Dungeon Siege III Exclusive Hands-On Preview - Cooperative Play

We lay siege to a haunted house during our hands-on cooperative session with Dungeon Siege III.

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When we last visited the world of Dungeon Siege III, we helped young Lucas Mont Barron escape the burning Mont Barron estate, adventured through the countryside, and rescued a supposed Archon, Anjali, from some cultists. Now, we're back in developer Obsidian Entertainment's action role-playing world. However, this time Lucas and Anjali are teaming up for some cooperative gameplay as we go hands-on to investigate the spooky Gunderic Manor.

Once again, we stepped into the young adventurer's shoes. Adept with a sword and shield, Lucas is a strong melee fighter who excels at powerful blows against single targets. Our co-op companion was Anjali, a fiery mage with some crowd-control abilities. Our mission was to help Leona, a witch looking to set up shop in the dilapidated Gunderic Manor. We agreed to investigate the manor for her and clear out any malcontents (or homeless people) we found within it.

You won't be alone in Gunderic Manor.

The quest started out easily enough. The manor seemed to be deserted until we encountered Alise Gunderic, one of the manor's former inhabitants. Specifically, we encountered the ghost of Alise Gunderic, who pleaded with us to destroy the Heart of Nagog. According to her, this item was the one thing binding her soul to the mortal realm. Having only just met her, we decided to trust her completely and agreed to help without another word.

All of the gargoyles and skeletons outside must have overheard our conversation because after we exited the room, they all sprang to life and attacked. What a mistake on their part. It didn't take us long to fall back into the easy rhythm of Dungeon Siege III's combat. Our role was simple: Get in front of the enemies and dish out as much hurt as possible. If we got swarmed by their numbers, a shield bash from the sword-and-shield stance would temporally stun a few. And if some pesky ranged units attacked from a distance, the broadsword stance's blade dash ability would run them over with ease.

For the most part, it was just a lot of tapping the attack button and watching the numbers fly. This basic pleasure, a staple in the action role-playing genre, is not lost here. For all our frantic sword swinging (and accidental dodge rolling), it was Anjali's "aura of immolation" ability that did most of the work. On command, she could conjure a pool of fire that would heal allies and damage enemies. Combined with the stunning power of Lucas' shield bash, we could trap our foes in flames and finish them off with steel.

Once we got some experience under our belt, we were able to level up these abilities. Each ability is divided up into two styles for you to improve, so you can choose to either focus on one, or go with a combination of both. For instance, aura of immolation can be improved with "fiery presence" (which deals more damage to enemies) or "cauterize" (which provides better healing to allies). Our extremely useful blade dash could be improved with "lightning precision" (which improves critical hit chance) or "hemorrhage" (which deals more damage over time).

Anjali's aura of immolation ability is a great way to hurt enemies and heal allies.

With the enemies slain, we took a break to read up on the history of the manor. OK, maybe we just skimmed it. There was something about Lord Gunderic and the occult, as well as a secret password for his underground dungeon. However, before we could get to this dungeon, we had to get past a talking door--and an arrogant one at that. We already knew the password it wanted, but we decided to do things the hard way. One after the other, our two-character party bombarded the door with a series of off-the-wall guesses. After we made several failed attempts at guessing the answer, the door took pity on us, and it let us pass. This bullheaded feat earned us the "trial-and-error" achievement, as well as a small stamina boost to the entire party.

In the dungeon below, we stumbled upon another pack of pesky cultists, who were busy summoning some kind of ungodly monster. Just as they were finishing their ritual, we dropped in and squared off in a mini-boss encounter with a mire hulk horror. Acting on heroic impulse, we blade-dashed Lucas right into the thick of it only to get blown to pieces under the combined strength of our two foes (alone, Anjali didn't fare much better). A reload later, we devised a plan to better tackle this situation. Lucas would hit the cultists on the periphery first, while Anjali would keep the hulking horror distracted with a barrage of offensive magic.

Working together, we bested the beast and headed into the library beyond. Lo and behold, our adventuring duo found the Heart of Nagog, which was an ornate canister exuding green smoke. Blindly following the ghost's instructions and disregarding Anjali's suggestions for further research, we smashed that sucker right then and there. This didn't have any immediate ramifications, but when we inevitably encountered Lord Gunderic, he thanked us for destroying the item and subsequently increasing his power. Whoops.

Teamwork is key for bringing down the bigger bosses in Dungeon Siege III.

