Dungeon Siege II (PC)
Greg Gibson / Oct 23rd, 2005 No Comments
Dungeon Siege II is the sequel to the very popular action/RPG game from Gas Powered Games. In this fantasy world setting, gamers are treated to a fully immersive 3D environment, rich graphics, and plenty of evil creatures to hack, slash, or blow up.
Elite Battle Party – Players must choose battle comrades carefully to build a party of up to six members. Parties can be honed over time using an all-new character development system filled with new skills and specialties.
Hero Powers – As the stakes have increased, so have the party’s abilities. Each class now has access to unique Heroic Powers that are capable of turning the tide of battle, but they require wisdom and strategic timing to use properly.
Powerful and unusual allies – The packmule was only the beginning. Players can now choose from a number of exotic creatures with special abilities that adventure and grow alongside players.
More Dangerous Enemies – Players will face-off against opponents whose power and tactical prowess will rival their own. The enemies in “Dungeon Siege II” will have all-new powers and abilities. As a result of the new Coach AI technology introduced in “Dungeon Siege II,” enemies are full of surprises.
Interactive World – The world of “Dungeon Siege II” is brimming with activity. From pitched battles raging around players as they adventure through the world, to special environments that players can turn to their tactical advantage in the heat of battle – players will do well to pay heed to the world around them.
Jaw-dropping special effects – The new SFX engine in “Dungeon Siege II” takes visual special effects to the next level for everything from the environmental atmosphere to dazzling spell effects, creating an engrossing and immersive gaming experience.
Cinematic storytelling – “Dungeon Siege II” introduces a new Flick authoring system providing a new level of in-engine cinematic storytelling that keeps players in the game world instead of pulling them away from it. New story-driven quests provide a deeper adventure that evolves with players as they complete quests and missions. In addition, the dynamic world of “Dungeon Siege II” changes around players in real-time in response to their combat and quests.
For those of you lucky enough to be armed with a powerful processor (3+ GHz) and a great video card, the visuals of Dungeon Siege II are absolutely outstanding. Gamers are highly suggested to download the latest versions of their video card driver set, and go into the DS2 (Dungeon Siege II) control panel to customize the look of the game. With anti-aliasing turned on, and at a good resolution level (1280×1024 minimum suggested), the graphics of the game are absolutely outstanding. The “special effects” of the game that include things blowing up, monsters creating spells, and payoffs for spells that you and your character create are all very impressive. The best thing about the graphics of DS2 is the wide variety of environments and the detail given to them. The jungles, castles, caves, and (yes of course) dungeons have been given superb art direction and execution. All in all some of the best graphics we’ve ever seen for an action/rpg title.
The sounds of DS2 are fairly standard to action/rpg games with your usual “Conan” soundtrack and host of great sounds for hacking/slashing/blowing up your enemies. It was a little disappointing that gamers don’t get to hear voice-overs for all characters, but all the major stuff is done with great voice talent.
The quick and easy thing to say about the gameplay is that Dungeon Siege II is a fun game to play. If you enjoy action/rpg titles, or were a big fan of the original game (and subsequent expansion pack), then you’ll quickly fall in love with this title. What will impress the most, beyond the great graphics, is that the storyline is rich and imaginative and intelligent enough to keep gamers interested in finding out how it all turns out. The interface of the game is very easy to navigate, with new gamers being able to get through the quick tutorial level to get them up to speed. So, don’t be intimidated if you’ve not played a game like this in a long time (if at all), it’s easily playable for all levels of gamers.
The game is mission based with three acts, with a ton of quests within each act to make the game quite long and enjoyable. There are additional “secondary” quests that you can pick up and solve for rewards if you so desire, but the game is open ended enough to allow you to revisit these if you don’t care to while working on your main quests. Playing through the game as a “warrior” type of hacker and taking along a long ranged bowman, the game offers up a ton of action. There are definitely a lot of different strategies to get through various obstacles, monsters, bosses, and other things that come your way through the use of certain spells, weapons, or “chants” which allow you and your party to temporarily get ratings boosts that can tip the scales in your favor. All in all, action/rpg players will be very familiar with the gameplay, and find the interface, method of leveling up, gathering new resources, spell chart, and other aspects of the game very familiar yet fun and addicting at the same time.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
With three full acts that are chalk full of quests, that have sub-quests within them, Dungeon Siege II is a pretty long and fun gaming experience. The quests do take time to complete, and with bonus areas to find and explore, the game has plenty to come back to. There is also three levels of difficulty once you’ve made your way through the game once, and with four different character types, there’s a variety of ways to get through the game. In addition, there’s a nice (and free) online multiplayer mode (as well as LAN) that lets you and a friend experience DS2 together. All in all, the game offers a tremendously long and entertaining experience that equates to a very high longevity factor.
Although much of what we see in DS2 is very familiar, and the fact that the genre has been popular for a long time now, Dungeon Siege II is a pretty entertaining and original experience. What’s original about this title mainly stems from a pretty original and solid storyline, and the variety of “new things” to check out and do with your character. The amount of things to do within the game is also pretty refreshing (We guess we’ve reviewed too many linear console games) making for an entertaining and fairly original experience.
There are games that you just play through, have a good experience with, and put back on the shelf. Then there are games that you play non-stop, have to force yourself to stop playing, and put a strain on your marriage. Dungeon Siege II is the kind of game that is more of the second than the first – it’s a highly addictive an immersive game that you’ll find yourself playing through multiple times if you aren’t careful. The game has great diversity in characters (who you can be) and monsters (who you kill), and the storyline is rich enough to keep gamers guessing at what’s coming next.
Overall, Dungeon Siege II is a fruitfully enjoyable game that will give PC gamers a ton of joy and gameplay for a long time. The graphics are very solid, the storyline is very well done, and the gameplay of DS2 is extremely solid. There’s so much to see and experience beyond the main quests, and being able to play through as the various character type as well as play the game on-line gives the title an exceptional longevity score. All in all a great play and comes highly recommended for purchase amongst PC gamers.
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