Dungeon Siege II: Broken World - updated impressions

What makes Broken World a hard-core jungle-gym isn't just jacked up monsters, but the added complexity of tactical combat. In other words, you won't be fighting on auto-pilot. Instead, you'll be figuring out how to defeat some extremely devious boss-monsters. For example, we went up against a pus-spewing demon whose minions made it impossible to cope unless we dealt with them early and often.

Both the sequel and the expansion are running on the same game technology that drovethe original. While this gives all three games a sense of continuity, the team has had to work hard to wring every last drop of performance and keep the visuals fresh. Although it looks like a close cousin of the first game, the expansion aims for a sharper edge, packing in plenty of blood and gore. Perhaps the biggest complaint we had with the original was the cheesy dialogue -which should hopefullychucked, thanks to the entirely new voice cast for the expansion.

All in all, we think this fast-action add-on is coming together nicely for a 15-hour wrap-up to the series. Broken World ships at the end of summer, in August.