Dungeon Siege III Brings Accessible Controls, Bountiful Co-op to PS3

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Dungeon Siege III Brings Accessible Controls, Bountiful Co-op to PS3

If you’re like me, the last time you played a traditional action-RPG on a console was probably Diablo for the PSone or Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for the PS2. Over the years, the action-RPG gameplay foundation — compulsive loot-hoarding and XP-grinding with liberal character progression and heavy replayability — has slowly but steadily infiltrated other genres, from shooters such as Borderlands and BioShock to pure RPGs such as Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Dungeon Siege III brings the trend full circle, presenting a modern take on the classic overhead-view action-RPG.

Dungeon Siege III for PS3

Crucially, developer Obsidian Entertainment has put much work into making Dungeon Siege III play nice with the DualShock 3 controller without diluting the combat and inventory depth that genre fans have long adored. On the PS3, Dungeon Siege III’s interface is a robust approximation of the PC hotkey system, enabling you to swap between two battle stances instantaneously with a tap of L1. Each stance has unique strengths and weaknesses as well as an arsenal of special abilities that can radically alter your attack strategy. The lithe warrior Anjali, for example, can swap from her spear-fighting stance to a ghostly spell-casting form to pummel enemies from afar with fireballs and flesh-melting fire walls. Each of the game’s four characters will ultimately acquire nine different abilities, and at times you’ll need to swap stances rapidly to chain together combos in order crush the toughest monster hordes and harvest their sweet, sweet loot with maximum efficiency.

Speaking of loot, you’ll find thousands of randomized magical items, enchanted swords, blessed boots, and mystic helms on your fallen foes, as well as uber-rare Relic items that bestow outrageously powerful benefits. A welcome touch lies in the streamlined inventory management screen, which is accessible but not watered down in the name of draconian oversimplification. In another nod to accessibility, you won’t be fumbling for red and blue potions when you need to recover health and magic energy — defeated enemies drop healing and mana orbs and every character comes equipped with an innate healing ability. Another nice addition: Tapping Up on the d-pad will lead you to your next active quest, keeping you progressing through the game rather than staring at a mini-map. What’s more, the game’s developers claim you’ll almost never encounter a load screen while progressing through the game.

Dungeon Siege III for PS3Dungeon Siege III for PS3

Dungeon Siege III is also preparing robust cooperative play support on the PS3, beginning with two-player local co-op play that shares the same screen. Over PSN, online support swells to four players for drop-in, drop-out co-op play. Take heed: As more players pile into a co-op game, the forces of darkness respond by growing stronger and deadlier with larger XP and loot bonuses to sweeten the pot. Co-op play also factors into certain story decisions you’ll make throughout the game, the consequences of which can alter the course of the story. Your co-op players are able to vote to show support for a particular course of action, be it killing or saving a particular character or accepting or denying a quest, though the game host makes the final decision.

Dungeon Siege III raids the PS3 on May 31st (UPDATE: Today, Square Enix announced a new release date of June 21st). Want to know more? Ask your best questions in the comments and I’ll try to shed some light!

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11 Author Replies

  • This game looks great. especially the online drop-in/out co-op. Any plans to offer PlayStation Home rewards for the game? Looking forward to it.

  • Looks great. Any demo? trophies?

    • Trophies, check. :) There are even Trophies that tie into how you vote on story decisions in co-op — i.e. “team player,” “contrarian,” etc (not exact names, btw). As for a demo, I don’t know! We should know soon.

  • Is this another port?

  • Kinda looks like Fable and Dragon Age got busy and popped out a baby :P Which is weird… because DS is already an established brand…

    Also, what ever happened to the ‘Champions’ series? My bro and I took our characters through all 4 levels of difficulty in that (return to arms) game, putting many, many hours in that sucker. Then… Sony dropped it like a lump of terd.

  • Is online voice chat going to be implemented? Probably yes I’m guessing, but just asking to make sure. It would just add to the experience as we can strategize and chit chat while working our way through dungeons. And also it would create great opportunities for some LERROY JENKINNS :P

    Thanks Sid

  • How faithful to the PC games is this going to be? I played both DS 1 & 2, as well as their expansions, on the PC and loved them.

    Also… For local co-op.. Two questions. Will the game support more than one person logged into the PSN account on the same system at the same time? Also, will local players (lets say a team of 2 for instance) be able to jump into an online game, or even host one?

    • I also enjoyed the original Dungeon Siege games on PC (particularly DS2). This is a different developer (Obsidian, who made Fallout: New Vegas) but what I saw and played definitely felt in-line with DS2. Some of the mechanics are different, such as the new stance switching and an overhauled skill and abilities system, but you’ll find it very familiar.