After the battle, Alise Gunderic materialized out of nowhere and gave us a heartfelt "thank you" for our assistance, which made the whole thing worthwhile. Or something. Leona moved in shortly thereafter, but we assured her that we would be back to reclaim this keep once we finished rebuilding the Legion. According to Lucas, it was once Legion property, but as it turns out, we were just being jerks on that one. You can be a jerk too, if you want, in Dungeon Siege III for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on May 31.

Discussion

111 comments
tyrosxps
tyrosxps

so, is there coop over LAN? or any LAN multiplayer at all?

qubeley
qubeley

Does anyone know whether you need separate profiles to save your co-op characters or all characters used in coop can be saved with the game as options to use in the future?

punisher70
punisher70

i would buy the PC version however the control and camera fighting an the click to move i found horribly fustraiting in DS2. if the controls are similar to torchlight or WoW i'm sold, otherwise ill buy the xbox version.

Devchi
Devchi

Square used to be my favourite developer. I enjoyed the gameplay, the plot, the soundtrack. 3 games come in mind. Vagrant Story, FFT and Chronotrigger. But now... I don't know if they just got worse or if I grew up. Maybe both.

kingotnw
kingotnw

They seem to be working on a good amount of these games now... I'm very glad I have Playstation Move.

firzok
firzok

Lets hope Obsidian can pull this one off as their previous titles namely Fallout New Vegas and Alpha Protocol both were buggy although both had a potential to be great games the concept of Alpha Protocol was just not well excuted.

DraconisRex
DraconisRex

Does it have a plot? One that you can stick-with instead of the terminal-boring-hack-and-slash action/rpg-lite ennui that has kept me from finishing the others in this series sets in? Because, while I loved the opening acts of Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege II, I could never finish them...

Muisee
Muisee

Make a good online world and i'm on board.

mrmikechau
mrmikechau

I hope this won't be buggy like the last few Obsidian games :(

edinsftw
edinsftw

console footage...who cares...i wanna see some pc and make sure it kept what makes it dungeon siege.

ditto202
ditto202

i love the original which is why i have high hopes for this game but the way it is looking right now then i am sure it will be an instant classic but i wonder if they will let you choose your own class or whats gonna go on

redness19
redness19

Dragon Age's loss could be Dungeon Siege's gain. Now that Dragona Age has broken away from the old school RPG formula, this game may gain some traction.

mroberts
mroberts

Thumbs up if you put Jan 1st 1905 as your birthday for every damn video. Yes, I'm 106 years old and I want to watch this damn trailer. Thanx.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

Whenever I hear Dungeon Siege, I think of tanks blowing stuff up in a dungeon.

MichaelChainsaw
MichaelChainsaw

I don't know what all this Dragon Age 2 fuss is about. The game is better than anything square has put out in the last decade.

MichaelChainsaw
MichaelChainsaw

Square has got to be the stupidest developer of all time. So, many great franchises they could make amazing games out of... instead they fail at giving the fans what they want. Chrono Trigger is all but forgotten... and if they did make a new one they would screw it up just has they have with the FF series.

maderrin
maderrin

has a nice old-school feel about it, hope the rest will live up to my expectations

PixelBully
PixelBully

walk here... swing.. swing.. pickup. swing... swing... pickup. boring cut-scene with horrible voice-over.. ill pass

SkylerX
SkylerX

Also, anything from Square Enix is bound to be garbage nowadays.

SkylerX
SkylerX

The combat looked boring in that video.

Targzissian
Targzissian

@ACWH - What's boring for me is when something is *too* linear and has zero re-spawning of even low level monsters, and simply lacks the exploration element that is part of a good RPG. That said, I can enjoy a good action RPG that is somewhat linear, but it's all about balance. I hope the developers of DS3 looked at Titan Quest and Sacred 2, for example, for ideas about making an action RPG that can be linear, but not *too* linear, if that makes sense.

ACWH
ACWH

@Targzissian I agree to some extent with what you say. I feel this format is dated now. I love open world RPG games like Oblivion or Fallout 3 but the DS series like Dragon Age 2 just seems so boring.

chang_1910
chang_1910

looks nice and with drop in/out co-op online... I`m most likely in...

