Scott Hanselman

Dungeon Siege II Demo - Sucks Too Much?

August 16, 2005 Comment on this post [14] Posted in Reviews | Gaming
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You ever have high hopes for a games? You ever love an original and hate the sequel?

I was a big Diablo fan. It was brilliant and ahead of it's time. I tried the original Dungeon Siege and it was brilliant. Loved it. Still do. It prepared me for Guild Wars, which is absolutely stunning in its execution. Do try it. It's small, quick to load, well behaved, and always changing.

Of course, I was looking forward to Dungeon Siege II. Better graphics, same great gameplay, right? Wrong. Guild Wars has ruined it for me. (Or DSII has ruin things for itself)

After downloading an absolutely ridiculous 1,501,551,616 byte demo executable, suffering through at least 10 minutes of rendered intro video, I was faced with an obtuse and counter intuitive interface. Lousy panning, lousy zoomin, marginally improved graphics, no sense of range, expanse or draw depth, a greatly decreased focal length, a strange halo now that indicates selected characters, a cartoonish look, and poor voice acting.

Suddenly Dungeon Siege III is trying to be World of Warcraft-y, but it's not. It tries to be Guild Wars, but it's not. It's somehow a game looking for a reason to exist. I'm just heartsick about it. It's completely lacking in vision. Anyone else try it?

I'll stick with Guild Wars, but I'm still totally bummed.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 16, 2005 6:35
How do you find time for games?!?!?!
August 16, 2005 7:33
I'll answer that with a classic Sci-Fi Literature reference:

What was special about the protaganists in "Beggars in Spain"?

August 16, 2005 11:41
I agree with you, this demo sucks. And ridiculously, you can finish the 1,501,551,616 byte demo in about 4 hours if you play it in really fast.
August 16, 2005 13:14
I too loved the first Dungeon Siege, even though the zooming and panning wasn't too great. So when I saw that there was a sequel I decided to download the huge demo.

After being very excited about getting it downloaded and installed, I was very disapointed. They don't seem to have improved anything. The impression that I got was that it had been changed to be a MMPORG and nothing else.

So after 20 minutes of running around the opening map trying to complete the little quests, with the one other person on the server, I turned it off and deleted it.

Now I spend most of my, non-programming, spare time playing Face Of Mankind beta (
August 16, 2005 13:35
In response to your first question of today's post, yes! I absolutely loved Wing Command: Privateer. I thought it was the best story and gameplay for any of the Wing Commanders. Then Privateer 2 came out and it was incredibly horrible. It was a horrible sequel to one of my favorite games.

From what I've seen, one of the only companies that can make good sequels is Blizzard.
August 16, 2005 14:55
Tim - I was going to ask the same question!
August 16, 2005 18:02

DS1 was alright, but didn't have the allure that Diablo 2 has (and still has) today. DS2? More of the same, with substantially less soul. Too little too late, IMO.

I reinstalled World of Warcraft last weekend and immediately forgot all the reasons I left it in the first place.

Guild Wars, although visually stunning and nearly perfect in execution; isn't so attractive to me because I felt the PvE experience was diluted with the need to be PvP-ready at level 4.
August 16, 2005 18:26
Let's not forget Tribes 2 and Tribes 3...without a doubt the worst games to the best of all times...
August 18, 2005 5:18
I *still* play Diablo II on Battle.Net. Did you know they just updated it to version 1.11. Hmmm, when are they gonna come out with Diablo 3. Probably never, sigh
August 18, 2005 6:40
Awww, and I was hoping so that DS2 would be good :( I reinstalled and started to play DS1 again some weeks ago, and the game still rocks. My party of 7 characters and one donkey have just reached Kroth after some 17 hours of gameplay. I've found a great combination of 2 warriors up front with fast broadswords, 2 combat magicians (fireball and battle healing), 1 nature magician (ice shards and healing wind) and 2 female archers with heavy crossbows.

What I don't like about DS1 is the sequence in the game with all the gnomes and their machine guns, cannons, flame throwers and all that. I refused to pick up and use a single one of thier creations :) And sometimes I tend to spend more time trying out new equipment for all the characters instead of continuing the game, but I guess that part is one of the reasons I love it so much... Can someone tell me why some of the most powerful armours with rate up to 300 in the game have to look like striped clown costumes or barbershop posts? :D

August 18, 2005 9:28
Today I've seen pictures and video of Titan Quest. Its graphic looks very promising:
August 18, 2005 10:02
I remember that Dungeon Siege game, but I never really got in to it.
It was released a year after another game gem called "Darkstone", which was a better Diablo clone. That game never received the attention it deserved IMHO.
Compared to the new generation, the gfx are a bit outdated though :).

I now play World of Warcraft, too much...
The quests got a bit boring, before reaching lvl 40, but now it just rocks!
I can't wait to get to lvl 60, and fight the higher level dungeons.
Without any doubt a classic.
August 18, 2005 20:18
Weird, the Penny Arcade guys said the DS 2 demo was good and had a lot of content. I never did finish DS 1 though...

Mike L: hehe, I busted out Diablo 1 the other day. I think I'll pick up Diablo 2 tonight, I never did play it.
March 13, 2006 16:02
Guild Wars? I have to laugh. Why do you compare apples to oranges? Guild Wars was a nice game for a couple of months, then it was done. World of Warcraft, good for maybe 4 months, then it was done. I bought and played DS1, LoA and DS2 for the GREAT single player games they are. And here you are comparing them to MMOGs.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.