peoples to join your team and talking to npc's getting little tasks and missions to carry out. This game is quite repetitive, you go through a forrest maybes some hill and a cave, ten its a town, then its the forrests and the hills again then another town, if this wasn't such a good game then this would be extremely anooying. The fighting system in the game is basically like a sorta of RTS, you click on the enemy you want to attack and your dude, or party will go and bash the living hell out of which ever nasty pasty you like. The battles can sometimes get over whelming if you have to fight loadsa of baddies with a huge team, you can have a team of up to 8 and it can get frustrating when you don't realise who's dying and your only sorcerer dies and no one else can resuurect him, because that would mean a huge jounrey back to the nearest town and then back to his dead body :(. Besides from this lineararity, this game is amazing, it had great visuals, some great sounds and a huge world, that will see you through about 30 hourse of gameplay, it took me 25 hours to finish the game but thats near
enough. Each of the characters in your team has stats tyhet depends on what they do in the game, the more they fight with sowrds the better they get with swords, its not a case of getting xp points them spending them on different stats, this is a good system as you can develop a squad of different stykle fighters to help and sometime hinder battles LOL. You can even hacve a packmule n your team, which don't fight very well, and can;t have weapons but they can carry about 3 times as much as a normal character. The game has alot of nasties to kill and alot to see and do, but like i said sometime can be very repetative, if you like diablo and games like that, then this is a sound ourchase and i do recomend it, as theres a mulitplayer section and you can get an editor to make your own dungeons.
Dungeon Siege is here, I waited almost 2 months for this game to be released. If you loved the Diablo games you?ll know why. Basically Dungeon Siege was going to be the Diablo replacement....improved graphics with a more involved character development system, indeed DS is all this. The fully zoomable, tiltable, rotatable 3D world you play in is beautiful and I mean graphically gorgeous. You don?t need a high end PC either, the graphics engine is extremely kind to lower PC power. (I know) The character system is very cleaver. You have 4 different weapon types to kill the baddies with, Melee, Ranged, Combat magic, Nature Magic?the system for levelling up is so simple, which ever weapon your character uses the most the more proficient they become with it. Unlike Diablo where the character was limited to weapons by class. Which means in DS any character can use any weapon at any time, which is really useful if making tactical attacks on a group of enemies. The action is thick and fast right from the outset and carries on exactly the same thought the game, more chaotic than Diablo ever seemed to get at some points. Multiplayer is available for the game, however I tried it, and it lagged so much I couldn?t play (with a Broadband connection) I?m sure this is only because of the game only just coming online and will get fixed with time and patch updates?..but I will admit my experience so far was pretty poor. Ok I keep referring to Diablo don?t I ?? ok last time I promise?.BUT the biggest difference between the two games for me is that the baddies in DS don?t re-spawn after you save and re-load. So once you kill them there gone?.and your just forced to press on forward cause there is simply nothing behind you now. I cannot decide if this is good or bad ? better or worse ? The plot and story ?? what is that ?? well there is one in DS but its so weak I cant remember it tell you, something about evil creatures and ruini
ng your nice cabbage patch or something?.but really who cares too much ? the game wasn?t made to win Oscars with its extravagant plot (Baldur?s Gate people beware !) Rather more to entertain the hack and slash lovers, with a nice hint of RPG. So?.that?s Dungeon Siege. Graphically beautiful Poor multiplayer Excellent, simple character system Lacking in plot and story line Constant chaotic hack and slash I believe sometime in May the game producers are releasing the very same programming tools they used to build DS, allowing any gaming fan the ability to create a new world, new spells, new weapons, basically every aspect of the game down to the finest details of how bright that torch light reflects across the misty floor of the dungeon chamber?..Sound good ?
