Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony - PSP Review

I never played any of the prior Dungeon Siege games, but I have been at least somewhat curious about Dungeon Siege 3. That said, I did get Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony for my PSP some time ago, and only somewhat recently started to play it.

You pick one of three characters (I went warrior) to begin with and a companion to go with you (you generally want to compliment your main character's abilities - so for example I took a mage with ranged attacks). It is an action RPG game that offers a fair amount of customization as you level up.



Graphics - 7:

Characters are pretty well animated, but the backgrounds to me felt a bit... overused. Early on I felt like I was seeing forests, caves, caves in forests, forests surrounding caves... you get the idea. Eventually those assets branch out and you get more, but I would have liked a bit more variety overall.



Sound & Music - 8:

The voice work was pretty solid, and a game has enough variety in sound effects that they never grew monotonous to me. The music however, was very good. It was often well-suited to what was taking place in the game and it did an excellent job of helping to set the mood.



Gameplay - 6:

The menus are a bit confusing at first and the tutorials in-game were pretty limited. The gameplay was a good deal more simplified than I would have expected. For all of the background number crunching that goes on with collecting loot and leveling up stats, combat really just consists of walking up to creatures and mashing a couple of buttons. The loot system is rewarding and keeps you from getting too bored with the grind itself, but the combat mechanics did sort of bore me.



Intangibles - 6:

There's an online mode I never really tried to take advantage of. I've read it was decent, but it just did not interest me. The main quest was of okay length - around twenty hours. Not bad for a portable, but like the combat it just felt lightweight. I was more interested in my stat progression and loot pickups than the game itself, which is a bad sign. There are a number of quests, though they are pretty simple and most of them did little to engage me, though they did provide gold, loot and experience.



Overall - 6.75:

It was not a bad game, and it can be found pretty cheaply now. It did not engage me as much as I had hoped - I never really felt a connection to my character or the storyline and the combat was a bit too simple for my tastes. The most interesting part of the game was those rare loot drops, but I was always maxing out my carried items, which forced me to do a lot of on-the-fly inventory management, which bogged things down a bit for me as well.

The presentation itself was solid, and at a glance when Sony introduced Ruin for the Vita, that game really reminded me of this one, but with prettier graphics and hopefully some deeper game design.
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