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Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun
Score: 85%
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2; 2 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Action/RPG

INTRO:
I enjoyed Dungeon Siege III way more than I thought I would. Although a little too linear in some areas, I was hooked and managed to finish the entire game with two characters - a rare feat for this line of work. As much as I enjoyed amassing an army to take down Jeyne Kassinder, I felt the game lacked a definitive trait to really make it stand out. It was a solid experience, but lacked that last bit of pop.

Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun is the first major set of DLC for Dungeon Siege III. It's more of the same as far as content goes, adding a new section of the game to adventure through with your character(s), but it also offers up a couple of really interesting mechanics that, while not groundbreaking, help to give the game a much-needed edge.


New Lands, New Lore:
Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun takes players to a new region of Ehb, the Aranoi Desert. Along with the new location, the DLC pack offers a couple of new enemies for players to fight as they search for a missing Legion hero. Your journey, which tacks on another five or so hours to the main quest, will take you through deserts, long-lost temples and dark caverns. Although the game sticks to the same linear layout found in other parts of the game, I liked the overall look and feel. The landscape is oddly appealing, especially when you consider you're just venturing though a rocky desert.

Treasures of the Sun snaps right into place with the original game's story. You can start the DLC with your end game save or, if you'd rather, start from scratch. You reach the desert via the Causeway Hub, so if you do choose to create a new character, you'll need to reclaim the Chapter House before jumping into the new section. The new adventure is completely set apart from the main quest. If you're going from your saved game, it is not a big deal, but if you're going through for the first time, it might cause a slight narrative hiccup. Nothing major, but don't expect a lot of connections.

The new area is sizable and offers plenty of room to run around and explore. At the same time, the section feels much more intimate than other sections of the game. Rather than trying to span a huge section of backstory, the DLC is able to focus on a smaller piece of lore - the creation and beliefs of the Azunite faith. If you're the sort of player who loves to pore over every piece of in-game information available, you'll enjoy Treasures of the Sun.

The new area is rather tough, so if you're starting from scratch, you may want to make the desert one of your last stops. If you're having problems, Treasures of the Sun ups the level cap from 30 to 35. Additionally, you're offered the option to respec your character's stats and abilities (for a price) if you're not happy with your current character build. I love the option; in my attempt to build a well-balanced hero the first time around, I ended up with an out-of-sync, directionless character who wasn't really good at any one thing.


New Enhancements, New Powers:
Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun adds a new enchantment mechanic called Essence. Once acquired, you can enhance your equipment with a new modifier (with various boost amounts), expanding its power set. Retribution adds damage to counter attacks; Stagger stuns opponents; Vampire awards you with a bit of health for each successful hit; Warding stuns enemies who attack you; and Doom ups your critical hit damage.

You'll gain Essence throughout your quest, primarily after defeating larger enemies, though you can also destroy items with these stats, allowing you to place it in other items. The drawback to the system is cost. It's expensive, so you can't create an ultimate weapon with numerous enchantments. You'll want to add an enchantment to your main weapon as soon as possible, however, since the added firepower will come in handy as your try to work your way through the Aranoi Desert.

You'll also discover three towers that grant new power spells based around healing, defense or offense. The new spells are incredibly powerful and consume all of your orbs. The more orbs you have, the more powerful the spell. The catch is you're only allowed to have one spell equipped at any time, though the decision isn't a hard one. The defensive and health spells are nice and have their uses, but you'll likely want to stick with the offensive spell for the times you're swamped with enemies, which is often.


Value:
Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun is a fun addition to Dungeon Siege III. It's a nice piece of bonus content for veterans who are in the mood for another action RPG, or want to take another trip to Ehb. For newcomers, it's a five more hours of content, a couple of really useful weapons and a definitive edge that was missing from the original release.

The DLC doesn't make up for all of the game's shortcomings, but Dungeon Siege III is a better game with the DLC attached. It's sharper, more defined and a lot of fun. Treasures of the Sun is something fans will want to check out.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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