Dungeon Siege II Reader Review
Since the first instalment of Dungeon Siege there has been little in high quality point and click RPG’s, Dungeon Siege II looks to rectify that.
From the very beginning you are thrown into battle as you progress through the early stages of the game. What this means is that from the start you should have a good idea what class your character will be, either, a Ranger, Mage, Fighter or a Nature Mage. It’s no use mixing and matching skills as you’ll end up with a semi decent character which doesn’t really excel at anything apart from being average.
Players of the first game will be pleased to know the skill system has got an overhaul, which now allows you to customize your character to the way you desire. As your character progresses and becomes more proficient in his or her field of expertise, you can choose from a selection of skills, thus allowing you to wield what skills you want and if you meet the requirements, when you want. There’s nothing to say you can’t keep putting all your skill points in one skill for your first ten points then your next five points into another skill. You’re not just limited to one field either, as mentioned above if you wish you can spend your skill points in different class sections allowing you to have a mix and match, of two, three and even four different classes, but I don’t recommend this at all.
Apart from the standard skills available there is also a series of special powers available to each class which as you’d come to expect offer you abilities and stat increases for a set amount of time. Each power is on a timer so you won’t have constant access to them all, but with the amount of players available in your party, should the situation change for the bad, odds are you’ll have a special power or two to call upon to aid you in your struggle against evil.
Those of you that have not played Dungeon Siege before will notice that you have the ability to create a party with computer controlled characters. Up to six characters can be in your party allowing you to have a good balance in offence and defence so you’re always covered should the situation change.
Apart from computer characters you can also have a variety of pets join you on your journey, some including Lap Dragons and everyone’s favourite, the Pack Mule. As your progress through the game with your pet you can “feed” it items to boost its stats, making it that more effective and keeping it up to date with your parties abilities. Over all though, Pets aren’t really as effective as computer controlled characters and many of you wont find much use for them, except for being an item vacuum for all those items you find that you don’t want.
The combat system is great fun to start with but as you get towards the end of the game you’ll probably be quite bored of it, but then again with each game lasting up to and not including forty hours, that’s still a fair whack for a game of this genre.
As you’d expect, the combat system is your standard point, click, and attack system where all you have to do is right click on an enemy and your party will attack. It’s worth mentioning that you can hold the button down so as to stop you doing your fingers some injury from the constant clicking (and you will be doing a lot.) You can also change a setting in the options menu which will see your party continue attacking an enemy automatically after just one click.
Some good news is that the artificial intelligent characters in your party are not that hollow in the head and can actually do something without you having to cycle through them all every five seconds. You can direct all the party with a variety of settings such as Mirror, which will see everyone copy your attacks and movement, or Rampage, which as the name suggests will see everyone do their own thing and attack anything that so much as moves an inch.
You can also set each party members to have some skills cast automatically, which is very useful, especially if you have a few mages with the heal ability.
As with any sequel, you would expect the graphics to improve and they have, and although they do look a bit rushed in some areas, the overall graphic look is very impressive and does enough to ensure Dungeon Siege II keeps up with the competition. The skill effects are quite nice and the character animation is very good, especially in combat. With each character moving smoothly and stutter free you can expect your battles to look very eye pleasing.
There are a few things that let the game down, but once again they are all the small things, but sadly they mount up enough to stop the game from getting a higher score and being almost complete.
The difficulty is one of these areas as many of the experienced players will find it far to easy to plough through and despite having three difficulty settings, you have to complete the predecessors before each one before playing the harder settings.
The game also offers the standard Co Operative multiplayer mode which is good fun if you’re just starting the game for the first time and happen to have a friend on standby, otherwise you may both find it a tad boring as you play through the game with the knowledge of each and every quest stored away in your fountains of gaming knowledge.
I’d easily recommend the game to any fan of the genre as you wont be disappointed, the game is good fun and although it lacks a little depth is worth picking up to hold you going until the next big release.