Welcome to this weeks Sunday Demo. I know it’s been a while, but let’s get on with it. So what’s this weeks game? Dungeon Siege III, demo available now on Steam or Xbox360. Let’s get down to it.
I played this demo on both the 360 and my PC. I’ll be covering it mostly from the PC perspective, as that’s really the one I care about. The first thing you’ll notice about Dungeon Siege III, without even starting a new game, is that it was designed around the consoles, with the PC being a port. The next thing you’ll notice is the graphics, which are far and above any other Diablo style Action RPG game out now. Of course they’ve decided to make the game very dark, visually. My guess is that they made the game this dark to appease those people who complained that Diablo was too bright, but they might have overdone it a little. Often I couldn’t tell what was going on, and adjusting the gamma just made everything look washed out. Still, I am truly impressed by the visuals on Dungeon Siege III.
The next thing you’ll probably notice is that it controls like a retarded cripple elephant. I understand wanting your game to be unique, but taking everything good about action RPG controls and throwing them out the window is not the way to do that. The WASD controls will move your character and swivel the camera, but pressing right goes left sometimes and right others, depending on if you are pressing up or down at the time. It’s downright confusing and stupid, so you’ll most likely use the mouse to move around Diablo style. Of course, that’s if you can get past the fact that you won’t use the mouse buttons for anything but combat and movement. What does that mean? Well if you see some armor on the ground you’d like to have, you’ll have to walk near it and press E, not left mouse button. Things only get more confusing from there.
You press F, not C, to look at your character, I isn’t used for inventory, and you don’t aim at what your cursor is targeting. Instead the game chooses what enemy you are aiming at, based on what direction you last walked in. That means, if you want to run away a bit while firing, you’ll only be able to fire in the direction you are running. This get’s VERY frustrating when you’re surrounded by enemies and trying to pick off that ranged caster that’s destroying you. Instead the game will auto lock on anything in between the two of you, and you’ll have no choice but to kill that target first, or run over to the caster.
Combat is another interesting change from the traditional Diablo style games. You’ll fight small waves of enemies, usually four or five at a time, and until you get another squad mate you’ll be dying often, at least until you figure out the clunky, stupid controls. On the console they work fine, but for a PC game it should be a crime. The combat gets pretty intense, and it forces you to switch between AOE stances and single target stance, as well as a defensive stance used to heal yourself or gain buffs. I really enjoyed the combat, when the controls weren’t interfering, but it was pretty difficult in the early going. Once I got access to a companion though it became much more manageable.
Overall the game was pretty fun, if a bastard of a PC port. The biggest complain I found, other than the terrible controls and UI, was the map system. You get a small minimap which you can make SLIGHTLY bigger, and that’s it. Have a quest and no idea where to go? Go F yourself, cause you’ll be wondering around with absolutely no idea where you’re going. The only thing that saves this from being the HORRID problem is that the game seemed pretty linear, at least from the demo, so it’s a little more difficult to get lost. I’ll pick it up, but I’ll probably wait for a Steam sale.