Dungeon Siege is a computer role-playing game developed by Gas Powered Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Chris Taylor (from Total Annihilation) showed Dungeon Siege years in production for the first time at E3 2000. The game was released in 2002 and later bundled with the X800 line of video cards in 2005.
The player participates in a quest to save the land of Ehb from the forces of evil. The player follows the main character from their humble beginnings as a farmer to their ultimate destiny as a powerful hero or heroine. As the game progresses, the main character may be joined by other adventurers, whom the player also controls. The background is based in a fantasy medieval world with geographic variety in open and closed environments (dungeons). The graphics are mildly detailed with environment changes.
Aranna is the continent upon which the games of the Dungeon Siege series take place. The Kingdom of Ehb is at the western edge of the continent. Dungeon Siege and its expansion pack Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna take place in and around the Kingdom of Ehb.
In the Kingdom of Ehb, a humble farmer's life is turned upside down when a small band of evil goblin-like creatures attack the community. The Krug, as they are known, must be stopped and the player's character is tasked with seeking help from the neighboring town of Stonebridge. Along the way, the player may meet others willing to help them in their quest. The player soon discovers, however, that their story does not end upon reaching Stonebridge.
According to the game's back-story, The Kingdom of Ehb is a border kingdom in the continent of Aranna, next to the Plain of Tears. Originally a trading post on the outskirts of the Empire of Stars, Ehb later achieved temporary status as a military protectorate and province when the 10th Legion migrated westward.
In the wake of the War of Legions, and the ensuing collapse of the Empire of Stars, Ehb became an independent kingdom in its own right. Stability was achieved thanks to the protection provided by its fortifications and the 10th Legion — one of the most highly trained armies of Aranna.
Ehb presents a rich variety of terrain and people for players to interact with. Valleys, icy mountains, swamps, deserts, deep forests, cliffs and volcanoes adorn its layout. Its main inhabitants are Humans and Dwarves who live in harmony and acknowledge the same ruler. Players will also encounter the primitive Krug, the secretive Goblin technologists, the loathsome undead and the mysterious, though largely autonomous, Droog. The player's final objective is to defeat Gom, the leader of the Seck, a race of mysterious, spiteful monsters.
The gameplay is a mixture of pause-and-go tactical management and point-and-click action. The mechanic is highly similar to that of latter Ultima games (so much so that fans have recreated certain Ultima titles using the Dungeon Siege engine), and to a lesser degree, action RPGs like Diablo or early action role-playing games like Nox. The Dungeon Siege quest is highly linear, though with branches, and involves constant hack and slash battle, similar in some ways to platform and beat 'em up games.
The game uses a display engine that makes the entire experience seamless, with no load screens. The interface is completely scripted with a programming language called 'scrit' and the development of its expertise is called 'scrit-foo.' This scripting system allowed for many "siegelet" add-ons, which modified game play.
The party system is automated but efficient with basic formations, resources, and action-response. In addition to being able to recruit NPCs that function much like the player's own character, it is possible to buy a mule to help carry more items as a member of the group. Players can recruit and disband party members, but must retain at least one party member at all times.
Dungeon Siege supports multiplayer cooperative gaming over LANs and the internet (direct TCP/IP connection, as well as ZoneMatch).
Dungeon Siege features an orchestral soundtrack by award-winning composer Jeremy Soule. Soule also scored Dungeon Siege II.
Gas Powered Games released two promotional mods labeled as "bonus packs":
- Yesterhaven is a multiplayer short story that can only be played online. It does not require a pre-existing character, nor any previous experience with Dungeon Siege. This bonus pack can be downloaded from Gas Powered Games and requires the original Dungeon Siege. The monsters in Yesterhaven are relatively weak, posing a challenge only to beginning characters. The story revolves around a single town that undergoes three "plagues" during the early years of Ehb, reusing many of the monster types found in the original game with new settings.
- Return to Arhok
- Return to Arhok continues the story of Legends of Aranna and requires both the expansion and Windows XP to run. It is also called XP Level. However, some users who have Windows Vista could play the expansion, only with the warning that there would be some minor incompatibilities with the OS.
The game engine allows content creation and modification through a released toolkit. New content and modifications are called siegelets. There are many mods created by amateurs available for download on the internet, with features ranging from new graphics to completely new character development systems.
- ↑ Microsoft Game Studios — Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna. Microsoft.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-30.
- Official Dungeon Siege site hosted by Gas Powered Games
- Wikipedia page for Dungeon Siege
- Official Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna site hosted by Gas Powered Games
- The fantasy art of Dungeon Siege
- An overview of useful mods for Dungeon Siege
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