Dungeon Siege 3 Announced

Some days, you get a piece of news that is unintentionally hilarious. Like really any episode of 24. Today, we had the bombshell (lol) that Obsidian (okay) and Square Enix (huh?) were developing a sequel to PC Diablo-alike stalwart Dungeon Siege.

Just think about all those aspects together. Square Enix making a western RPG. Obsidian making a Diablo clone. Dungeon Siege, which was moderately successful at launch but whose sequels, especially Space Siege, flopped harder than a pair of flip flops on a Dolphin (spot the subtle dig!), getting a new sequel from a major company.

Then I thought about it, thought long and hard, and by god if this isn’t the best idea since someone put cookie dough in ice cream.

The original Dungeon Siege was always the Banjo Kazooie to Diablo II’s Mario 64. It was extremely similar, but had a few of its own innovations up its sleeve. First, it had party members when playing single player, which was a huge, colossal plus. With this came more of an emphasis on story: sure, it wasn’t the best story you could find, but it was more substantial than Diablo II offered, and that helped give it some staying power. The world was cool, and fairly livable, too, if you catch my meaning. People could live there. You could see it.

It had an interesting leveling system, too, where you gained levels by using skills. Use a lot of combat magic, and that skill goes up, along with your casting stats. But the more stats you had, the slower new ones came. It was a cool system, that allowed a bit more flexibility than Diablo II did.

Now we have Dungeon Siege III (I never played 2, won’t comment on it), and I think they picked the perfect people for it in Obsidian. Now, yes, Obsidian have some trouble. They don’t test their games. They suffer from significant feature creep instead of polishing their games. Yes, these are awful things.

Except, if there’s a genre that was “easy” to develop, it would be the Diablo clone. Like, sure, it’s got its complexities, but it’s much easier than, say, a third person espionage action game. You feel, for instance, playing Dragon Age, that if the game didn’t have like forty novels stacked side by side, the game would have been quick and easy to make. Top down action games aren’t a cakewalk, but they’re doable.

And if Obsidian has a weakness, it’s that they…don’t seem like fantastic programmers. They have a lot of idea men and writers, but not a whole lot of nuts and bolts guys. Well good news! They’re taking a genre where things can get banged out pretty easily. More importantly, they can come in and lay out a sprawling, epic storyline, a fascinating supporting cast, and some new, exciting features.

Basically, Square Enix has just handed the keys to a genre fraught with imitators (last year’s best dungeon crawl, Torchlight, was a pitch perfect Diablo II clone. That’s like releasing a first person shooter today that was exactly like Half Life) to a company who, for all their faults, seem to come up with innovative new features. And that sounds absolutely fantastic.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun, though it’s been reported by everyone and their brother.