When I first encountered Dungeon Siege on the PC some seven years ago it took over my life for quiet some time. So can a PSP version with a new quest do the same? We took a closer look.
For those not aware of the Dungeon Siege series, its RPG meets live action. Think The Sims but with weapons and a large sprawling landscape rather than having to worry about getting the kids to school on time.
Unlike traditional RPGs, rather than spend your time working out how many moves it will take to get from village to village, or more importantly whether you can manoeuvre into the best vantage point to take out the bad guy, Dungeon Siege is played out in real time.
The RPG element comes in the managing of your kit, your skills and of your potions. As with previous versions, Dungeon Siege Throne of Agony allows you to create a character and then develop it over time. Skill points are rewarded on performance and therefore the more battles you are in the more chance you've got of earning more points.
Points can be used to improve your skills and as you might have guessed, greater skills give you access to greater power and/or the ability to wield stronger more powerful kit.
Money is earned through killing stuff and you can also use it to buy more stuff. Consumerism is everywhere. Get to the village and sell your found loot and buy bigger better more effective kit. There never seems to be a shortage of sellers and like the fighting you can use it to upgrade your skills.
At this point its very easy to go down a set path, making your character a brute or a magician and like previous outings you have "Followers" that are apart of your party to help you out. Unfortunately unlike the original you can't take control of said followers to you really are reliant on what they do, rather than what you want them to do.
It's a shame as one of the strengths of the original was that you could make up your party of members all there for a specific reason. Archers for long range attacks, brutes for close melee and a powerful wizard when all else failed.
But, the character management isn't the only failing. The game is woefully repetitive as you slay beast after beast after beast after beast. If it wasn't for The Sims like urge to increase your skill set so you can use a tasty pair of gloves you've found we think we would have turned off a long time ago.
Of course there is an overriding quest (its got to have some direction) and lots of mini quests along the way to keep you interested, but like a bad movie you never really care whether or not your character or his/her followers buy the farm.
Where Dungeon Siege fails is that it falls into all the same traps of its predecessors.
If the repetitive gameplay works for you then you'll love the chance to build up some characters while on the go, rather than having to waste life in front of your PC.
However if you want an ever changing storyline and perhaps characters that you actually care about then Dungeon Siege Throne of Agony isn't for you.