  • lostinplainsight

    is the character anjali going to be a poorly designed thong wearing typical western rpg female “heroine” or will she actually wear appropriate amount of armor that someone who handles edged weapons and goes spelunking in demon infested tunnels?(i.e her male counter parts)

  • OMG, I just read this post on my phone and when I say the remark about “Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance” I had goose bumps. I played that game SOO much with my friends it was scary. I have been looking for something for my son and I to play together similar to that only to be left wanting. This is the first time I have seen actual video of this game and WOW. I am so impressed that I literally just preorded it. CANT WAIT…. and my son is excited also :)

    • Sweet! I have a huge soft spot for Roguelikes/action-RPGs too :) The good news here is that it’s very easy to play on the DualShock without sacrificing the depth of the PC games.

  • One of the most unenjoyable things about these games is the endless grinding. Let’s hope it improves on Deathspank in that regard, as well as with inventory management.

    My husband and I loved playing Baldur’s Gate and X-Men Legends on Xbox, so I’d really be looking forward to this game. But….

    After how awful looking and buggy Fallout: New Vegas was on PS3, and the lack of post-release support on PS3, I’m super skeptical of this developer at this point.

    BTW, System Shock 1 has a progression system as well; that’s where BioShock got it from.


  • An Obsidian port…oh joy. After I endured New Vegas crashing my PS3 about 50 times, I’m going to be cautious about this one.

  • The big question: For the multiplayer coop, can we play using our own PSN ID? And if not, can we at least save our characters independently (loading our main character in another quest with a friend, etc)?


    • That’s an excellent question. I know it’s possible as R2 did it. I’ll see what I can find out!


    I can’t believe you didn’t mention The Great Champions of Norrath. HD? Baldur’s Gate as well? Maybe Diablo PS1 classic?

    • I did mention Diablo PSOne in the first paragraph! :) In my original draft, I named Champions of Norrath and Return to Arms, but I figured more folks had played Baldur’s Gate.

  • “If you’re like me, the last time you played a traditional action-RPG on a console was probably Diablo for the PSone or Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for the PS2. ”

    WHAT??! How about Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom for the PS3!? You should make a new Untold Legends game for the PS3, please!

  • « In my original draft, I named Champions of Norrath and Return to Arms, but I figured more folks had played Baldur’s Gate. »

    Well, I played all of them and love Return to Arms so much! It was even better than Baldur’s Gates 2. I’m hoping for a good pure or almost pure mage in Dungeon Siege 3, I could play this game with a mele friend if I can have a good ranged mage! =D We still do not have any gameplay videos of Anjali, and we’re lacking the infos on a character who (by it’s shadow on the official website) looks like a mage. I there is a pure mage that can be as good as mele characters (generally in those action RPGs, the mage isn’t that good, but since the mages are extremely powerful in NWN games and since it’s the same devs, the mages could be powerful in this game too), and if the game looks as good or let’s say, at least 3/4 as good as Return to Arms, then I’m buying it on day one! =D

  • Officially Interested…. Loved Diablo on PSOne. Loved Champions of Norrath and Baldur’s Gate 2 on PS2, Played Untold Legends on PSP and PS3. Still have Sacred 2 on PS3 (I really need to finish that one) Now I wanna get this….

  • Obsidian? Hmm I didn’t finish Alpha Protocol cause the combat was horrible. I didn’t finish New Vegas cause the game would just freeze randomly. So what kind of ‘goodies’ do we have to look forward to in this title?

  • Diablo PSOne Classic to the PlayStation Store plz.

  • man delay, that is bummer. Was going to release right before my birthday, gonna have the day off and was going to hack and slash all day =( 3 weeks isn’t that bad as long as it is the only delay.

    Please Obsidian get us this game asap!!!!

  • was excited about this game till i read this:

    “Will my progress in multiplayer be saved?

    No. This is one of the things we’re most concerned about with Dungeon Siege III. If you join another player’s game, you won’t be able to keep any experience or loot earned during that session. The developers wanted to keep things simple and give new players an easy way to jump into a game in progress, but this seems like a serious problem for a multiplayer RPG.”

  • I can’t wait for this game to come out. I have told just about every gamer friend I have to pick it up.

    Those who don’t, know that they won’t be in any gaming matches with me while I dive deep into the awesomeness that is sure to follow. I hope it lives up to the hype, and finally adds a dungeon crawling game worthy of the PS3.

  • I read that this game does not support online multiplayer with your own character. You apparently you get a system default character of about same level or not and you lose any progress upon exiting the game.

    I’m sure this game is great but I’m pretty sure Diablo I and II were successes because of online play… This will be a fun game worth a rent or two… probably nothing more. I’d be ashamed to release a looting game without community appeal in 2011.

  • Yeah you guys really should put in Muti-PSN login. I dont know why SCEA… opps… SNEA didnt make it a mandatory thing where all co-op games have muti-PSN login for those playing second player who also have a PSN account.

  • @22

    If that is correct then I will cancel my preorder. I was hoping for a game where I can have some fun with my son doing couch coop, but also be able to play with my friends and family online where I can drop in and out with our ranks and settings/upgrades. If we get a generic stock character, and loses it when we leave…. What would be the point of playing online? I see none.

  • @22

    This game looks amazing and all, but if #22 is right, i’m definitely not going to get this game. That’s so stupid.

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