Gameplanet: What can you tell us about bringing Dungeon Siege to consoles?
Nathan Davis: We took this action RPG that has always been on the PC and took all of the complexities that you would expect from a PC RPG and brought it onto the consoles so that we have a fun and visceral game that is also co-op multiplayer and has all kinds of depth to the story and depth to the RPG systems.
Gameplanet: What would you say to a PC community who may be worried about this becoming a console game?
Davis: At Obsidian our history shows that we make PC games and pretty good ones at that. We know what we are doing and we aren’t going to let our fans, or fans of the Dungeon Siege series, down.
Gameplanet: Games moved to console are often criticised for being dumbed down, has that affected this “depth“ in the RPG system?
Davis: On the outside the RPG systems seem very simple, very basic but there is a lot of variation within that that can make dramatic changes to how you experience the game. The first decision you make on that front is which character you play.
Gameplanet: So there is a set class system?
Davis: Yeah, there are four heroes that you get to choose from, and you make a lot of choices from within that hero, as you are gaining equipment and gaining abilities, on how exactly you want to play them.
Gameplanet: What can you tell us about these heroes?
Davis: Lucas Montbarron is like the stalwart, knight in shining armour style guy. He is the most direct damage dealer. He is more than just a tank; he is somebody that actually takes a little finesse to play. A lot of what you end up doing is moving around the battlefield to make sure you can get just in the right space to attack.
He has a lot of abilities that can scoot him across the battlefield really fast, which is great because missiles are not his strong suit. Primarily he is all about getting in somebody’s face and in order to do that, to get to the target, without being taken down you need to use a good mix of dodging and gap closing abilities.
Anjalie, she’s probably the most balanced character we have. She transitions between two different stances. One is her human form which is her spear and human style where she takes enemies that are right around her pretty well. Then she can go into a fire form which is a kind of fire elemental creature and she’s just throwing fireballs left and right.
And then Katarina, she is... kind of a witch... at the same time as also a gun girl. I don’t want to say Bullet Witch because that will conjure up bad memories [laughs]. So range is certainly a strong suit and her two stances let her switch between a rifle which is very long range and can pinpoint guys all around. Then she can go into her pistol stance which is kind of a short range, not like melee, but like short cones.
What I find with her is that she can control a situation pretty well when she is standing back and taking guys out one at a time but every once in a while, when you get swarmed by enemies that come from all sides, that’s the time where you break out the two pistols and you can get into some crazy John Woo action, firing all around you. That’s pretty cool.
So that’s three of the four classes... the other is getting announced very soon.
Gameplanet: Can you elaborate on these “stances” you mentioned?
Davis: Each character can switch between two distinct stances instantaneously, so for example Lucas switches between a two handed sword and a sword and shield style. The two handed sword is great for crowd control and pushing enemies back and the sword and shield is the best for taking on one opponent and just nailing him with as many quick hits as you can, it has the better DPS ratio.
You will end up switching between your stances a lot, as a strategic thing and all of your abilities are going to be attached to different stances that you’re in. So sometimes you will fire off an ability from one stance and then jump to another stance in order to take advantage of the strategic things you can do with that.
Gameplanet: What can you tell us about multiplayer?
Davis: Multiplayer is jump-in jump-out. So you can join pretty much anywhere. You can play with up to 4 people online or have 2 player co-op going at home.
Gameplanet: Can we expect some post-release DLC?
Davis: [laughs] I really can’t tell you that, but let me just say that Dungeon Siege 3 is the type of game that DLC was made for.
Gameplanet: What has been your production highlight?
Davis: This is the first game we have worked together with Square [Enix], and this is the first real western RPG to come out of Square so we’ve been pretty excited to be part of that!