Dungeon Siege is a new take on the role-playing genre that both benefits and suffers from the fact that this is the developer's first attempt at this kind of game. Role Playing Games generally put you in control of a party of characters in a fantasy setting, who are tasked with quests which enable the characters to develop. The enjoyment factor stems not only from the puzzle-solving elements of the game, but from watching your characters become more powerful as they gain combat experience, magic items and new spells to cast. It's become expected that role-playing games are based around a story of some kind that surrounds and pervades the game - indeed many developers seem to put more effort into the story than into the game itself. Computer RPG's have their roots in the early text-adventure games that were an attempt to bring the feeling of the cult "Dungeons and Dragons" game to the computer. Successive attempts, notably by SSI with its "Eye of the Beholder" series, introduced graphics into computer adventuring, and the genre quickly became more about an immersive experience. More recently, developers have focussed on creating game engines that support a very complex gaming world, with variable outcomes that are much more dependent on how the gamer wishes to play the game. In recent years, Bioware and Black Isle have released many games based on the "Infinity" engine, a complex pseudo-3d game engine that accurately models the "Dungeons and Dragons" rule set. Notable success for Black Isle has followed their release of the "Baldur's Gate" series. Blizzard also released the successful "Diablo" series, which featured their own rule set, featuring similar gaming in a pseudo-3d world. Gas Powered Games have taken a different tack with "Dungeon Siege" - instead of the overhead perspectives of flat maps enforced by the Bioware/Blizzard engine
s, it uses a true 3d camera-based view that allows the engine to deliver a real feeling of immersion - think "Super Mario World". "Dungeon Siege" allows you to experience real depth to the terrain - the limits to what you can see are based on what the camera can see, not by the screen size or by using a black mask to limit what you can see on the screen. Navigation is by the classic "point and click" interface - click on an area, and your characters will rush over there, or attempt to interact with the person/monster/item. However, by using a true-3d engine instead of a pseudo-3d isometric one, you can swoop around your characters and see both them and the terrain from practically any angle. Looking over a cliff delivers a real feeling of depth, instead of making flat characters scuttle around a flat map from a single camera angle. Again, I found myself much more in mind of the platform/camera environments delivered by console gaming. Your view may be blocked by trees, walls and terrain, but subtly you can use the camera to negotiate around them. The game interface is refreshing - everything seems nicely ergonomic. For example, there's a "pick up all" button that stops you having to click on every item around. Managing the game view with the camera is very intuitive, and I was almost immediately comfortable - the mouse wheel is used to zoom in and out, the mouse ball controls the camera view, and the buttons let you manipulate your environment. There's no distinction between interior and exterior environments, so there's no pause and load every time you walk into a building. Rooms don't behave as distinct entities - a monster hiding on the level above will charge down the stairs to get you, as the room is placed within the same environment as everything around it. This gives the game a much more "real" feel than the crude "walk into a trap" room strategy that'
s so over-used elsewhere. The game inventory is easy to manage, and you can buy a pack mule as a party member to lug your stuff around for you. The mule follows you around devotedly & scuttles away from trouble when fights break out. You can add up to 8 characters in your party from the various people (and pack mules) that you'e encounter along the way. Character development is much more open than other RPG's - you aren't confined to being a wizard or a warrior as the skills system is open. Do a lot of fighting, and your strength and combat skills will escalate - a lot of magic, and your intelligence and magic power will grow. The developer obviously lacks a background in this sort of game as there are a few shortcomings. The story isn't very well developed, and the nature of the quests that you are given are very linear - there's not an awful lot to explore other than the route to the next quest, and interaction with characters in the game is limited to a standard speech that doesn't change. I tried playing the game on the "easy" level, but found it massively too easy, quickly accumulating hundreds of healing and magic potions - normal is much better. The magic items that you receive are rather unispired, and the magic system is a bit boring - although in its defence, it's an awful lot easier to use than "Baldur's Gate" - you can pretty much leave your spellcasters to get on with the job instead of pausing the game every 2 seconds. A big feature of this game is multiplayer - you can design and host your own custom games and invite others to play in your dungeon. There are lots of servers beginning to appear out there, and multiplayer is great fun. I'm sure it could replace many of the Saturday D&D games that are happening out there - at least until NeverWinter Nights is released, which will be the acid test for this game. Overall, the sheer effort that
9;s gone into the visual and interface design makes this a very easy and fun game to play - after the complex mechanics of the Bioware engine, I found it very refreshing. The feeling of the game is one of quick progression on to the next challenge, and it's visually stunning. Your characters seem to pretty much take care of themselves, and take much of the donkey work out of running the game, making it much less of an effort to play. It's a real delight, despite the limitations of the "console" style of play, and I'd recommend it to any game fan who's looking for a fun, accessible RPG.
