Arts&Entertainment

sore thumbs

July 28, 2011 |
by Matthew Scott Hunter

 

‘Dungeon Siege III'

Third time isn't always a charm

(T) ***

Square Enix

Xbox 360

 

Dungeon crawlers capitalize on two of video gaming's (and perhaps life's) universal pleasures: killing hideous monsters and searching corpses for loot. The "Dungeon Siege" series has offered plenty of both over the course of two titles released on PC. "Dungeon Siege III" brings the franchise to home consoles and, as is often the case when a PC game switches to consoles, the game's mechanics have been streamlined (i.e. dumbed down). Customization options have taken a huge hit, which means you won't spend nearly as much time staring at items on menu screens. It also means there isn't as much to do with the spoils taken from your slain enemies, so after a while, it feels more like you're picking up litter than loot.

In an effort to better emulate console RPGs, "Dungeon Siege III" puts a greater emphasis on story, allowing you to choose the dialogue that pushes along the narrative. Unfortunately, the story focuses on characters who tend to be one-note, and that one note is solemn. The game works best when you do all of your communicating with your sword, or one of the other specialized weapons used by your four archetypal protagonists. All four can play together at once via online co-op, but players are forced to stick together on a single screen, often creating camera angles that are advantageous to no one in your party. Hopefully "Dungeon Siege IV" will return to its roots, rather than try to blend in with the myriad other action-RPGs available on consoles. CV