The original Dungeon Siege earned kudos for being a fast-paced, action-oriented role-playing game. Taking its cue from the Diablo series, Dungeon Siege focused more on chaotic, white-knuckled hack 'n' slash combat than on deciding how many points to add to your character's intelligence. Dungeon Siege II doesn't fall far from the tree in terms of how it plays, but doesn't make too many great leaps either.
Once again set in the fantasy world of Aranna, you begin life as a humble soldier who eventually must bring down the greatest evil the world has ever known. Unfortunately, the story feels weak and some of the dialogue is often downright laughable. The game could have elevated above that and really sold us on the idea that a truly epic struggle between good and evil was taking place. As it is, DSII 's story is forgotten the second you stop playing.
Thankfully, both single-player and multiplayer combat turns out to be intense, bloody and loads of fun. You can recruit a party of up to six members and designate each one as an archer, a mage or melee fighter. Take it from us - watching your party slice and dice its way through an unholy horde is an absolute blast.
Adding to the fun is the near-endless supply of loot that falls at your feet. There are swords, axes, shields, magic staffs and every other implement of carnage imaginable. In fact, if there's one complaint about the loot, it's that there's too much of it. After a while, all of the weapons kind of blur together.
The world of Aranna is brought to life with an updated version of the same graphics engine that powered the original game. Unfortunately, it's not as impressive as it could be. The characters look great, but when compared to other games, the environments aren't as breathtaking as they should be.
The best way to experience what DSII has to offer is through co-operative mode - you can play the entire game's storyline with other people. There's nothing more enjoyable than storming a dungeon with a party of your friends.