Dungeon Siege 3 places players in the role of one of four distinctly different characters. Each character is filled with their own back story as the role of a member of the 10th Legion. Players can choose to play as Lucas (melee), Katarina (ranged/guns), Anjali (magic/fighter), or Reinhart (magic). The story takes place long after the events of the first game in the kingdom of Ehb and 30 years after Jeyne Kassynder all but wiped out the Legionnaires who were the protectors of the kingdom.
Right from the get go you are introduced to a solid action/rpg experience. All the ingredients are there - XP, hit points, abilities to unlock, and plenty of loot with slick names to collect. Graphically the game is a standout - there’s continuous sweeping environments with huge draw distances, plenty of colors and effects, and solid fighting animations. There’s almost no visible loading while playing save for a few slight pauses or doors in your path. It really is quite impressive and there’s a good variety of environments to boot.
I played through most of the game as Katarina, she utilizes guns as her main weapons. Every player has two battle stances - one for close combat and one for ranged. This can be done on the fly and mid battle so you can quickly mix up strategies in the heat of combat. For the most part combat is satisfying and there’s plenty of little touches that give you some visceral feedback. For instance, one of Katarina’s abilities is called “Heart Shot” which aims a big rifle blast at an enemy’s chest with an increased chance for a critical hit - at times when finishing off an enemy with this attack they’ll go flying clear across the map as if hit by a cannonball.
Abilities, called proficiencies in the game, are divided into three categories - attack, buff and defense. On the console these correspond to your top three button buttons and an alternate set can be loaded by pulling the left trigger. Attack abilities are self-explanatory. Buffs can be a temporary spell or ability to improve your stats, or it could be something that hurts the stats of an enemy or area. Defensive abilities usually are some manner of healing.
The depth of Dungeon Siege 3 becomes apparent when you level up and start unlocking these abilities. While, by the end of the game you’ll unlock all 9 of your character’s abilities, you won’t however be able to master each one. Each ability has two bonuses that can have up to 6 points of proficiency applied to. So, if you want your Heart Shot ability to ricochet instead of causing damage over time, you’d put a point in that. During your next level up you could put it in the damage over time and now there’s a chance your ability will do both. Every single ability can be customized this way with a whole variety of modifiers at your disposal.
But wait...there’s more.