Dungeon Siege III is being released by Square Enix, courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment, just next week for PC, Xbox 360 and the PS3. The game is the third in a popular series, however, is the first release for both Square Enix and Obsidian. While many Dungeon Siege fans might have been wary about the move, previews of the game have built the anticipation for the release of this game sky high.
We were fortunate enough to meet up with Obsidian Entertainment’s Nathan Davis, who is the Associate Producer of Dungeon Siege III. In this exclusive interview, we asked Davis about the how the game shaped up, what fans can expect and how they incorporated the spirit of the previous two games.
GI: Sean Gibson, Gaming Illustrated, here with Nathan Davis. Nathan could you tell us your job title and function?
ND: I’m the Associate Producer out of Obsidian Entertainment.
GI: You’re showing off Dungeon Siege III, one of the most anticipated games for PC and now we’re seeing a huge shift for the series for console gamers. Is there a tug of war here or are you going to make everybody happy?
ND: You know we try to make everybody happy. Bringing it over to console was something that I think was right and something that we could really bring that action RPG flavor into the console world and console gamers love that. They’ll be picking up the game and hanging out with their friends playing multiplayer and killing a bunch of baddies and getting more powerful. And PC gamers have known about that for a long time.
GI: I think a lot of people were happy when Obsidian picked up this title because they wanted to see what you guys could do with Dungeon Siege. Is there any pressure in terms of living up to the hype? A lot of PC gamers can’t wait for this one so the pressure’s on. How do you feel?
ND: Feeling pretty good. You know we bring to bear the strengths that Obsidian has which are deep RPGing and really great story and good characters and that kind of stuff. So you’re definitely going to see that in Dungeon Siege III. I don’t think anybody will be disappointed by that. That’s the Obsidian brand at work.
GI: So with this game there are four present characters, you build them up. It’s not open ended as get to make your own guy and you start as a peon. How big was the tug of war in putting that into the game and what’s the payoff?
ND: Well the payoff is that each character plays really well. They have interesting things they can do, they look great, they have really cool visual effects. Just game play wise you’re not going to make a bad character. You’re not going to screw up doing something, it’s going to be something that’s a really fun build no matter what you do. However I will say that within each of those characters there is a lot of customization. You can actually customize each of your abilities to work exactly how you want them to work and I think that ended up being pretty successful. So no matter what you do, when you pick up a controller and play the game you’re going to have fun.
GI: Talk about multiplayer, what are we going to be looking forward to? Obviously with the component of four at the same time, there’s a lot to be excited about.
ND: So there’s up to two players locally and four player online multiplayer. And it’s an easy drop in, drop out system so that if your buddy comes over while you’re playing the game, he can just pick up a controller and just jump right into the game. So we really wanted to capture that idea of just hanging out with your buddy on the couch and having a pizza and kicking ass for an evening.
GI: Nice. So story, that’s the one thing that Dungeon Siege has been able to do well so far in its series. Obsidian has their track record. Talk about Dungeon Siege III, what are some of the really exciting things we’re going to see just in terms of the story?
ND: Story wise there’s some great twists and turns. I really love the characters. One of the things that we did to take advantage of the existing allure of the Dungeon Siege world was we collected a whole bunch of stuff from Gas Powered Games and our lead creative designer compiled this great big massive tomb that was like the Dungeon Siege sourcebook or the Ehb sourcebook . It’s kind of like an old forgotten realm style, like I’m going to figure out what’s in each of these areas and it was cool. It was something that we could reuse as our bible as we were building things up. That’s something that we did in correlation with Gas Powered Games and the Chris Taylor. He got a chance to take a look at that and give us feedback and all that. So we really did stay true to the world of Ehb which is the land of Dungeon Siege.
GI: So one of our biggest stories in May was actually a Dungeon Siege III preview. Obviously there’s a lot of gamers watching you. What do you have to say to those that have already preordered that are ready to download this month?
ND: What do I have to say to those that have preordered and are ready to download it? Well if you play the demo you’ve got a chance to try two of the four different characters and just get ready for the awesomeness of the other two characters. They’re both really unique and very interesting to play and they don’t play anything like the characters in the demo. So I’m excited for everybody to get to try out each of the different characters and figure out what’s their favorite because at our company we all have our own favorites. Everybody disagrees about who’s the most powerful. And that means we win.
GI: Very nice. Well thank you very much for your time.
ND: You’re welcome. Thank you.