Keith Gaughan

An attempt at public introspection

Gaming

The so-called Dungeon Siege II ‘Beta’

· 2min

Beta, my ass! When exactly did the words ‘demo’ and ‘beta’ get mixed up? Back in the old days, a demo version was an incomplete version of the game, given out to drum up interest in the end product, whereas a beta version was a complete version of the game, most probably riddled with bugs, given out so that people could help find flaws in it.

But nowadays, this seems to have changes. Beta = Demo.

I really liked Dungeon Siege. Sure, it’s just a roguelike with fancy-ass graphics, but it was a fun, albeit overly linear, fancy-ass roguelike. (Aside: I never really got Angband for some reason.) If I saw it in the shops tomorrow, I’d snap it up.

So imagine my joy when I came across what proported to be a beta release of the game! Joy! I’d happily hack and slash my way through it, reporting anything dodgy I found along the way. So I installed it, anticipation welling up inside, and started playing.

A few hours later, I’d managed to complete everything up as far as the Elven Whatchamacallit, whipped by way through, and then got ambushed by a bunch of Hak’u who made my life a living hell by keeping my characters unconscious for the best part of two hours, giving me only brief moments to leather the living daylights out of them.

Eventually I managed it, and headed back to the Dryad village, and… you bastards!

Yup, that’s exactly what I said when I was confronted by the message, “Thank you for playing Dungeon Siege II Beta Review”. It was a bloody demo all along!

Grrr!