Because the first two games in the Dungeon Siege series were solid and with heavy hitters — developer Obsidian and publisher Square Enix — behind the newest installment, anticipation was high for Dungeon Siege III.
Unfortunately, though, that anticipation became confusion, frustration and disappointment. It was confusing that as a series veteran, I had to try to learn the interface, it was frustrating that the gameplay was so dull and repetitive, and it was disappointing that the multiplayer is so poor.
Obsidian has chosen to largely ignore the core of what gamers expect from a deep action role-playing game: loot. Instead of providing a rewarding reason to keep venturing forward to that next chest, the company has focused on a complex combat system for each character. The combat system works well, but each class feels somewhat hindered by the limited powers presented, and in the end, all feel very much like melee fighters. I played first as a mage, but it was too frustrating to bear, leading me to starting over as the melee fighter class.
Another primary aspect of any good action RPG that Obsidian neglected was a solid multiplayer offering. In fact, there is no compelling reason to play this game in a co-op setting, because you can't play as your character. Yes, that's correct. It is impossible to hop in an online game and use your character. Instead, you play as a dummy character that is completely tied to the host player's character.
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The host gets 100 percent of the loot, gold, spells, experience, everything. If the host chooses, he can zip right over to the nearest merchant and sell everything you carry. I would be surprised if any gamer ever plays the multiplayer component of this game twice.
Obsidian has the ability to craft better games. It seems the company simply didn't try hard enough here. Without a strong multiplayer component, this game lags behind its many competitors. Add the uninspired gameplay and useless interface, and the overall package is a complete letdown.
Only huge fans of the Dungeon Siege series will love it. If you're looking for a solid dungeon-crawling action RPG, you can find far better offerings elsewhere.