In this review we’re going to be talking about Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance if you did not know the game just re-released for PlayStation Xbox and Nintendo Switch with a PC and mobile launch coming later this year.
Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Review – 4K Re-Release – Is It Worth It?
Genre: Hack and Slash, Action-RPG
Developed by: Black Isle Studios
Published by: Interplay Entertainment Corp.
Release date: May 8th 2021
Platforms: PS4/PS5(Review Platform)/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/Switch (Delayed)
Price at time of review: $29.99
This is one of the most bizarre launches I’ve ever seen in my near 10 years in the gaming industry as there was almost no promotion for this, no fanfare. They just quietly released this and we were given no heads up about it which is just strange considering we got to play hands-on with the director of Tuque Studios like not two weeks ago for the new Dark Alliance game that’s coming out in June. They did not mention Wizards was on that with us, as well they did not mention to me at all that they were going to do this which I feel would have been relevant.
So this is just kind of strange and not only was this kind of announced literally the day before it came out. It’s been having some issues, like it’s still I don’t believe in the Nintendo Switch store yet, that’s been delayed which should be either any day now.
It should be there it’s not in the Playstation 5 store however, for some people like myself I had to actually download it from the Playstation 4 store and then transfer it over to my PS5 in order to play on there so there are some really weird things happening with this launch.
What’s New with the Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release
Setting those things aside for now I want to talk about what they’ve done to the game so essentially all they’ve done is made this playable in 4K. It certainly looks a lot better than the original in 4K I’ll give them that but they did not like re-render any of the cutscenes or any of the opening scenes or anything like that or change any quality of life improvements etc. So there’s no online co-op, it’s still couch co-op which is great if you love couch co-op by the way this is a great couch co-op game. But there are no improvements, no subtle changes to the game essentially they just basically made it playable on modern systems.
Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release Performance
Talking about the performance of the game it actually looks pretty good for a game that’s 20 years old. It plays pretty smoothly, the load times are really fast, I haven’t really noticed anything too major. There are a couple of bugs like it seems like the sound cuts out periodically and you have to restart the game. I don’t know if that was present in the original or not because it’s been 20 years, but that’s a thing. Also sometimes some of the items on the ground are invisible for some reason. You’ll walk over and pick up stuff that you can’t see so there are some minor bugs like that, but I haven’t run into anything major yet.
What’s really great about this re-release in my opinion is that it’s making this game playable for the first time for a lot of people in about 20 years, or maybe a little less than 20 years. The game came out on PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox and if you didn’t own it on those platforms, there was no way to play it unless you had an emulator on PC.
There’s been a huge gap for people like myself who played it when we were younger and now we get to play it again maybe with the younger generation or the next generation players, maybe with your kids or maybe your significant other, etc. So I’m really really happy that this is coming out again.
The Timing of the Release of Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release
One thing that’s really strange about it though is the timing. You have the new Dark Alliance game coming out in a little over a month. Why release this game now, and why release it without really any announcement whatsoever? I don’t understand what the logic is here. I do know that they are planning to do this for Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 2. I don’t know what the time frame for that looks like. So I can’t really tell you when that’s going to come out, but I do know that’s happening with that.
But I don’t understand the time frame. If you’re trying to sell the new game why are you releasing the old game, and if you’re trying to sell the old game why are you releasing the new game? Maybe these should have been spaced out more, I don’t know, but I’m happy that it’s out but it’s a bit strange.
Price of Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release
The last thing that adds a little bit more confusion in my opinion to this launch is the cost of this is a $29.99 USD re-release. The game when it came out was $49.99 if I’m not mistaken, and the new Dark Alliance game is $39.99. So you’re effectively saying that your brand new game is only $10 better than this game, that’s 20 years old, that you basically just blew up and re-released. I think that’s a weird statement to make in my opinion.
I would have liked to have seen this remastered, or this re-release turned into a remaster or a remake. I mean I feel like it’s an old enough classic that could have gotten better treatment. It still looks pretty nice but they could have done a lot of quality of life improvements to the game.
They could have touched up the graphics even more I mean if they wanted to go full war they could have done a remake and I think people would have bought it. But I feel like they just really did the bare minimum here and making the statement that it’s $29.99 when their new game is $39.99 is either saying our new game isn’t very good or our old game we’re charging a fortune for it because there’s no other way for you to play it. I mean you’re either making one of those two statements or both, and I feel like that’s a weird thing to do.
If it had been $29.99 for both Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 2 and Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 1 re-released, I would have been like that’s about right, $15 for each. I don’t even think you can buy the old discs for less than that, they’re probably even more expensive than that at this point because they’re so rare. So that I would have been fine with, but as it stands it’s like what the heck? I’ve seen remasters done that are this price and they’re remastered, they’re not just re-releases, so that’s a bit strange to me.
Why We Bought the Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release
With all those things said I still bought the game anyway. I’ve been enjoying it anyway, I’m still co-oping it anyway, the co-op’s great. If you’re a fan of this franchise, if you’re my age and you’re almost 40 now, you’ll probably go just get it anyway. You’ll want to play it with your family or friends etc.
Should You Buy Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance Re-Release? Now or later?
But if you are someone who’s never played this I would say this to you definitely get it but I would wait until it’s a package deal with the second one, or comes down in price. I feel for $29.99 I don’t know how they can justify that in my head, other than you can’t play it unless you do it. I feel like that’s the statement being made here, and just let it come down in price and get it eventually because it’s a great game and you should play it.
But for $29.99 I’m not so sold on that, again this game is currently playable on PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S and X. Also for Nintendo Switch as I mentioned earlier, that may or may not be in the store by the time this review comes out because that was slightly delayed. Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance is eventually coming to PC and mobile later this year, but there has been no date announced yet.
Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance is currently available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S and X. The game will also be coming to PC and mobile later this year 2021. [UPDATE] Black Isle Studios have announced the Switch version had some issues upon launch and should be getting an update about this soon. The game will also be coming to PC and mobile later this year 2021.
For more reviews be sure to check out next Mass Effect Legendary Edition Review Impressions: Is It Worth It? and Returnal Review & Impressions: PS5 Gameplay Worth Your Time, A Sci-Fi Rogue-Like As No Other.