Although this awaited sequel has been delayed for over a year, many impressive changes have been made since it was shown at E3 2004. Dungeon Siege II, the sequel to Gas Powered Games’ fantasy role-playing game, will be upon us early next month, so here you have a quick take on the beta version in the meantime.
Players in the original game began as farmers and
made their way through the world while having to learn new
skills and gather new party members to help destroy enemies
in the Land of Ehb. In Dungeon Siege II, you will start out
as an imprisoned mercenary that was hired by Prince Valdis.
Captured in a horrific battle, and have now imprisoned on
the Dryad island of Eirulan. The story begins to unfold
even more as adventurers begin questing.
start, character creation was a simple and short process,
which should only take a couple of minutes. Something that
is good about Dungeon Siege is that a character name is
chosen on the same screen as the race and characteristics of
the character. The races that players will be able to
choose from are: Elves, Dryads, Half-Giants and Humans.
Once a race has been chosen, a gender (if applicable), some
physical characteristics like appearance, hair color and
hair style can be chosen.
four different combat types that players will get to choose
from: melee, ranged, nature magic and combat magic.
Something that RPG fans will enjoy is that starting as a
melee character doesn't mean that a player cannot dabble
with a combination of the other combat types. It is
possible to level up as a melee fighter and then decide to
equip a bow and begin dabbling with ranged attacks. This
makes gameplay a lot more flexible and enjoyable, because it
is possible to have a character that is strong with several
different combat types.
type has a specific skill tree that allows players to
specialize in a certain type of attack. A lot of the
different skills on the skill tree are passive. For
example, melee fighters can put skill points into critical
strike, which will increase the likelihood to inflict a
critical strike on an opponent. Some spells may require a
player to meet certain levels first, and also require
mentioned earlier, each race has characteristics that have
to be taken into consideration. The Dryad (+4 to dexterity)
would make a good ranged character. The Half-Giant (+6 to
strength) is a good melee character because of his power.
The Elf (+3 to intelligence) is best suited to cast spells.
The Human (equally balanced with all traits) is ready for
any combat type. Don't forget, though, it is still easy to
switch weapons or spells and begin leveling up a different
weren't the most effective party members, especially since
they couldn't attack enemies. Since the pets do take up a
slot that could have gone to a regular party member, it is
important that they actually do something useful. Luckily,
players will now be able to add pets that do damage and can
help attack enemies and defend fellow party members.
Players will also be able to feed any old or unwanted item
(weapon, armor) to the pet to make it stronger. Arguably
the best thing about having a pet in the party is that they
also level up. They go through several different stages:
baby, infant, juvenile, adolescent, adult and mature. The
pet will level up faster if the item being fed is more
Overall improvements and changes
As an owner
of the original Dungeon Siege game, I must applaud Gas
Powered Games’ decision of making controls for this sequel
as similar as possible to the original, making for a less
painful transition. Although having to incorporate the WASD
keys into a non-FPS game may be a bit strange for some
players, it really is easy to get used to. The D key
rotates the camera to the right, the A key rotates the
camera to the left, the S key rotates the camera up and the
W key rotates the camera angle down. Left clicking
somewhere on the map will move the characters to that
location and right clicking on an enemy will attack the
original game was sometimes too easy on players as
characters actually played too well on their own, Gas
Powered Games (GPG) has changed this around several ways,
which helps make the game more challenging. In the first
game, it was possible to give orders to individual
characters, but only party orders can be given in Dungeon
Siege II. For example, if the "rampage" order is given,
every party member is forced to follow the order. In the
same line of changes we have that players now have to click
more than once on an enemy to continue attacking it. This
will force people to actually play the game, instead of kind
of sit back and let the game play itself. So while we can
understand such a measure, we don't necessarily agree with
substantial change is that the allowed limit of characters
per party has been decreased by two for a total of six party