Thursday Review: Dungeon Siege 2 (Part 2)

Welcome to the second week of my Dungeon Siege 2 review; we’ll pick up where I left off last week and begin to look more at the things that Dungeon Siege 2 did that were really interesting and saw a lot of echoes in later games as well as things that would be cool if more people actually took up.

Dungeon Siege 2 is a game with massive lore; this is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, but it also, to my knowledge, introduced the in-game codex at such a massive scale and in such a polished presentation; not only was it a game with massive amounts of lore, but it also contained a sleek user interface that broke down the artifacts, books, and events that the player would find or experience throughout the game into easy “chunks”, which can be surprisingly long and complex. Dungeon Siege 2 is far from the first game to have a deep, rich, setting, but its method of presenting lore is really even a step ahead of some modern games that try to do the same thing, and it not only provides recaps on quests and found artifacts but allows the player to peruse every book they’ve encountered again without having to lug it around or find it again (*cough*elderscrolls*cough*).

Unfortunately, Dungeon Siege 2 isn’t really an epic piece of art that will be passed down and treasured for generations; most fantasy games tend to be pretty cliched, and it’s no exception, but of particular note is the degree of support which the game received from Gas Powered Games upon its release; sure there were other titles that received plenty of support in modding, such as the earlier Morrowind, but Gas Powered Games had  really evolved from its roots as Cavedog and Total Annihilation and recognized the power of modding as something that could encourage a community. Unfortunately, this didn’t play out so well because the original Dungeon Siege’s community largely shunned the second game, but the amount of effort that GPG put into building a thriving modding community really shows in how fundamentally some mods can change the game’s experience, as opposed to the relatively simple changes that even the most complex mods for most other games display.

That’s just about all I’m going to talk about Dungeon Siege for now;expect a Legends of Aetherius review next week.

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