If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Have You Played... Dungeon Siege?

most meaningfully responsible

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I'm going to be mean: Dungeon Siege was the end of an era.

It's a solid 'crawler with what were at the time some very neat ideas in terms of automatic party management, levelling up and even the simulacrum of a seamless world in an age when the technology wasn't quite up to it. It's also the point that action-RPG's mindlessly looty values tipped over into what were once known as 'cRPGs', and perhaps even in turn into other genres. Sure, we got Morrowind and Bloodlines and even Neverwinter Nights, but so much of what we once know and loved, from Black Isle and Origin, fell away. The age of WoW and the age Oblivion were not far away.

Certainly, Dungeon Siege is not solely or even the most meaningfully responsible for the Skinner box's takeover of mainstream videogames - look to World of Warcraft, look to Call of Duty 4 multiplayer - but I do feel that it marked a quiet sea-change. An RPG with a character, a mule, specifically dedicated to hauling around excess loot. A party game in which the party performs only combat roles. Everything solved by violence. But enough BioShock Infinite, amirite?

I don't know, perhaps I'm being cruel. It's just that, tracing in my mind the pattern of games before and after Dungeon Siege, it seems like a herald of something different, something far more about gold and murder and inventories.

About the Author

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Contributor

Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Features

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch