Posted on July 29, 2022
Livestream 7/28/2022 – Dungeon Siege
The hack n slash genre isn’t exactly new. It’s been around for a long time and we’ve seen numerous games on virtually all platforms giving it a go. Usually with some light RPG elements that allow you to custimize your character as you progress through a world that slowly but surely ramps up the difficulty. Monsters and enemies keep up with you as your character grows in power. Diablo arguably perfected the formula with the second game in the series. So come the year 2002 Diablo 2 is the reigning champion and played by millions on, and offline.
Chris Taylor (of Total Annihilation fame, among others) and his studio Gas Powered Games releases the first Dungeon Siege. A full 3D Diablo style action RPG with some key features that make is unique. First you have no skill tree but level simply by using the appropriate skillset. If you want to increase your character’s melee ability simply keep swinging away with a weapon. You’ll grow as a character accordingly. Second you can have quite a party of NPCs with you! Where other action RPGs tend to favor the lone hero, occassionally with a trusty sidekick, Dungeon Siege gives you the option to recruit fully fledged party members. They grow in skills and can use equipment exactly the same as your main character. They even give you a controllable pack mule party member to haul all your ill gotten gains from busting through the nearest crypt. It lends a dynamic, and strategy, to the game that other action RPGs of the era didn’t quite have.
Lastly on the technical side the game does something really unique. Once the game has started there are no loading screens! You can traverse the vast majority of the game without ever seeing a loading screen. This means you can go from moving along the outdoor path to going into a dungeon without a single stop for the game to load or break the immersion. I can’t think off the top of my head any other games that pulled this feat off back when this came out in 2002.
The game does have some shortcomings in that it gets to feel pretty “samey” very quickly. You keep clicking and killing. Not saying other action RPGs don’t do this very thing but having a good, in the moment, gameplay loop is very important. Dungeon Siege may be a bit weak here. That said it’s still a really fun game so check out the replay of the stream below!