Dungeon Siege III Misses Release Updated

By John Walker on April 7th, 2011 at 5:28 pm.

Perhaps they couldn't read the calendar through all the lens flare.

Dungeon Siege III, previously dated to be released on the 27st May, will now be with us on the 17th June, three weeks later than planned. This we call a “slip”. Square Enix have rather delightfully described it as an “update”.

“Sorry my homework’s not in sir – I updated the time I’d be writing it.”
“Updated you say? That sounds like it’s important. Off you go!”

You can read lots of our coverage about the game here to fill in the extra 21 days.

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51 Comments »

  1. Jimbo says:

    Not quite enough lens flare yet?

  2. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I’ll have to say it: I’m not happy when a game is delayed. But it is always good news.

  3. RP says:

    I’ll be buying this because it’s Obsidian, and they deserve my support for what they tried (and generally succeeded) at doing with Alpha Protocol alone, even if Dungeon Siege does not sound like my kind of thing.

    If going that extra mile will help quash their somewhat unfair “buggy” rep, then I hope they take all the time they need… to update.

    • matrices says:

      Alpha Protocol? “Generally succeeded”? Seriously?

      Yes, perhaps in the same way that a guy with his arms lopped off “generally succeeds” in winning an arm-wrestling contest.

      Fuck Obsidian. Not buying anything from them until they do something competently.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I’ll chime in with a bit of Alpha Protocol defending, since I had a great experience with the game.

      I quite liked the characters, which definitely helps, and I didn’t get the bugs others reported.

      It was a fun game, and I’m looking forward to seeing what DS3 will be like.

      Obsidian are probably one of my preferred developers.

    • Tei says:

      Alpha Protocol has be inmeditelly followed by Dragon Ages 2 that imititate the style character interviewed by other character.

      Was one of the few games where you make the character, even with different endings.

      Do you want to kill Alyx from Half-Life2, or Gordon? In Alpha Protocol progressive storytelling you can.

      New Vegas, well.. parts of it is very emotionally moving for a lot of people. Is again a story you shape. Is not a movie, like a lot of other games, but a videogame. Is also a fucking big desert, and you have to have some love for sand, and slow pace, and maybe reserve your adrenaline. So is not for everyone, but is a piece of masters (I can’t say masterpiece, because is not that good, but is good).

      And yes, most of his games are broken. This really destroy part of the goodwill that create, specially towards console players. And are trying to appeal to the console gamers, and that destroy part of the appeal to PC gamers. So theres good reasons to be angry at Obsidian, but If we lose this one, we will be broken forever.

    • James says:

      @Tei
      I’m very much in agreement, especially on the importance of this particular title and its relevance to future development.

    • RP says:

      @matrices How much of a success depends on what holds the most weight for you in games, I guess.

      Were the graphics amazing? No, they were adequate.
      Was it buggy? I encountered just one, and it wasn’t game-breaking.
      Was the combat fun? I thought so, but I get that a lot of people didn’t.
      Did it try something new and different, narrative and design-wise? YES. The timed responses are a mechanic that accomplish something rare- it can make conversations as dramatic as combat. It’s also an extremely branching game- the world reacts to you, instead of you reacting to the world. In that way, I think the game is a huge accomplishment and completely succeeds.

      In the end, we all vote with our wallet, right? I like what Obsidian’s doing, so I’ll be buying Dungeon Siege. People who don’t probably won’t, but it’s the same with any developer.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      I’m in the same boat, but not because of AP. These are the chaps that made Mask of the Betrayer, and they deserve every money I can give them for that piece of work alone.

    • Dominic White says:

      N’thing the love for Alpha Protocol. The combat wasn’t quite as Metal Gear as it wanted to be, but other than that, I had no problems at all. The only thing I ever saw even resembling a bug was when an enemy ragdoll glitched partially into the floor, causing him to freak out and start headbanging.

      Minor gripes aside, it’s probably the most replayable RPG ever. Huge amounts of stuff can change depending on your approach. Hell, characters will even respond to what outfit you’re wearing. You’re more likely to bluff your way past a military guy if you’re wearing full combat gear, for instance.

    • Jockie says:

      Finished AP like 3 times and had radically different outcomes on each playthrough. The combat is shoddy and broken, but it’s still a pretty amazing game and Obsidian at least experimented in areas most companies wouldn’t dare set foot.

