As an arcade gamer and arcade game designer I tend to shy away from games where I spend all my time managing stuff. I rather like the concept of managing stuff in games but in reality I have very little patience for it.
I must have downloaded a multitude of games for iPad alone where I’m required to manage an individual, a party, a city or a football team and I always have the best of intentions in seeing it through.
Sadly I never get past the tutorials phase and instead of seeing my football team through from the lowest division in to the top flight of the Premier League I always just cut to the chase and fire up FIFA. Worst still these days I have found rather a lot of comfort in the painfully addictive Flick Kick Football (high score 547 in arcade mode if your’re interested)
But there was always one game that I had a tremendous amount of time for in that it blended beautifully the arcade elements of my favourite games with the RPG style management of a party of adventurers and that game was Dungeon Siege.
10 years ago I cranked this game up and expected Diablo. Diablo of course had set a high standard in fantasy RPG and I rather liked the mood and style of the game. But I never finished it. When I found that Dungeon Siege was actually more of a hack and slash that nodded toward RPG in its most basic form I was very pleased indeed. I’d found not only a worthy follow up (for me, not the industry) to the Diablo experience but a game in which I could feel at home.
There were many things about DS that hit home for me. I loved the initial sense of something far greater taking place in the kingdom of Ehb. The fact that I was a lowly farmer’s boy and the world around me was in turmoil was intriguing. A kind of Luke Skywalker type kick start to a magical adventure battling hideous mythical beasts, Dragons and all manner of hell on Earth.
What unfolded over the next hour or two was exciting not least for it’s presentation of hostile environments and seemingly desperate lost causes (it wasn’t uncommon to find yourself straying from the beaten path and in to a cave where you quite feasibly figured you’d find a way out ! Only to discover that the way out was the way in) all of which brought you to a safe zone in the shape of a village, trader’s post or fortress.
I particularly liked the villages. I loved the fact that my growing party (whom I considered personal friends in my cosy little make-believe imagination) could all enter a village, seek the nearest tavern and relax and get to know each other. Of course none of this happened in the game itself. It was all in my head but hey, that’s all part of the adventure :)
Dungeon Siege was crying out for an update and when the Legends of Aranna DVD came out I devoured it. Dungeon Siege II was a different experience altogether and I pretty much skipped it but now we have Dungeon Siege III on the horizon.
Being the proud new owner of an XBox360 I am practically p*ssing my pants at the prospect of regressing 10 years in to a game world that I adored.
When the kids are in bed and the wife is reading I shall be assembling my party and venturing further forth in to the hostile but visually stunning Kingdom of Ehb for another chapter of hack and slash wonderfulness.
Go take a look at the official site for the game.