Saturday, August 06, 2005

 

Dungeon Seige 2 - More Demo Impressions

Ok I've finished the demo. It has roughly 6-8 hours of gameplay, if you're not rushing through it. It may go faster if you do a "smarter" build of your character and if you realize, unlike me, that you can actually pick up henchmen pretty early in the game.

I played about half of the demo solo, as a melee character, and it's doable but the game goes a lot easier with the henchies, and in my opinion, it's a lot more FUN with the henchies because it gives you a lot more flexibility. Plus dying a lot kind of sucks. :)

Also I noticed that the henchies talk to you at different points in the game which kind of reminded me of Baldur's Gate. The game is not *totally* linear but it's was fairly linear and while there were a few side quests to do that didn't take you far from the action. The thing missing here is the open endedness of something like a Divine Divinity or Sacred. But still,
it's a fun romp.

PROS:

1. Best damn interface of any RPG ever maybe. Very flexible and customizable and just about any time-saving feature you could want is there. I love the Z to auto-loot, every game should have this. I also like the auto-arrange inventories. Having all the various hot-keys available for
henchmen formations and commanding them is also very nice. The Journal, which keeps track of your quests and such, is probably the best I've seen in any game. Overall I think they took the best of Diablo 2 and the best of Dungeon Siege 1 and made it even better.

2. Decent Graphics. Not HL2 quality maybe but very servicable. Way better than Diablo 2. Slightly better than NWN and KOTOR. I actually started to appreciate and enjoy the graphics about half way through, but I guess it just takes a while to get accustomed to. The forest area you start in feels kind of claustrophobic at first but it grows on you. (rim shot)

3. Decent amount of story for this type of game, good side quests, good sense of "world", with all the background info and such. There's a lot of stuff to read, stories, etc. You can also talk to some of the NPCs which can give you more background story and just general information.

4. PHAT LEWT!!! OMG. This game has loot in abundance. And it's a lot of fun. Not to mention the enchanting of items, collecting sets, uniques, it has it all. If any game can rival D2LOD's lewt system it's DS2.

CONS:

1. There doesn't seem to be any sense of being able to make choices that actually affect the game world. Sure, you do the quests, and the story progresses, but it's no Fallout where you can make meaningful choices and where the game adapts to the way you build your character.

2. The didn't really revamp the Siege Engine that much over DS1, IMHO, it's really almost DS 1.5. Although there are some improvements and I think it's got a LOT better game balance from what I can tell so far. For fans of DS1 this is probably all good news anyway.

3. Still pretty linear, at least in the demo. Players looking for the freedom to go and do things in any order may feel constrained a bit.

4. Had to fight the camera a few times to see what was happening, but overall the camera controls are pretty good.

I'm almost assuredly going to buy DS2. I may not buy it on day one, but I might, especially if I can talk one of my buddies into getting it with me so we can do it co-op. I highly recommend getting a hold of this demo if you're fans of either DS1 or Diablo 2. If you don't have broadband and can't find the demo anywhere else, email me, maybe we can work something out. I'm tempted to go back and play through the demo again as a mage this time.

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