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Mad Doc Software / Gas Powered Games



T (Teen)



November 2003



- Includes the original Dungeon Siege

- Some good additions

- Many hours of gaming



- Doesn’t add enough

- Can’t import your old Dungeon Siege character

- Battles become issues of management



Review: Dungeon Siege III (PS3)

Review: Dungeon Siege II (PC)

Review: Baldur's Gate II - Throne of Bhaal (PC)

Review: Diablo II - Lord of Desctruction (PC)

Review: Freedom Force (PC)



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Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna

Score: 8.4 / 10*  *If you don't own Dungeon Siege already.


If you missed Dungeon Siege when it was released last year, Legends of Aranna (LoA), it’s expansion, is a great value as it comes packed with the original.  Dungeon Siege offered lots of whiz-bang in a somewhat stripped down role-playing game (RPG) that you either loved or hated (simply because RPG gamers are rigid in what classifies as an RPG).  LoA offers the same whiz-bang with a few new additions that any expansion pack should offer but there is at least one glaring omission and few details that should probably have been free downloads.


dungeon siege legends of aranna review          dungeon siege legends of aranna review


LoA is ostensibly a sequel to the story that run through the original, but is actually has little to do with the original.  A new force of evil has appeared and it seems ready to takeover – it falls to you (again) to save the land and drive the evil back.  This brings to the fore LoA’s biggest failing: the inability to import your character from the original game.


Yes, LoA is aimed at the first-time player so it makes sense to start your character from scratch, but it will drive experienced players nuts.  It took on a special significance for me because I played through the original immediately before tackling LoA (having not played Dungeon Siege until now).  I sat a little dumbfounded – a familiar state some might say – when I found I had to start from square one.  This meant another team to build, items to acquire, and slowly leveling-up.


Possibly it was a matter of overkill but mid-way through LoA my interest level nose-dived.  Slaying wave after wave of demons, monsters and miscreants, I came to grips with the fact that combat is like watching a football game unfold.  You have 




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your battle plan then it’s almost a matter of managing battles instead of fighting them. (Click and watch.)  The opposition can be daunting at times (i.e. boss battles) but mostly they attack pell-mell and 

with no regard for their safety.  And once your group has some combined strength, and a few good weapons and spells, battering through the hordes becomes routine.


Also routine is the barrel bashing (as you progress in a linear path through 


Aranns).  Almost every game in the last few years has sported “cleverly” hidden power-ups in a box or a barrel.  LoA has so many barrels to smash (for little reward) that I wonder if developer, Mad Doc, is trying to make a statement.


dungeon siege legends of aranna review          dungeon siege legends of aranna review


But back to the combat.  The AI teammates are fairly autonomous and once a band of bad guys comes into view, there’s not much more you can do except watch and make sure every character keeps their health up – and thanks to a new distribution option, even that becomes tired.


Do the new items, monsters, and maps make the purchase of Legends of Aranna worth it for people that already have Dungeon Siege installed on their hard drive?  No.  Most of the changes read like a readme file for a patch update.  A backpack (to carry more stuff), better auto-inventory, and a new attack-prone pack animal (to carry even more stuff) should have been free upgrades for the original game.  But like I said before, Legends of Aranna is aimed at the first-time player – for everyone else, go download a mod.


- Omni

(November 30, 2003)


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