Monday, July 7, 2014

Hack 'n Slash Meets Fashion Week - Dungeon Siege 2 Nostalgic Ryview

Dungeon Siege 2, by Gas Powered Games.

Dungeon Siege 2 is an action RPG that, while set in the same universe as the first Dungeon Siege, bears little resemblance to its predecessor. The game is set in a different land, the party system is different, the combat system is fairly different, the RPG elements are different, and the experience system is radically different.

All different.

Which makes me wonder just where this game came from. I've heard speculation (and I tend to agree) that Dungeon Siege The First (as I call it in my head) was based on Diablo, a linear RPG that was very structural and not at all open, and that Dungeon Siege 2 is based on Diablo 2, with respawning enemies, a more open world feeling, and a vastly expanded skill tree. The similarities are fairly numerous. So that's my best hypothesis on the subject.

But whatever the reasoning was, Dungeon Siege 2 is leagues ahead of the first game. Your party shares experience, motivating you to fill your party as fast as possible. The enemies respawn, allowing you to grind your way to perfection if you so desire. The frustrating requirement of pack mules is gone now that there's a convenient town portal spell. And the storyline is more than just an old English narrator inexplicably talking about the fate of Ehb.

Now, it's still not a perfect game. And honestly, playing it again, I now realize that this too is quite dated. But it's a much more solid experience than the first game. There's a large motivator to keep you replaying the game, having 3 levels of difficulty that only unlock when you beat the previous one. That helps the longevity and it makes me curious about how powerful my characters will be when they reach that stage.

The answer is Super Mega Awesome (One Metric Super Mega Awesome).

To be fair, the AI in the game is pretty shitty, though. My allies rarely attack in a sensible manner, and everyone seems to die way to fast out in the open. And that bothers me. But, being someone who will usually grind quite a bit early on for a nice cushion, I'm able to limit the frustration that way. I'd put that in the category of "frustrating but avoidable" which I usually pass off as a way of upping the difficulty if you so choose.

One thing I love about this game is the ability to equip armor sets. These are sets of different pieces of armor that, when combined on the same hero, give outstanding special abilities, such as extra health regeneration, extra critical hit damage, and a whole lot of other crazy crap. Really, the armor sets boost the fulfillment of the game way higher because I'm so excited when I get another piece of the set and I get to see what it adds. It's some weird phenomenon where I care way too much about what my character is wearing.
  See, the title made sense after all...

The game is $6.99 on Steam, and I think that's a pretty good deal. It's a solid RPG, it has a high replay value, it has a compelling if cliched stroyline, and some all out, good-natured hacking and slashing. Really, this game is fun for any fans of a nice, easy RPG. It's easy to pick up and it's a solid use of 20+ hours.

I might even release a tips and tricks video for it.


Time Value
Money Value
Final Score

Let me know what you think of Dungeon Siege 2 (if you choose to play it)!

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Gas Powered Games

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