Review by Takeittothebank
"Good fun for a little while"
Lately when I purchase a video game, I try to look for one with either a high replay value or a sandbox format. I especially liked the idea of a hack 'n slash with multiple character builds, class customization, and paper doll character designs. For the most part Dungeon Siege delivered, but there are some portions of this game I have a problem with as can be seen in this review.
Overall, the graphics aren't bad. They aren't spectacular either, on the level Monster Hunter or Magna Carta are, but they are more than tolerable. The work put into lighting effects and character models are interesting, and well done, but in my opinion nothing jumps out of this game graphically and smacks me in the gut.
This game is solidly built when it comes to what it does; hack 'n slash. Unlike games in the same vein for the psp or even the ps2, i.e. Untold Legends, Baldur's Gate, and Champions of Norrath, Dungeon Siege really captures the complexities of a standard rpg when it comes to integrating spells, followers, and items. This is arguably the best game of it's kind gameplay wise.
There is a story here, however it isn't one of epic proportions. It certainly tries to be, yet, throughout each character's story (and yes, I have played them all through), I can't help but feel left out of a story that's set up on a scale more grandiose than it should be. There are elements of a "Choose your own adventure" type, but they are usually contrived and send the player on the same path regardless of the choice. It really isn't that important though, hack 'n slashers, while usually encompasing a large fantasy/adventure story, are made for their gamplay.
Simple, well integrated. There isn't much to say in this category. 5 minutes of playing and the player will have mastered the control system.
Replay Value: 3/10
This is honestly what killed the game for me. The game totes itself as having a high replay value because of it's elite mode. In this mode the game can be replayed with higher level monsters and equipment, with a preexisting character the player has created. I started the game in elite mode with Alister, the mage, at around level 72. After the first few minutes I became heavily bored. By the time a character can unlock elite mode, he/she is still far too overpowered for it. Elite mode is about as much of a challenge as playing the last stages in normal mode, and even though higher level monsters exist in it, leveling happens so easy that the player is always an overpowered step ahead of the game. Another flaw is that, while the character customization is nice, once a character reaches their final class changer, only three new skills are opened. One of them, the ultimate finishing move of each class, is so overpowered that as an allister lich build or serin ninja build I could kill everything on the screen before it touched me. What fun is there in not having a challenge put in front of the player?
Overall: I did enjoy this game, and most rpg fans will too. However, there really is only 20 hours of fresh gameplay here. Everything else is just going through the motions. That isn't to say the motions aren't fun.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/01/06
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