Product Type: Microsoft PC games
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Singleplayer is only the training...
Dungeon Siege (PC)
Member Name: Gradenko
Dungeon Siege (PC)
Date: 13/06/03, updated on 13/06/03 (241 review reads)
Advantages: Great multiplayer, Good Graphics, Normal is easy for newbies, while Hard is hard for veterans (generally, of course)
Disadvantages: Linear, Too simple of a storyline, AI could use some school lessons
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