    • Bhazor says:

      The announcement there’d be no AP sequel was probably the saddest game related moment for me last year. So much potential in the concept and team and so many areas to improve. Hopefully the timed conversations will live on in a future project. Or I hope at least Bioware will rip it off for Mass Effect 3.

      Speaking of Mask of the Betrayer, the main writer of that is the project lead for Dungeon Seige 3. That little tidbit is what got my preorder.

    • stache says:

      Timed conversations were a great move for AP, and more can be done with them than merely sticking a timer on what you say. Though I wouldn’t recommend the series to everyone, the Sakura Wars series featured several variations on timed conversations. Particularly interesting was when the timer represented the actual amount of time you were spending being silent- so if you stayed silent long enough, your choices would shift to represent that. Sometimes that was a good thing, because you responded more thoughtfully (and might even come up with a better response); sometimes that was a bad thing, because you sounded hesitant or fake.

      Regardless, I think timed conversations add a lot to a game’s replayability, especially when attached to a game as varied as AP. I hope to see every RPG rip them off and develop them further.

    • Bhazor says:

      AP did some great things with it’s timed dialog. The Rome missions in particular showed some of the potential of a sequel we’ll never see.

    • somini says:

      I would buy it just because of New Vegas. A genial game, the true Fallout 3. I have yet to try Alpha Protocol, but in the next Steam sales it won’t get away.

    • Nick says:

      In fact I encountered more bugs in ME2 than AP.

    • Wulf says:

      I encountered about six times the amount of bugs in Fallout 3 that I did in New Vegas. This isn’t an embellishment on the facts, from my perspective, but entirely true. Anecdotal, yes, but I encountered a number of memorable, game breaking bugs in Fallout 3 (the lock up bug near a large chunk of the south-east end of the map that took them a month to fix, and the bug where the freed slaves you’re guiding would walk up and down a road in circles instead of going to their destination aren’t matched by anything in New Vegas), but I didn’t encounter a single game-breaking bug in New Vegas. Not one.

      To be honest, I think that the bugginess of Obsidian games is massively exaggerated just by those who need an excuse to illustrate why they dislike the developers, because in the case of Mask of the Betrayer, Alpha Protocol, and New Vegas, I’m actually seeing not very buggy games at all. (In the case of New Vegas, they actually fixed up a shedload of Bethesda’s bugs. As is confirmed by their own comments in the code and a number of modders who were surprised to see it.) So essentially I haven’t really encountered any serious bugs in their last number of games, and I tend to end up wondering what on earth people are on about. Though I suppose a game must be amazing if the only complaints are about non-specific, vague bugs, rather than story, or setting, or gameplay.

      In fact, this all tells me that Obsidian are doing really well for themselves, lately. And I’m really pleased to see people here speaking up for them. And the person whom mentioned Mask of the Betrayer there has my utmost respect. That was one of my most beloved games, as it was a romp through an unusual fantasy scenario, it was a setting that was not, was not, was not, was not, was not, was not(!) medievalie landie of yorie. It was stunningly unusual and I’ve never seen anything quite so bizarre done with a Faerun game. It was a breath of fresh air, and a nice dose of amazement and wonderment. I wouldn’t mind going back to Rashemen again, truth be told, or any non-standard fantasy setting that Obsidian would want to take me to.

      I definitely think that Mask of the Betrayer was by far and wide my favourite game from their entire catalogue, though, simply for the reason that there had never been anything like it before, not once, and there hasn’t been anything like it since, not once. There have been spy games, Alpha Protocol was good, but I’ve been there. There have been Fallout games, Fallout: New Vegas was vastly superior to Fallout 3 in my opinion, but it wasn’t the best Fallout game of all time, it really fell short of whatever magic Fallout 2 managed to weave. It’s like they forgot what made Fallout 2 so special – that mix of humour and seriousness, of being able to tackle serious issues with a grin, that it could make someone laugh and think. Even Fallout Tactics got that. New Vegas did not. But New Vegas was still the best RPG I’d played in years.

      What I love most about Obsidian though is that they tend to throw you curveballs. You’re playing Mask of the Betrayer and you didn’t really expect any of the things to happen that did. You’re play Alpha Protocol, and hey, you never saw a spy game do that before. You’re playing New Vegas, and you see powerful choices like the Vault 34 choice, and you’re thinking, wow, a game has never challenged me like this before – where the challenge isn’t coming from the combat, but an ethical choice that I’m forced to make. The only problem really is that Obsidian have become more ‘normal’ post-Mask of the Betrayer, where they were at their strangest and best. But the magic is still there in whatever they develop. And I suspect that though I won’t like the setting of Dungeon Siege III, the magic will be present still. They’ll still manage to do something amazing that I won’t see coming.

