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Well. After seeing this game advertised in my local PC shop I decided to check it out as I have heard some great stuff about this game and wondered if this was correct or not.
Indeed Everything thats been whispered, muttered, shouted from the rooftops about dungeon siege is correct. IT IS a BRILLIANT game worthy of adding to anyones PC games collection
Your adventures take place in the Kingdom of Ehb is one of the youngest states bordering the Plain of Tears. Protected by a ring of superb fortifications and heir to the 10th Legion-arguably one of the best trained armies in the world, the Kingdom of Ehb has, so far, been shielded from the raids and invasions that have devastated many of its neighboring states on the Plain.
Within Ehb's borders, there is an astonishing diversity in geography and cultures. Most inhabitants worship Azunai, an ancient god of the pre-Imperial Agallan Peaks. Dwarves and men live together in harmony and bow to the same king. Sorcerers are also more accepted than in other countries, thanks in large part to the efforts of Merik, Grand Mage and Warden of Shadows of the 10th Legion. And in the heart of the kingdom, a strange and often contrary race called the Droog is allowed a degree of autonomy, despite its sometimes-troublesome alliances.
It is a country in search of an identity, caught between the glories of a fallen past and the potential for an even greater future. Despite several crises, Ehb has never fallen to an enemy. But at any time the course of events could turn down a bleaker path.
It is your within your destiny to save Ehb and rid the world of evil-forces.
The game starts of with yourself on your own, setting out to save the world with skills that are low in level, meaning that as you use items such as Swords, Mace's, Axes, Bows and Staffs galore and of course the obligatory spells.
While you use these items they are linked to your characters vital statistics. For example use of a sword to dispose of the hoards of goblins etc, will increase your dexterity as well as strength whereas spell usage increases your intelligence. All this is built into the game in a fair unique way as later on during the quests there are various items such as Ice Bows and more powerful spells to be cast that require higher levels of strength, intelligence and dexterity.
You begin as a lowly farmer, but as you progress along through the various tasks and quests your character begins to develop. How you develop is up to you. If you want to be a gladiator, then the sure-fire way to achieve this is to use only your swords and maces,axes and other implements of pain delivering to inflict damage upon the hoards of ghouls, goblins and other nasties that stand in your path. Whereas, use of spells a lot means in no time, you WILL BE Merlin - Master magician who can summon the bile demons from deep with the earth.
Dungeon Siege has some of the best graphics I have ever seen within a RPG game like this. The world is true 360 degrees 3D. Every little detail within this game has been checked and re-checked. trees look devine, landscapes are lushiously fertile when required with the BEST looking Trees and bushes I have witnessed upon a game for a very long time.
The characters are UNREAL. They look superbly dress ing the wide range of clothing and armour that is availible within this "realm" ranging from torn leather tatters to the holy grail of magic armour ( included free with this is an errie glow around your character.
Combat Animations are worth the fee of this game alone. They are fluid, lifelike, truely realistic with some of the best motions captured within a game for some time.
Dungeon Siege takes advantage of the newer generation of graphics cards such as Geforce 3 and above by using the "texture and lighting" codes that are within these cards. The end result is not short of spectactular. Imagine as you will, a dark, errie crypt full of skeleton warlords faintly glowing in the flames from the torch-light. The errie shadows cast cover all the walls with the odd flicker of the flames distorting them, then all of a sudden your magician lets loose casting an electric firebolt spell, which turns the dark, dank, errie cave into a light-filled room that looks as if its illuminated by halogen lights for a brief second while the spells cast. Indeed, the GRAPHICS are that GOOD.
Overall rating of graphics - 8/10
Note : They are THAT detailed that "slowdown" may occur on less powerful PC systems
Resolutions supported by Dungeon siege include the following ;
640 x 480 - 16 bit and 32 bit colour 800 x 600 - 16 bit and 32 bit colour 1024 x 768 - as above for colour levels
As I always state - Music and sounds are 1 of the most fundamental aspects of a game. A game can look the dogs bo**ocks, yet can be a "turkey" due to lack of investment and emphasis upon sound.
Thankfully, DS does infact deliever upon this with the most WONDERFUL orchestral scores I have witnessed within my time as a gamer. DS emphasises the whole GAME with its delightful array of sounds and musical compositions.
For example picture the scene, You are travelling through the forests during the day. In the background is a nice yet pieceful orchestral piece thats quite ditty and surreal. To your left is the stream, flowing slowly upon a summers day. Around this stream is a hive of activity with birds singing, fish jumping, flying insects humming, when all of a sudden theres a rumble behind the bush to the right. Out from this bush appears a snarling wolf pack forming a formation around you to attack.
Yes it is that good - its simply devine.
Weaponary sounds are just as brilliant as the rest of the media involved. swords actually "swoosh" when in combat, armour jingles when hit upon, enemies groan ( as do your characters ) when hit or injured. Again they've looking deep into this game and proved some of the most "unique" voices to the characters which come across as "life-life" instead of the robotic monotones that are usually supplied that sound as if they're reading a script.
DS takes advantage of EAX sound protocol, and if you can apply this I suggest you do as this increases the audio enjoyment by 100%. In all its like Audio Heroin - you'll be hooked when you here the EAX echo's of the caves. EAX applies all these effects perfectly and the caves sound ultra releastic with echo's from footsteps, snarling enemies and weapon strikes all reverbing and bouncing off the cold stone interior
Overall Score - 9/10
Controls are "unique" and strangely compelling. Its a simple point and click to move, click to attack and a simple drag a box to highlight the whole Clan of people that you control later upon the game. There are keyboard shortcuts galore, and being a standard Microsoft game, Shortcuts that are used in office for example such as ALT+S does indeed save the game.
The GUI is brilliant - Small yet easy to use. You can control all aspects from the main screen such as fighting formations, tactics, roles, order of weapons, which weapon to use, or which spells.
The cursor keys are used to control the camera. You can view from ANY ANGLE, from any Degree of latitute or longitude as well as vertical height. Its really that simple, just press -> and the camera sweeps round in an almost cinematic way.
Overall Score - 9/10 Easy to use
This game is not only a single player but also a multiplayer "on-line" game. You have the option of gathering a few friends and playing as a "team" against the hoards of PC controlled demons, or you can play against each other and have an all out battle of survival. The maps are huge yet quite easy to remember and its very good fun killing a friends characters that they've spent many a sleepless night building up over the week or so.
Overall Score 9/10 Caters for all
OVERALL GAME SCORE - 35/40
DS is an excellent game. I do not really prefer RPG type games and usually play 1st person shooters etc. Alas it had to change I suppose. Since aquiring DS I have played it for many hours at a time, noticing new and great features everytime I play from the way the computer AI responds to your attacks down to the little effects such as the forest fairies glowing in the moonlight. Its almost real and lifelike.
All in all - DS is a HUGE game that will keep many people playing for months and will proved many an hour of enjoyment to all. great job Microsoft this is a brilliant game worthy of the fee alone to hear the sounds and see the animations.