There are so many ways you might review any given game, but perhaps the most apt way to review Dungeon Siege 3 would be to write something like:
"this gaem is realy bad. i Don;t like it very mcuh because is boring and the grafx is bad. I spilt my drink agaen. it is a bad game and is borning to play for very long , my foot hurts. this game isnot fun and the grahpic s are stink and dumb. its sux, those corns on my foot hurt. yeah. my 2 cents.
The above would be an appropriate analogy for the game - boring, moronic, repetitive, poorly presented, brief snippets of info you care nothing about, and very, very short. Why so much venom?, you may reasonably ask. I don't make such a statement flippantly. I WAS looking forward to playing this. And I did give the game the benefit of playing it through to the end, a procedure that didn't take very long, as it happens - call it 12 hours, moreorless. Finishing the game does not unlock any further modes or options
LOOKING AT AND LISTENING TO THE DAMN THING
Lets get the easy stuff out of the way. We could all probably agree on many of the myriad shortcomings - first of all, the graphics are a bit yuk. To be specific they have a washed out, unfinished, original Xbox-type quality about them. During preview time, the developer pointed out that they'd spent much time creating a high-end graphics engine that would give fantastic draw distance and views (amongst much else). I don't know what this "draw distance" they speak of is - it's an overhead hack 'n slash. The draw distance, 99.9% of the time, is about 30 feet to the front, back and sides of your guy.
And the overall presentation is just one of "meh", like as though the team just couldn't wait to finish the damn thing and get to the pub. You know it's not going to be great from the very first batch of enemies - 4 of them, utterly identical, running at you, with utterly identical retarded gaits, looking like they've all just plopped off the conveyor belt. Poor effort. Some of the playable character voice acting is alright, but, predictably, the NPCs are all rubbish.
The so-called story and setting is excruciatingly generic. So generic I'm not even going to bother going into detail. There's great evil somewhere. You sort it out. Game finished. Lots of uninspired names and lore taken from the Penguin Thesaurus of Generic Western Fantasy.
PLAYING THE DAMN THING
Getting into the nitty gritty of characters and stats, there's little to sink your teeth into. There's four characters - no, not four classes, or four starting points - four fixed characters, with fixed names, appearance, skill sets, perks, etc. Very little customisation here. Yup, you level up as you play and buy new attacks and perks, but these options have just been dumbed and watered down to the point where it's essentially non-existant.
Even worse is that regardless of which skills you opt for, and which equipment you kit yourself out with, as you play through the game you never get a sense of development, that your character is becoming appreciably stronger or more formidable. The game feels, in its closing hours, absolutely identical to the opening hours.
Speaking of playing the game, the controls are actually admirably good - responsive and fast, and there's more than one way to slaughter a foe besides mindlessly hammering the A button. You can block, roll, zip about the place, use different stances to enable different movesets and skills, and it all seems promising in this regard at first, until you discover that enemy waves always attack in EXACTLY the same way, all throughout the game, with no variance, ever, at all - thereby rendering much of this extended moves list pointless.
Enemies always seem to attack in groups of about 7 million at a time (a bit of hyperbole there but you get the point), and whilst you run around desperately trying to deal with the melee tanks at close range, there'll be a bunch of mages and archers pelting you from afar - quite possibly the most irritating horde configuration ever devised by really unimaginative people, and the only one which DS3 seems to be familiar with. You are accompanied from fairly early in the game by a permanent CPU companion, but even then a lot of the game is just infuriating to play.
Nice example in hand: I played as the cliched melee guy. He's got no proper long-range attacks, and - here's the thing, you'll love this - at several points in the game you will encounter semi-bosses that have permanent area-of-death type effects around them - if you go near them, say to, I don't know, melee attack them, you will Die Very Quickly. All my guy has is melee attacks, what do I do? Don't ask me - ask the genius who came up with that. In the event, I had to rely on my CPU partner to chisel away at said boss with pathetically weak distance attacks, over the course of about 30 minutes, rather like waiting for rain to slowly erode a large boulder. That's about how much fun it was to participate in, too. If you're the melee character and your companion dies against such a boss and you're left without magic to revive your partner, you'll have to reload your game - a miserable failure of design.
The final boss, by the way, is one of those affairs whereby just as you're about to administer the killing blow, the fight stops and they run away. You give chase, start fighting them all over again, complete with their refreshed health bar et al, and just as you're about to kill them.... wait for it.... you successfully destroy them. Hooray!! Wait, no, I got that wrong.... they run away yet again. And then again. Repeat this cycle over and over again until you start vomiting blood.
I love beat 'em ups and dungeon-crawling slashers - hard to tell from this article, but there you go. I swear they were done better in a bygone age. Why are they so hard to get right these days, at least on consoles? There seem to be a few more lined up in coming seasons, like Kingdoms of Amalur, but if they turn out to be anything like DS3, well, just forget about it. If you really are cranking for a game of this style, it might be smarter to get interested in a new genre rather than try to pick from the current hack 'n slash offerings on 360. What a crushing disappointment this was.