      So for that reason, even though I expect to be disappointed by another instance of medievalie landie of yorie and whatnot, I still also expect Obsidian to be able to throw enough curveballs to keep it interesting. Hopefully. But this will be their greatest challenge yet from my perspective, considering how absolutely sick and tired I am of that setting.

      Obsidian – Can we go back to Rashemen at some point? Please? Or something like it?

  4. abhishek says:

    Another Obsidian game which is delayed. And when it releases it will be as buggy as their games always are. And then people will forget that Obsidian was in fact given extra time and they will lay the entire blame for the mess at the publishers feet and absolve the developers of any responsibility.

    • Nick says:

      And then people like you will act like its buggier than contless other RPGs, completely ignoring the usual state Bethesda’s games release in for example.

    • Wulf says:

      And vague complaints about bugs will be made without being as specific in citation as folks are about other (specifically Bethesda) RPGs, and the bugs that are cited won’t be reproducible, no matter how many times someone tries. Like I haven’t seen that happen before–oh, wait! :p

      I saw people complain lots about game breaking bugs in New Vegas, but when confronted directly about it, their response was pretty much “Uh, um… uh…” and the only two bugs they could name were acknowledged Steam bugs, rather than Obsidian’s doing. (The save bug was a Steam cloud issue, and the incorrectly rendering models was a corrupted preload issue. Both of which were confirmed as such. And the save bug could be fixed by simply disabling cloud saving.)

      That’s probably going to happen again, and when confronted about the bugs, we’ll likely have “Uh, um… uh…” all over again. Since it’s cool to pick on Obsidian for being buggy, but rarely is it ever backed up by fact.

  5. Navagon says:

    As much as this has potential to be a damn sight more interesting than its predecessors, did they really have to let the work experience kid loose with the Photoshop filters? Maybe they’ve read the complaints and are spending the extra time removing it all? We can only hope.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It’s an old screenshot. It’s possible an area of attack spell causes the flares, but if you look at gameplay videos it does not look like that 99% of the time. :)

    • Navagon says:

      Hopefully it’s an old build. The fact that it’s being used to sell the game does suggest something of an oversight on their part all the same though.

    • Wulf says:

      This is bizarre. I get that Obsidian do some things wrong and I accept that, but why are we picking on them for things that are okay for other developers to do? In this case, I’m talking about Torchlight. I’m not sure if anyone else played the same Torchlight that I did, but the spell effects from the players and enemies could get pretty intense at points, and I actually had to turn down my monitor’s brightness slightly. But not one person complained about that.

      It’s just really strange to me. It’s the same as how New Vegas was slammed for having vague ‘bugs,’ but then Precursors was praised for having actual, game-breaking, nasty bugs. It… baffles me. One game does it and it’s okay, then an Obsidian game does it and people flip out. I really don’t understand why.

      Here’s a screenshot of Torchlight. I remember it getting just that intense, and at times even moreso. That’s an unmodded version of Torchlight too, and I know this because it uses an earlier GUI, and I’m familiar with all the spell effects going on there, having pumped many hours into it. And really, what’s going on in that DS III screenshot isn’t a whole lot worse than what happened in Torchlight.

      I agree that it’s overdone, I completely agree, but I’m just surprised that this was never highlighted with Torchlight.

  6. Buttless Boy says:

    If Obsidian developed it, take a delay as a blessing.

    (I should specify that I love Obsidian but any time they can get to fix their inevitable mess is time well spent)

  7. Jaesun says:

    Where is your source for this?

    And the moving of the release date seems more marketing decision wise on what is currently coming out at that same time.

    • John Walker says:

      My source is Square Enix emailing us to say so.

    • James says:

      I guess we’ll just have to “trust” you then, won’t we? Charlatan!

    • Jaesun says:

      Ahhh thank you John Walker.

    • Bhazor says:

      God I still find it wierd that Square Enix is going into PC Gaming. Here’s hoping we get some rereleases on Steam or GFWL or somewhere, I would happily stab a baby for a HD version of Dragon Quest 8 or Odin Sphere that I could play on my laptop.

  8. Teronfel says:

    Let’s hope Obsidian will fix the bugs and the game will be playable

    • Outsider says:

      Someone informed them that there was still 60% of the screen not covered by a lense flare. They plan to rectify this problem in the first patch.

