Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun Review: Desert Desserts

Dungeon Siege III was released this Summer and, while it didn’t set the world on fire, it was an enjoyable action RPG in the vein of Secret of Mana. But in this post-Skyrim world, it might be hard to find anyone willing to give Dungeon Siege III a chance, even though publisher Square Enix and developer Obsidian have pushed out the first downloadable expansion for the game: Treasures of the Sun.

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 (Version Played)
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Genre: Arid Action RPG
Release Date: October 25, 2011
ESRB Rating: Teen

After downloading the Treasures of the Sun DLC, players will be able to access it with an endgame save or insert into the main storyline as one of the three possible paths after liberating the Grand Chapterhouse (and it’s similar in size and scope to Glitterdelve and Stonebridge, a 3-5 hour adventure in a self-contained location). The expansion almost feels too easy if you tackle it with an endgame save, but its location in the main storyline is perfect as it’s challenging and makes sense from a plot perspective. So if you’re starting Dungeon Siege III for the first time (or re-starting it for another playthrough), Treasures of the Sun is a perfect complement to the existing story.

Set in the sprawling Aranoi Desert, Treasures of the Sun will offer a familiar set of tasks to anyone who has already played Dungeon Siege III. Hunting Lescanzi mercenaries, and procuring artifacts bandits have absconded with, make up a large portion of the “new” missions. But players will also be cutting a bloody swath through new enemy types such as zombies, mummies, and sand demons in search of the legendary “Greatest Treasure of the Faith.”

If Dungeon Siege III borrowed much of its story from the Star Wars saga, Treasures of the Sun pilfers from another Lucasfilm creation to tell its tale: Indiana Jones. The Temple of Azunai contains several challenges that must be completed for the hero to be deemed worthy of obtaining a stone tablet. Let’s just say that remembering “Only the penitent man will pass” and “The name of God” will be key to completing similar puzzles in Treasures of the Sun. Other Indiana Jones allusions are present throughout the expansion, and the only thing missing from The Vault is a minecart chase.

I also liked that the ending of Treasures of the Sun set up a huge new storyline that I hope Obsidian gets a chance to follow up on in a future expansion or even Dungeon Siege IV. It sounds like there’s a grand master plan for the Dungeon Siege saga and I’m a sucker for a good grand master plan.

Besides featuring new dungeons to explore, Treasures of the Sun makes several interesting additions to Dungeon Siege III. First, a higher level cap gives players a chance to obtain an Achievement/Trophy they may have missed the first time around. And a new Enchanting system allows players to add magical “Essences” to their items. Do you think your big ‘ol broadsword would be better with Vampiric properties? If you find the right Essence, go for it!

Thorough dungeon siegers can also obtain three Ultimate Abilities. By pressing down on both analog sticks, players can unleash a huge area of effect attack, a defensive bubble or a life-saving spell. The Ultimate Abilities are a nice idea, but they’re mostly useless as their effect isn’t that great and pressing in both analog sticks wreaks havoc on the camera.

Finally, a pool in front of the desert Abbey will allow players to redistribute Proficiency and Talent points. I was a little surprised this wasn’t an option in the original game, but it’s here now and it’s handy if you’ve gotten this far and would prefer to re-specialize your character.

If you enjoyed Dungeon Siege III, Treasures of the Sun is an equally fun romp that is well worth your 800 Microsoft Points/$10. However, if you found Dungeon Siege III lacking in some way or you just don’t like action RPGs, there’s nothing too new here that’ll change your mind.

Review Disclosure: A review copy of Dungeon Siege III: Treasures of the Sun was provided by Square Enix for the purposes of this review.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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