Computer game.
Released: April, 2002
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: CRPG


Dungeon Siege is a sort of 'Action RPG' in the vein of Diablo. There isn't a huge amount of stat tracking to deal with or particularily deep character creation. You start it up and making your main player character then off you go. It has a streamlined point and click interface. The game is rendered in full 3D and you can rotate the camera angle and zoom in and out. The sound is also in full 3D, and supports 5.1 Surround Sound.

Unlike Diablo however, you add (and eject) new part members, taken from various NPCs that you find. You have full control over them while they are in your party. You can also setup battle formations. Some NPCs are basically just for hire

Character advancement is skill based. In Dungeon Siege, you don't even pick a class when starting out. There are classes however, your class is basically a label describing what your character does (and how well they do it). If you want your main character to become a fighter, you just have him focus on using melee weapons. This will increase his melee skill, but will also increase the attributes important to melee. If you want a mage, then focus on casting spells.

The skill and stat system carries over into equipment selection. The basic swords, bows, and spells (or other weapons) don't have any requirements for use. More complicated ones begin requiring various attributes or skill levels, thus restricting their use to certain archetypes. (Your wizard probably isn't going to end up with the 16 strength required to wield that shiney axe of Goblin squishing you just found). The amount of equipment you can carry is slot based, with smaller items taking up more inventory slots etc. There are no weight restrictions. You can buy a special party member to help carry more equipment, this party member is vulnerable to attack but usually stays well away from battle- you can buy pack mules

The control system is a click interface like in Diablo. In addition moving the mouse arrow to the top or bottom of the screen tilts the camera, and moving it to the sides of the screen rotates the view. You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Gas Powered Games has added some handy buttons as well, there is an pick up loot button which will have your character run around the immediate area and autopick up the loot (you can issue this command to your pack mule as well). Loot on the ground is all nicely labelled and easily selectable (the label turns red as you highlight it, allowing you to easily see what you are picking up).



Seriously that says it all. I've tried to keep to the facts above, but I have to comment on this game! This game, so far, is just plain incredible. The graphics are astounding- the detail, especially outside is bewildering. The sound is fantastic as well, it uses all of those nifty effects that up until now I've really only heard in my sound card demo. The music is truly epic, reminding me of movies like Lord of the Rings or The Thirteenth Warrior. The gameplay, especially the user interface also impressed me greatly. It seems like they've done everything they can to make this game as enjoyable to play as possible. There is nothing to jar you out of your suspension of disbelief, the camera system works great even in tight areas, although vary rarely I'll end up going where I don't want to go. Little touches make everything easy to find. But overall this is just one of those games that sucks you in and doesn't let go, it just works, and it does feel truly epic.

I'd write up a nice review here, but really it'd just be more gushing. I don't think I can write a good review of this game properly quite yet!

After Several Weeks of play:

April 18, 2002 Well this game is still quite a bit of fun. At one point I was starting to get bored, then realized I was still on 'easy' which is very easy and not really that much fun. Then I was thinking it's all just, but I started hitting tougher sections and had to start using tactics. Then I actually looked at the instructions and discovered some more commands I'd missed in my first reading. You can use the number keys to set weapons loadouts and the function keys to set character selection (just hit with the ctrl key to record the current settings to that macro key). So now I can do cool stuff like select my tanks and say, "guard around here" (engage), then select and tell my wizzie & healer types to wait right here, then select my archers and use them to pull (in the EverQuest sense). Or do several other things. I'm also quite intrigued by just how big this game must be- My main character (a tank type) has strength in the low twenties, I've been playing this game a fair bit, then I pick up items requiring strength in the thirties. This game must be truly huge!

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