Delayed Responsibility

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Now and Then: Sieging Dungeons (and other brilliant titles I made up)

Posted by deckard47 on April 25, 2008

Look, a new regular posting idea! I’m going to find a game from my past, preferably one I enjoyed, and see if it holds up under scrutiny today. I’m not just talking about graphics or gameplay either. Some games just aren’t interesting, not when whatever their novelty was ha worn off. Which games remain fun and interesting, and which bore me to death? Exciting!

First up, we have a game that I’ve revisited in one form or another since I first bought the original way back when. The game in question is Dungeon Siege. As I recall, I got it at about the same time I picked up NOLF 2 and Weezer’s Green Album and Cake’s “Motorcade of Generosity.” I really can’t separate these in my memory; I remember blasting through endless Ice Caverns listening to Photograph, Island in the Sun and the rest, and escaping from the Russian research facility while listening to “Satan is my Motor.” Not only does that make me sound like a dork, it makes me feel and sound old. Yes!

Dungeon Siege was viewed (rightfully so) as Baldur’s Gate + Diablo. It had a large party like BG, but it was much more of a click-fest with action RPG elements, like Diablo. It’s main selling point (bizarrely) was the ability to load everything seamlessly. You could enter a building and the roof would melt a way, or enter a tomb, take an elevator 10 stories down, then take a flight of stairs down even deeper into the ground. And this was really exciting back in 2002. Bare with me for a minute, because that probably sounds really dumb.

To be honest, I was just excited for a big group RPG, especially one that featured big environments and area continuity. I was tired of Diablo II. The fact that the game looked fantastic was a bonus. I was, however, put off by the leveling technique, whereby only used skills leveled (think Oblivion). It really restricted character construction, and meant that all multi-class characters were hideously weak.

Still, there were cool weapons cool spells, cool armor, cool enemies, donkeys (to carry stuff! What a revolution), and a beautiful world to explore. I played all the way through, saw the stupid plot to its end, and even played their rather interesting multiplayer offering (a whole new world to explore, a rather cool idea for multiplayer). Anyway, it was fun, and long, and I rather enjoyed it.

But that’s not all. Later, I picked up the original game and its expansion, thinking I could hop back in. Unfortunately, I had to start from the beginning, and I never could get the will up to get to the jungle-themed expansion.

Recently, I bought Dungeon Siege 2, which was a little better (it had way more options for character customization and leveling), but still almost the same game as the original. I got pretty far in that, but was eventually bored. The story was just as bad as before (they claimed that they had spent more time on it. How exactly did they spend that time?), the graphics look ancient, and the game is basically a 2002 game remade for present times. Linear, uninventive, and almost completely lacking in any redeeming qualities.

Normally I can tolerate old games (hopefully I’ll prove that to you in later posts), but in this case, the game was never that good to begin with. It’s sad, because many of the ideas that Chris Taylor and company espouse interest me. However, their new game Space Siege, really just looks like Dungeon Siege in Space. Which will not be impressive.

All in all, Dungeon Siege was even more boring the second time round, and the third time round. Even its sequel was boring, and basically was a remake of the first game. Oh well. Next time, I think I’ll pick something more fun, like NOLF 2 or F.E.A.R.

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