The following letter was published in the PCG UK letter section sometime in late 2005 and contains my capsule review of Dungeon Siege 2 and first-ever published writing.
Reader review of Dungeon Siege 2:
Addictive and repetitive, repetitive and addictive; that's DS2 to me, in essence.
It is Dungeon Siege; only more so: bigger, prettier, slicker and with more variation. It improves the Diablo mold , but doesn't break it or change it in any meaningful way.
The environment is prettier, with your path twisting between forests, deserts, icy passes and more, but it is still a single path, linear and deterministic, with the occasional branch that takes you off that path for, maybe, 100 meters. There are monsters aplenty to hack, and in huge numbers; although how many types of wolf can you kill and still feel challenged? How many kinds of Hak'u can you take down before it's boring? (Hint: not that many). You get quests, but they're all "kill that","fetch this" or sometimes "kill that to fetch this". DS2 deems "Choice" a dirty word: most, if not all, of the quests have only one way to go about them. Even the conversations are linear and simplistic.
Still, what DS2 does, it does well. The interface, the character development through skill use, the network of teleporters all facilitate play in a fluid, easy manner. You tend to keep playing "just one more teleporter", "just to get that item set".
In the end, what made me stop playing the game was a little piece of shareware called "Progress Quest", supplied helpfully on the PCG disc. Minutes after installing it and "playing" it, I realized the sad truth: PQ is DS2 without the graphics. I immediately uninstalled DS2 and never looked back.