Lucas and Anjali are about to throw down.
A few weeks ago Co-Optimus received an e-mail concerning a press event for Obsidian Entertainment's Dungeon Siege 3. There would be hands-on time with the title and a presentation on the local co-op specifications of the game. Obsidian's studio is located in Irvine, California, and after a quick check of Google maps I realized that Irvine was just inches from where I live, which is also in Southern California. It seems that there have been some pretty interesting rumors concerning the co-op portion of Dungeon Siege 3. I threw a voice recorder into my back pack, got on the I-10, and started the 93 mile trip to the new home of the Kingdom of Ehb.
The hands-on event took place at Obsidian's swanky new studios. CEO Feargus Urquhart greeted everyone and offered to answer any questions. I stifled the urge to ask him how he felt about having quite possibly the most awesome name of any CEO ever. Feargus Urquhart? If that was my name I would demand a throne, wear a cape, and all my beverages would be served in skulls. Unfortunately, he was very down-to-earth and cordial. He didn't even have an evil accent. After a brief tour my fellow journalists were split into groups to focus on different aspects of the game. It was here we could ask questions, see the game in action, and get to know some of the developers. I asked questions. A lot of questions. Probably too many. You can read the answers to some of those questions tomorrow when I post the interviews. Right now, it's game time.
Lucas' sword cannot be contained by pathetic 16:9 ratios.
The first thing you'll notice when you start up a game of Dungeon Siege 3 is that you will choose between two characters. The first is Lucas Montbarron, a traditional sword-wielding warrior. The second is Anjali, an Archon, who deals destruction with fire-based spells. Two more characters will be available, bringing the total to four. Obsidian is being tight lipped about their identities, so we will have to wait and see.
From what I gathered from my time with the game, each character is locked into their class or role. Lucas and Anjali each have their own skill trees and abilities. You won't be creating a character from the ground up. The four available characters are classes unto themselves.
We were given the chance to play on the PC, Xbox 360, or PS3. I went with my comfort level and grabbed a 360 spot. Once I got my hands on the controller I was given the choice between Lucas or Anjali, along with a brief description of the character's back story and combat capabilities. I have an old rule when it comes to games with different classes, and that is: "I tank, that way I don't have to think." That's right. I'm just going to pound the "destroy" button and keep walking forward. Someone else can keep me alive.
Gameplay was simple, push "A" to melee, the other face buttons were special moves, a shoulder button changed stances, a trigger acted as a Shift key. Pounding baddies with melee charged up your special attacks. Charge those up enough to get a special-er attack. I should note the game looked very good on the 360, but it looked remarkably better on the PC. Hand-drawn weapon effects added vibrant colors to an already colorful game. At one point in time I saw a high level player-character with a weapon that absolutely dripped with poison.
Lucas was the man for me. He has two different battle stances which change his attack patterns. One is a sword and shield affair, which I'm sure is good at defense. I never found out, because he also has a two-handed stance, which one journalist accurately dubbed: "Win mode." You can change between these stances on the fly, and each one has it's own weapon type. You get weapons like rapiers and bucklers for the defensive stance, and claymores and broadswords for the two-handed stance.
I was a few minutes into the game when a NPC was shot. What the deuce? Yep, there's guns. Whether or not we'll get to use firearms remains to be determined, but the AI sure uses the crap out of them against you.