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Written by  :  Sycada (191)
Written on  :  Sep 26, 2002
Platform  :  Windows

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Hack and slash RPG brilliance but at a cost.

The Good

I love RPG's. But I hate turn based, or as I like to call them, luck based RPG's. Many would say that I'm not a true RPG fan if I don't enjoy the fundamental elements of 12 sided dice, pen and paper battles and didn't spend my school lunch times hunched over a table surrounded by statistics but so what? I like my action realtime and my fighting furious and as such games like Dungeon Siege were made for RPG fans like me. An epic quest played out in realtime with beautiful lush graphics and a stirring orchestral score sounds like a dream come true, and in many ways it is. I'm a big fan of Diablo but the thing that always bugged me about it was that I never really felt like I was going anywhere. Even in the sequel, the different locations were more like several separate versions of Diablo 1. Dungeon Siege has the answer to this because the journey is all there is. Going from place to place you really feel like you're in a huge world and with over 40 hours of game time there's no question that you are abiet a virtual one. The outdoor areas are stunning to look at. Light filters through the trees, bushes rustle and critters scamper. Of course there are loads of dungeons as well which also look very nice but it's the outdoor areas which really shine. Game play is very Diablo-esque. Controlled primarily with the mouse and a smattering of hotkeys you guide yourself and up to seven companion characters through the world hacking, shooting and blasting every enemy in sight. Every now and again you'll encounter a boss creature that takes a lot of hacking to kill and there are items and weapons etc to find along the way in droves. Characters can be leveled up however you see fit so anyone can become an archer, warrior or magician if you train them in that direction. This is done as simply as using a character in the profession you'd like them to choose making stats and so on very easy to manage. Towns are of course here too and contain all the expected places to buy equipment, listen to gossip or recruit more companions. You can even buy a pack mule to carry all your stuff, adding even further to the adventurous feel of the game.

The Bad

The story is basic and horribly under-developed. Your characters have no character. They just are, while any vague story elements are usually conveyed in books which makes the whole world seem almost optional. The traveling element has been over done I must admit. You never find yourself stopping for more than a few moments and once you leave somewhere you never return making it impossible to form any kind of attachment to the world and its inhabitants. Control at times can be awkward thanks to the lack of any kind of running keys to control your characters. You have to click on the ground where you want your party to go and you can't just hold the button to keep them running ala Summoner. This often leads you to click on the wrong thing and have half your party go the wrong way.

The Bottom Line

A very good hack and slash RPG but with little more than consistent fighting involved. Old school hardcore RPG'ers may find it a bit basic.