The best description I have seen of Dungeon Seige is "an RPG for people who don't like RPGs", and I think that's the major problem I have with this game. I do like RPGs. I loved the Infinity Engine games like the Baldur's Gate series on the PC, and I even enjoyed Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast. These are my 10 commandments for a good PC RPG: THOU SHALT PROVIDE AT LEAST A B-RATED STORY The RPG one of the few places in gaming today where you will find that rarest of creatures: a storyline. Not so in Dungeon Seige. The "innocent farm boy/girl becomes hero" plot has been done so much better before. And not just in Star Wars. The storyline in Dungeon Seige is cursory at best. THOU SHALT HAVE INTERESTING PLAYER CHARACTERS Anyone who's played Baldur's Gate will remember the loony Minsc and the neurotic Imoen. Dungeon Seige has, er, the beardy dwarf and the guy with the moustache. THOU SHALT HAVE INTERESTING AND VARIED BATTLES In an effort to make a RPG more like a FPS, Gas Powered Games have turned the party members into little more that automated "units". And each battle (and there are hundreds) becomes little more than a tank rush. THOU SHALT HAVE INTERESTING NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS Not just brainless automatons who repeat the same quest line over and over again, as in (you guessed it) Dungeon Seige. THOU SHALT NOT BE TOO LINEAR While not quite as "on rails" as some RPGs, Dungeon Seige is still pretty much a linear game. You can occasionally take a short trip off the beaten path, but it's seldom rewarding. THOU SHALT MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I'M ACHIEVING SOMETHING WHEN MY CHARACTER REACHES NEW LEVELS I like the idea in Dungeon Seige that any character can improve in any area just by "training" in it. But in reality it's a virtually meaningless progression. A level one character doing 1 point of damage wi
th his level 1 sword to a monster with 5 hp is effectively identical to a level ten character doing 10 points of damage with his level 10 sword to a monster with 50 hp. If all that happens as you level up is that the monsters and weapons scale accordingly, then what's the point? IF THOU ART GOING TO INCLUDE MAGIC IN THY GAME, MAKE THY SPELLS INTERESTING This is a follow on to my beef about achieving things when levelling up. A mage should look forward to new KINDS of spells as he increases in levels, not just bigger bangs and better heals. THOU SHALT ALLOW ME TO CAST MORE THAN TWO SPELLS AT A TIME A mage who can only cast two spells without having to rummage around in his spellbook to move another one into one of his active slots? Give me a break! THOU SHALT HAVE GRAPHICS THAT ARE VARIED AS WELL AS PRETTY Tricky to do, and not many RPGs pull this one off. Dungeon Seige can be very pretty, but just how many pine trees can you look at? Also I played Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 without ever wanting to move the camera heavenwards, but for some reason Dungeon Seige's less limited but still very earthbound camera made me really miss the sky. THOU SHALT PROVIDE ME WITH INTERESTING WEAPONS "This sword has a 10% chance of changing the target's hair colour and every five minutes dispenses peppermints from it's hilt". Ok, so that's just silly. But it's still more interesting than "This sword does 40 damage and increases intelligence by 2, it requires a strenghth of 20". And what possible use would a warrior with a strength of 20 need with an extra 2 on his intelligence anyway? Okay, that's my 2 pence worth. A bit of a rant, I'll admit. But not since "Black and White" have I seen a game that had so much promise and innovation and delivered such a poor gameplay experience. My advice: wait for Neverwinter Nights. We can but hope that they've got
Dungeon Siege is a well-made game that looks beautiful, has great playability, and grand music accompaniment. Over the past few years I have played many similar games. At times I felt like I was back in Diablo or NOX - as I headed down into the crypts. But the game extra characters and the 3D graphics including weather effects - rain, snow and mist, make the game stand out. You also get a sense of depth ? there are mountains to climb and wonderfully deep caverns to explore. There are no flat levels that you simply leave when you?ve cleared them out, there is one continuous world. I recommend running the game in the highest mode your PC can handle ? 1024x768 is a good start, as the character tabs take up too much of the screen in lower modes. The game is fully 3D and has a function (which was a nice touch) to zoom in and out, although I did play fully "zoomed out" most of the time. The controls are similar to Diablo, using mouse click for move and attack. You also need to use the arrow keys to rotate the camera angle while playing - it becomes second nature after a few minutes of play. I played on Normal difficulty and felt the game was a little easy ? but I did save a lot and came across several ?very difficult? rooms. On occasion I have had my entire party wiped out too! The game however is very linear ? you begin on your farm and follow one route to the end of the game. There occasionally small side quests, but on the whole there is just one main route to follow. This is unlike games like Might and Magic 8 where the land is huge and you can walk anywhere. There is the usual array of weapons, armour and objects to gather from the bodies of slain monsters or from chests. I recommend buying a pack mule (or 2) as early as you can, as there are a lot of items to pickup and the mule has the capacity of 4 people of more. It takes a lot to impress me these days with a game, but Dungeon Siege has got
my vote ? and 30 hours so far of my play. While the linear nature of the game does limit it, if I take a break for a week or 2, I will be able to pickup where I left off. Often in other games after a few weeks I?ve forgotten where I?ve been and it?s difficult and disheartening to get back in it. I hope this has helped!