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Forums > Submission Feedback > fleinn's Dungeon Siege III review

This thread is in response to a review for Dungeon Siege III on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: June 28, 2011 (01:20 PM)
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Pretty good review but your blog link is not working.

And it might just be me but I don't understand this sentence.

(With hardly any preparation, dungeon master plans and fingered outcomes of disputes in the groups needed at all!).


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: SamildanachEmrys
Posted: June 28, 2011 (09:16 PM)
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Isn't that sentence just a reference to tabletop/pen & paper RPGs? I'm not sure what a 'fingered outcome' is, but that's probably my lack of roleplaying experience.

Anyway, I enjoyed the review. It's maybe a little gushing (the game must have some flaws) but not to excess, and it's nice to hear a positive opinion. The reviews elsewhere have basically said "it has this feature, and that's bad because I don't like that feature". The piggybacking co-op system, for instance; it was good to hear how that can be enjoyable if you look at it in the right way.


'There would be tears and there would be strange laughter. Fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings. And dreams, and violence, and disenchantment.'


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 29, 2011 (02:59 AM)
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*rse... The link is actually valid. But the direct links in the review is bounced somehow by the site. Jason! :p

"it was good to hear how that can be enjoyable if you look at it in the right way."

Right. And I write about that in the blog-post (which you can reach by appropriate use of hardcore arcane magic, which keeps the casuals away). The problem with this game is that it achieves the friendly adventuring setting from a successful role-playing session -- with the wrong mechanics.

I mean, what it is, is a really really good scenario and a good story. Of the kind that a game-master would sit on for years, and perfect and change subtly to suit the players. Obviously you don't have that much freedom when you make a game. But on the other hand, you have more time to perfect the writing and the dialogue, and the pacing and the encounters. As well as the mechanics, and so on. So what you have here is a way for complete noobs to have a really good time running around in a legendary dungeon master's adventure -- without knowing what a d5 is, or a token, or who Wizards of the Coast is.

Other than that.. the ps3 version looks good. It has minimal framerate issues (in 1080p or 720p). When there are hordes of skeletons, four players, or just one -- there are no framerate issues. Whether all companion wear animated gear with flame-effects.. no issues. The AI is reasonably clever, and does unpredictable things. Your companion AI vary their attacks. There are no pathfinding issues. There are no broken quests, there's no loading issues (and no loading screens), there are no "get stuck in the scenery", there are no unbeatable bosses with impossibly cheap moves, there are no broken scaling, there's no suddenly impossible to hit angles, there are no bosses that can't be affected by status-attacks. You have lighting effects in the scene used to very good effect, even if it's sparse compared to, say, inFamous 1. But.. of course, everything looks like shit compared to the lighting model in I1. The scenes are drawn as the full 2d scenes in Icewind Dale, for example, so it really gives you the impression that the world is larger.

On top of that the encounters are interesting when they happen, they're set up well and scaled well (even if you jump in with a third player an instant before the encounter begins) - and the bosses are really good. As in, they are strong, but not unbeatable. And don't actually have too many artificially strong attacks. I.e., they can summon spells in the same way that you do, and use attacks in the same way (apart from regeneration).. *shrug*

Point is, it's simple and structured, and as just a single-player game it wouldn't have been a very high score. But it's designed as a multiplayer game, and that's where you see the purpose of the limitations come up.

So why shouldn't I give the review a high score? It would be because it makes RPG-gaming on the one hand, or the dungeon crawlers on the other, look silly. I don't like how it manages to do away with throwing dice (figuratively speaking.. I hate dice, actually... always just used them for show when I game-mastered). Others dislike the fact that you can't change between bow and sword. But is that enough to diss the game?

Like someone said: this isn't going to be game of the year. "But on the other hand, it's a really fun game to play".

And now I haven't even started to touch on the way the story and the characters are very deep and interesting, and how the game inserts them. One example. You meet Guiscard at the beginning of the game. You don't know much about him, but apparently he fought in the war of Legions after the Legion fell. Something doesn't fit here - he should either have been with the Royalists, or with Jane Kassynder's Azunites. And he has no particular liking for the Royals. It seems he has a lot of knowledge about the fanatics that make up the current ranks with the Azunites as well. Mannerisms and so on also suggest that he may have been fighting for the Azunites at some point.

So the game doesn't actually explain whether he does. But when it's time to decide what to do with one of the fanatics you defeat, it's Guiscard who is the idealist, and the one who insists on showing mercy.

Meaning that in terms of story-telling, you have a setting here where you can doubt the idealism of a former Azunite. Maybe he's just seeing himself in that situation, and don't have the will to do what's necessary. Maybe you agree with him because you both see how fanatical they are, and how you would rout their demonized views of the Legion by sending them back alive. Or maybe you follow the old Legion way. Or maybe you want to make the new Legion different? Maybe you're just not in the mood for any discussion at all - she murdered your kin and half the village near the Legion Chapterhouse just to get to you, etc...

