As you fight, enemies will drop all kinds of loot for you to pick up--too much loot in fact. You'll find so much gold, armor, weapons, and spells that the notion of collecting items becomes almost trivial. Luckily there are teleporters located throughout the world so you can simply teleport back to town, sell off everything you don't want, and teleport back to continue your quest. Toward the end of the game the only use you'll have for all the items you get is to sell them for gold, but gold is useless since store-bought items are a lot weaker than the items you get from enemies. You can spend gold to enchant weapons and armor, but that isn't necessary since your characters will overpower enemies even when using mediocre equipment.
The pack mule isn't necessary anymore, since you can just teleport back to town to sell your loot.
For those who enjoy simple, automated combat, there's plenty of it here. There are often dozens of enemies onscreen at a time. Actually, sometimes there's too much going on and it gets difficult to tell which characters are allies and which ones are enemies. The combat in Dungeon Siege II doesn't require any sort of skill or strategy, but there's still something to be said for tearing through mobs of undead soldiers and leaving piles of bloody corpses in your wake. Unfortunately, cutting down evildoers gets stale after a while, since enemies don't really become more challenging as you progress through the story; they just have more hit points so they take a bit longer to kill. There are a few cool boss fights in the game, but even those can get dull at times. There's one particular battle with a dark mage who has about 90,000 hit points but can barely inflict any damage on your party. Essentially, you just end up hacking away for a few minutes while the mage stands there casting useless spells. To make things even easier, you can consult your journal for step-by-step instructions on how to complete each quest. If you're too lazy for that though, there's a small map in the corner of your screen that has a little arrow to direct you to where you need to go. There are multiple difficulty settings, but unfortunately you can't access them until after you beat the game on the easiest setting.
To make things slightly more interesting, you can play through the story cooperatively with a friend via LAN or online play. You can import a party from your single-player campaign, but when you start a multiplayer game you have to start at the beginning of the story, which isn't much fun if you already know all the ins and outs of every quest. Although you can use parties in multiplayer, each player can only use a few characters, so there are never more than six allies in the game at a time.
Dungeon Siege II does a good job with its setting and maintaining the fantasy atmosphere. The environments are detailed, and although some of the textures look a bit blurry and faded, the assorted areas are varied enough to be interesting while still feeling like they belong in a cohesive fantasy universe. From shadowy forests to dark dungeons and barren deserts, it all looks natural, even down to the enemies and interactive objects that appear in each area. The character animations are a bit awkward, but the characters themselves are high quality, and all the equipment is represented cosmetically. The spell effects are hit or miss. Some of the status effects add a nice glow to your characters, but the elemental spells look rather weak.
You can import a party into an online multiplayer game and play through the story cooperatively with a friend.
In addition to the scenery, the sound goes a long way in enhancing the atmosphere in Dungeon Siege II. The fully orchestrated soundtrack from Jeremy Soule helps set the mood for each area, whether you're exploring a dungeon or just chatting with people in town. The sound effects are consistently enjoyable as well, and although you hear battle noise almost constantly in the game, it manages to avoid sounding canned. The only weak spot in the sound is the voice work. Just about all of the characters in the game have speaking lines, and although a few characters are done well, most of the acting is pretty bad. To give the voice actors credit, though, they didn't have the best dialogue to work with.
Dungeon Siege II is a solid game with plenty to keep you busy for hours. The biggest problem is that the game is just too easy, and even though there are increased difficulty settings, you have to put in a good 40 hours just to unlock the veteran setting, and another 40 hours to reach elite. Unfortunately, the story and gameplay really aren't deep enough to warrant that many trips through the game. But, there haven't been a lot of good dungeon crawlers lately, and Dungeon Siege II does a respectable job of filling that void.