Targzissian
Targzissian

@Bozanimal - I'm not asking them to make it like Oblivion, but if it's just a linear path that you go through in one direction... You kill everything in the area and nothing ever re-spawns... I find that kind of boring. I mean, it kind of worked for DS1 because the game held my attention enough for me to play through to the end, but I would have enjoyed the game more if there was some re-spawning (of at least low level monsters) and more of an exploration element. A "game world" where you can explore and revisit an area makes for a more immersive experience than a "game path". I think Titan Quest handled things a little better than DS1 in that regard. The degree of openness and re-playability of areas in an RPG world is an important thing to get right for the most immersive experience, as is the way they handle leveling, loot, etc...

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

Not that I will be playing this game on console but most will.

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

Obsidian is talented.. they have a tough job. But I think they have been given a lot of time to polish this particular game.. And you know SE needs to hit on there games now.. with the abomination that is FFXIV. They need to make up for a major flop so they are most likely giving some extra tender lovin care to there games like this and Deus Ex. They need some positive $ makers. And the consoles have not been given much love when it comes to loot games.

superbaler
superbaler

@ROMEOHELL 's quote------>"dont ever question a Square Enix games !! this should be one of their best, hopefully :)" ------------My response: I've questioned Square Enix games ever since Square became Square Enix.

jollybest1
jollybest1

after the dragon age 2 fiasco i hope this one will get it right

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Gorbax obsidion makes some decent games..Alpha protocol was fun..Go give it a shot..Neverwinter nights 2 was fun..Fallout new vegus was fun..So what are you puking about..Im telling ya give alph a try an youl grow to love it..

kalan1
kalan1

@Hornsqualid this vid is for co-op play the hud reflects 2 players, not a SP party

pelvist
pelvist

I sense this game is going to have major floppage on consoles TBH.

Hornsqualid
Hornsqualid

I'm Not sure I like the HUD...how many people do you control? If its only 2 then that's lame. If it's more than 2 then I think the HUD takes up too much space. I am still a little peeved at Obsidian for Kotor 2 and NWN 2...so I'm not holding my breath. Still, this should be a good game to fill the time between the time when I get bored of Dragon Age 2 and Diablo 3.

Gornax
Gornax

But its OBSIDIAN......:puke:

bl3ndaz
bl3ndaz

Woo! Can't wait! It will be quite different from the first games by GPG thought. Still, looks promising so far :P

TheUnkownJoker
TheUnkownJoker

WOW, finally my favorite and first RPG is getting a trilogy CANT WAIT need moar...

ROMEOHELL
ROMEOHELL

dont ever question a Square Enix games !! this should be one of their best, hopefully :)

Psychokillaz
Psychokillaz

Is this going to have an mmo aspect like Everquest for example? Looks like we can set up raids and have some fun.

dancapitan
dancapitan

it's a square game so go get it!

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Here is to hoping there is still a huge range of spells like the old ones.Made mages fun as hell.Good to see the melee guys getting some attention.But dont over do it.And for god sakes TEST IT FIRST!!!

drokmore
drokmore

sounds like fun, think ill give it a try.

DJKrayz_basic
DJKrayz_basic

loved the first DS game, so, happy this one is coming along rather nicely... its a lot like Diablo in ways so it will definitely fill the void until that one debuts finally...

espiranza88
espiranza88

@ lyncer777... you forgot skyrim... and good one man... mass errect 3... ka... ka... ka...

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

On the bright note im following ds3 an will gladly pick it up..Im one of the few people who love obsidion games they rock..If they just didnt rush there games out and tested before release..They would be one of the best makers out there..Obisidion slow down a little..Become what i know you can become the best out there.If you did that you would own bioware...

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

TehUndeadHorror you hit the nail right on the head..What cheese bioware did to baldurs gate 2..How do you leave magic items out..Like making your tank look ubah..Thats a lot of the point in rpgs..Bioware is slowly loosing its touch on reality and what the masses like..They better wake up and smell the coffee..It was the first time bioware EVER let me down..Mass effect 2 was ok but yet they simplified that game also..Who ever is making the decisions over there..They better come off the drugs..Its a shame really is..Hope they turn it around..Hope they realise there mistakes..Guarantee they wont though...

lyncer777
lyncer777

pre-order this bcoz of the teetzzzz... blizzard cmon where the F is Diablo 3? The Witcher 2 Dragon Age 2 Diablo 3 Mass Errect 3

AlienOverlord
AlienOverlord

When I read a preview I'm less interested in what they did and more interested in the game mechanics. Is this one just like the first one? That one got boring and I never finished it.

Ceraby
Ceraby

Niiice. I think I'll get this game once it comes out. It looks like a good co-op game, which I'm always on the lookout for =D