  9. Njordsk says:

    afraid of witcher II aren’t you?

    I would be.

  10. Lilliput King says:

    Games need some kind of bookie service for critical reception.

    Cos I’d put my money down on this being a bit of a stinker.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I would love to take that bet.
      :)

    • DrGonzo says:

      It will be just like all Obsidian games. It will have a loyal following that says it’s great, but the average person just bounces off it and agrees that it sucks.

      Generally that is true of their games, and usually both sides are right. The game does have some interesting ideas and stuff, but is in the end a buggy mess and not very good unless you can slog past the dull opening.

    • Lilliput King says:

      This is hardly playing to their strengths, and what we’ve seen so far looks awful. I’m pretty confident.

    • Dominic White says:

      Quinns has played it and said it feels like a more fleshed-out version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance.

      This makes me want it. A lot.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Previews so far have been *very* positive from what I’ve seen.

    • Bhazor says:

      The RPS preview seemed very positive. Quinns concluded that it had not been phoned in.
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/18/dungeon-siege-iii-3-preview/

      Also it’s an RPG. If that isn’t playing to Obsidian’s strengths I don’t know what is.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Looks distinctly like an ARPG to me, which is probably why I’m in such a grump about it, and also why I think it won’t work. We shall see.

    • drewski says:

      ARPGs are great, ya big snob.

      And the guys behind Obsidian do pretty good ones – the Icewind Dale and Dark Alliance series’ have both benefited from the Black Isle touch.

    • Wulf says:

      I completely agree with drewski, 100%. We could use some more ARPGs! And just because something is an ARPG, it doesn’t mean that it has to be devoid of story. I’ve always loved them, to be honest, whether it’s the Torchlight sort, Darkspore, or even the Shining Soul series on the Gameboy Advance. (That gave me a werewolf named Zachs to play as. I was eminently pleased by this and ended up completing it six times over.)

      And Darkspore ultimately proves that the old action RPG can have an interesting story and setting. So much so that it had people arguing over lore on the forums. That’s pretty much the sign of a good game. If you have people that care about a story enough to argue over the plot points even early on, with each person putting up their speculations for other players to take apart, then you know you have a fantastic story.

      I don’t know whether Dungeon Siege III will have a great story, and my fear is that it’s going to be too medieval-ee for me, which I’m still sick and tired of, and getting a bit tired of saying that, too. :p But yeah, I’m mildly afraid of that, but I’m hoping that Obsidian can do interesting enough things with it to keep it fresh insofar as the setting goes. Really though, there’s no reason to pick on action RPGs, most of the time they’re pretty damned great.

  11. zergrush says:

    It looks like it’ll be quite similar to the Dark Alliance / Champions games, which were all pretty good.

    Will wait for some opinions before thinking about buying it.

  12. FecesOfDeath says:

    The best news is that the engine DS3 is running on was made in-house, so I’m expecting a little more stability than Obsidian’s previous games had. If it indeed is stable, then we should expect a lot more Obsidian games coming out more frequently. They and Troika are the best at branching-storytelling.

    • Inarborat says:

      Exactly! Everyone loves to say, “Obsidian = bugs!” but never mention the buggy mess of an engine, developed by Bethesda or Bioware, used in the games. They don’t have that cool cred the B & B titles have so it’s easy to shit on a usually spectacular Obsidian title.

      I’m excited for Dungeon Siege III and am glad it’s getting pushed back. Nothing will stand in The Witcher 2′s way.

  13. Sidorovich says:

    So Obsidian inherited Bethesda’s engine for New Vegas, and instead of using the time to stamp out the bugs, they made it even more unstable with their ‘ace’ programming skills. NV was a shoddy fallout cash-in; the RPS review was spot on.

    Although Obsidian have a uncanny knack for creating interesting npcs and intriguing back-stories, their approach to quality control is woeful.

    But the issue with DS III is that they’ve taken a classic party-based action rpg and ‘streamlined’ it so you have one recruitable companion. That’s a chronically bad design decision. I can handle the complexity of creating a mini-army of npcs, but it’s been nerfed for the consolites. AGAIN.

  14. Grape Flavor says:

    WAAAAAH DS3 is coming to North America 4 days behind Europe!

    ITS THE END OF THE WORLD I FEEL SO WRONGED!!!!! PROBABLY GOING TO PIRATE NOW FUCK YOU SQUARE ENIX!!!!!