|Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony|
|Developer: Supervillain Studios
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2 wifi link
On my PS2 and other home consoles I expect to play pretty much anything but with my PSP you’d think only a few types of games would work, as you need different qualities in a portable game: accessibility, simplicity and uncomplicated controls. Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony manages to turn what would normally be a rather heavy genre (RPGs) into a reason for PSP owners to carry two battery cells around with them…
The storyline is ten a penny: the end of the ‘second age’ is here and all manner of nasties are teaming up to kick the keisters of the righteous and all that. It’s up to you to pick a character and help them out then! There are three characters to choose from: the powerful magician, the strong barbarian and the agile ranger. Unlike some RPGs you can’t just level up certain parts of the profile to make your barbarian cast more magic or your magician a combat genius - they actually all play differently and it makes a difference which character you choose at the start. You also get a choice of two companions for each character which will compliment your skills, so the magician will get a combat behemoth and the barbarian will get a white mage for healing.
The controls in Agony are pretty much what I’d want in any game, let alone a handheld one: like a good pair of pants everything feels like it’s in the right place and all the major functions are all close to hand when you need them. The game plays quite similarly to the Baldur’s Gate series on the PS2, meaning the player has full control of all their character’s attacks and spells. The special attacks are mapped to the shaped buttons but pretty soon you’ll acquire too many to use together. Ingeniously you can map the extra moves to the shaped buttons again, but while holding the R shoulder button. It’s a good idea for those who don’t want to shuffle between loads of command menus and makes it easy for you to link moves into combos easily. You can switch between bow and melee by pressing left on the D-pad and use health potions with the L shoulder button. Everything’s quick and easy, exactly what you need on a handheld game.
Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony is an engrossing RPG with enough to keep both the stat freaks and action junkies happy, with a good story and very few annoying flaws. After a while, especially after you get past level 30 the combat, as it did with Baldur’s Gate, does start to get a little bit repetitive, but if you’re an RPG fan the repetition may well be what draws you to the game!
- Great atmosphere
- Loads of quests
- Nice, simple controls
- Fun combat
- Wifi co-op
- A little too easy
- AI not very varied
- Combat may get stale
- Co-op underused