Dungeon Siege II
Yet another sequel and yet another high-profile PC game being released in during the Fourth Quarter Glut. Normally this might act as a disadvantage for a game, but when it’s a sequel to the bally-hooed Dungeon Siege from Gas Powered Games maybe it’s not such a handicap. (Very recently, the release date was pushed back to Q1 2005.)
I got to see Dungeon Siege II (DSII) in action at this year’s E3 and was thoroughly impressed. As usual the demo was executed at a blistering pace and much of the conversation (and probably most of the important information) was drowned out so it was easy to forget the details. But here’s what I remember: New and better everything!
Nearly everything has been rebuilt or received more attention than the original. But maybe the most important bit of information is that you can’t import your character from the original.
Here’s the official line from Microsoft:
Siege II returns players to the beautiful fantasy land of Aranna, but it
is a land scarred by civil war, where the lines between good and evil
are blurred. Players must lead an elite battle party against Valdis, a
vicious marauder determined to return the world to order, no matter the
cost. “Dungeon Siege II” promises to set a new standard in
role-playing games by combining an intriguing story-line with intense
real-time party combat and cutting edge 3D graphics.
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
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.
the E3 showing was anything to go by, Dungeon Siege II is shaping up to
be a rockin’ sequel even if it does have to cut through a substantial
amount of noise from the echo of the 4th Quarter.
Besides the obvious graphical upgrade – very nice! –
everything seems to have been tweaked to ensure a Dungeon Siege
experience but still provide a new experience.
(July 19, 2004)