Dungeon Siege III Review Or: Suffering From A Severe Case Of Console-itis

There has always existed a kind of cold war between PC and console gamers, with each side praising the merits of their respective choice of gaming hardware. PC gamers grin as those silly console people try to play RTS and FPS games without the modern convenience of a mouse and keyboard. Ever watch an online shooter deathmatch featuring a keyboard and mouse versus a handheld controller? Spoiler alert: the PC guys are going to win nine times out of ten. Fear not, console gamers, you bastards get the last laugh as you often get your controller-happy hands on the hottest exclusive titles not available on computers. Want to play the latest entry in the Final Fantasy or Uncharted franchises on your $2000 top of the line PC? Tough cookies! You’re going to have to bite the bullet and buy a PlayStation or an Xbox.

Why do I bring all of this up? It’s because this review concerns a sterling example of the differences between these two gaming worlds. Dungeon Siege III’s pedigree would seem to classify it as a PC lover’s ideal date. Not only does it put out something fierce after a few drinks but the first two entries in the saga, released in 2002 and 2005, were both beloved PC only exclusives. Yet here we are in 2011 and Dungeon Siege III is being simultaneously released on PCs and all major consoles. Yeahbuhwhanow? I’m glad you asked.

Dungeon Siege I-II were produced by Chris Taylor’s (Total Annihilation) Gas Powered Games studio, with expansion pack duties being delegated to smaller houses, while 2K Games handled the PSP release Throne Of Agony. ( Which is also the unofficial nickname of any toilet I sit on following a visit to Taco Bell.) The development of Siege number III was a mostly hands-off affair for Taylor, he mostly lent his name to the production, his franchise having been purchased by infamous studio gobbler Square Enix. Thus, with a new design team now in charge of the series, changes were in the offing. For better or for worse? This is what were are here to decide.

Listen closely, my faithful sycophants and bootlickers, as I, your one true Game Reviewer Overlord, bring you once more to the kingdom of Ehb, where loot-filled chests await, where quests need…questing…and where we shall endeavor to find out if the cold war between PC and console gamers is about to flare up once more, or if détente is a possibility.

This is Yell! Magazine’s review of Dungeon Siege III, available on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The PC version was used for this review.

The Story

Storytelling as never exactly been a strong suit of the Dungeon Siege games. Sure, they’ll provide you with a bit of historical lore and assorted NPCs will blather on nonstop about this and that if you get them started but, ultimately, these games are dungeon-crawler sundaes with big loot-collecting cherries on top. On an entirely unrelated note: I could really go for a sundae. Siege III once again takes place in the mythical kingdom of Ehb (Sounds Canadian, eh-b?) and concerns the 10th Legion, a do-gooder organization that busies itself with such noble pursuits as helping old ladies cross the street, wiping out rats in cellars and performing an ungodly amount of fetch quests. Your usual low-level RPG tropes.

Blamed for the death of the ruling King, the Legion is driven into exile for several decades. Apparently, being told to go sit in a corner for 30 years can get quite lonely. The exiled soldiers seem to have bred like jackrabbits in the intervening years since you play as one of four possible descendants of the original Legionnaires: Lucas, your typical sword-and-board tank character, Anjali, a mixture of magic and melee, Reinhart, a basic mage and Katarina, who prefers guns and long-range tactics over close combat.

Whichever character you ultimately decide fits your play style best is largely irrelevant, the story changes little overall. The Legion’s castle hideout is destroyed in the opening minutes, a section of the game which also doubles as a tutorial and it’s up to you to discover the who, why, when, where and how of the attack. Preferably while leveling up by killing beasties, fighting the occasional mini-boss and obtaining large quantities of sweet, sweet loot to outfit your chosen character.

Dungeon Siege III screenshot
She’s wearing her +9 Combat Thong, +15% Charisma but -50% Agility.

There are many NPCs to converse with in Dungeon Siege III but if you’re anything like me you’ll quickly pick the line of dialog which will rapidly move the conversation along. I wish I could say that the stilted, faux-European style of voice-acting in the game is the only thing that caused me to fast-forward through the conversation trees but that would only be half the truth. To be honest, though I played the game all the way to its climax, at no point, despite many twists, surprises, betrayals, etc, did I care one bit about any of the goings on. You’ll never become emotionally invested in any of the ciphers the game tries to pass off as characters. Had the game labeled the members of its cast as “Blacksmith Man” and “Has Quest Woman”, the end result would have been the same.

There’s very little in the story department to recommend Dungeon Siege III. This isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw, since superb game play can often redeem a lackluster storyline. Uh oh…that sounded ominous…

Dungeon Siege III cover art large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Published by:
Square Enix
Developed by:
Obsidian Entertainment
Year Released:
June 21, 2011 (US)
Also Available On:
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Action Role-Playing
Official URL:
Dungeon Siege III
Pages: 1 2

More Articles Like This

Have Your Say Leave A Comment