The game wraps your choices like that all the way through the game, and then display them in the moving parchment episodes, and in the dialogue afterwards..


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: June 29, 2011 (11:15 AM)
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You have to include a valid link (including the standard 'http://' part) when linking to content in reviews. Otherwise, the site's base href is automatically added in and you get a bogus URL.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 29, 2011 (11:44 AM)
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..hm.. I changed the "s to 's, and now it works.. Seems the links from earlier reviews still work. So - the parser doesn't like "s? :)

Oh, and one more thing on the interface - they actually let you sort random games by latency. That's right. You can randomly pick people who are close to you, so you can get the best flowing game possible. Not bad for a console-game. ...practically unique, in fact.. :D


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Author: SamildanachEmrys
Posted: June 29, 2011 (12:38 PM)
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There's a character called Guiscard? As a historian of Norman Sicily/southern Italy, that's an amusing choice of name to me. (There was a Norman count called Robert Guiscard, often translated as Robert the Weasel.)


'There would be tears and there would be strange laughter. Fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings. And dreams, and violence, and disenchantment.'


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 29, 2011 (12:59 PM)
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..yeah. "He'll make a good grandmaster one day". Weasel, or maybe fox would fit the guy in this story. :) What's the story about the other Guiscard?


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: June 29, 2011 (01:45 PM)
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Isn't that sentence just a reference to tabletop/pen & paper RPGs? I'm not sure what a 'fingered outcome' is, but that's probably my lack of roleplaying experience.

"fingered outcome" is not a term I have heard in my many years of D&D. Perhaps around other tables and really that is what threw me about that comment.

fleinn, you played this on the PS3 so I guess you know even though I may have missed it and you mentioned this somewhere. Can one person (or more) pick up a controller and jump right in on an existing PS3 on the same system?


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 29, 2011 (01:55 PM)
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Yes. You can play up to two-player on one ps3 (same on xbox) in exactly the same way as you would online. Not sure how it works on the PC version, just saw it played co-op online. It seems to work to have two player local and two other players on one more ps3 as well. If you're in .. same continent, basically.. 200ms lag.. there are no issues when playing other than maybe some archery animations being a bit too fast, that kind of thing. But launched effects and melee is handled really well, so you don't get any breakage because of the lag that way.

So.. you basically just run around on the same screen. If you run the opposite way, you're stuck :D

..by the way. Odo and Bohemund also are characters in the game. They're related to Guiscard in some way, aren't they..?


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Author: SamildanachEmrys
Posted: June 29, 2011 (02:23 PM)
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Good grief, really? Odo could be one of several people; my guess would be Bishop Odo of Bayeux. Bohemond was one of Guiscard's relatives (nephew maybe; I forget) who went stomping around the Holy Land.

Whoever came up with the character names in Dungeon Siege 3 was a fan of medieval Italy and Normandy. It's a hilarious discovery for me because I'm accustomed to my field being a very obscure niche.

Watch out for characters called Roger or Tancred. If there's a character called Maio, I will eat my own head in delight.


'There would be tears and there would be strange laughter. Fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings. And dreams, and violence, and disenchantment.'


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 29, 2011 (04:38 PM)
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:D this Odo is "Odo the Wise", apparently. He used to be a "..er.. 'scout'", as Guiscard says.

Can't remember anyone called Maio... But yeah.. the entire breach between the church and the "royals", and the way the crusaders.. I mean, the Legion, falls - that story seems familiar somehow.. ..at least if you take away the Archons, the causeways, magic, witches, and so on..


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: June 30, 2011 (12:23 PM)
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Thanks fleinn that is what I wanted to know. I am going to get this one now.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: fleinn
Posted: June 30, 2011 (05:43 PM)
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..forgot about the "fingered outcome" thing.. Is that even an expression..? What I mean is to conspire with half the group about choosing something specific on beforehand. And then conspire with the other half to do something else - without telling the first group. So they expect a situation, and the other expects what the first group is going to do, but they don't know about each other. So we're going to have a prepared outcome without the games-master having to improvise too much to get things to make a reasonable amount of sense.

I'm sure there's a better way to say that..


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: July 01, 2011 (01:34 PM)
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(With hardly any preparation, dungeon master plans and fingered outcomes of disputes in the groups needed at all!).

How about this:

With hardly any preparation the dungeon master predetermines the outcome of disputes within the group.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: fleinn
Posted: July 02, 2011 (05:32 AM)
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Guess I need to work a bit on that.

"Without any need for game-boards, hours with character builds, and scenario-writing between the groups needed at all".

Doesn't sound as exciting, does it?


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