If you’ve ever played the role of dice and paper, it is quite likely that you know the feeling of having a golden opportunity and screw it up with a bad roll. In many respects, my first impressions of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance they are not very different. That said, I also have to admit that each new game catches me a little more.
The universe Dungeons & Dragons returns to video games with what should be a safe bet: we not only return to The Forgotten Realms, one of the most prolific fantasy settings on PC and consoles, but, by the hand of Tuque Games, the relief is given to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, an action RPG that, everything is said, has a a little special darling on consoles.
If to this, which is not little, we add that Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is a very free adaptation of the series of The secession of RA Salvatore (major words) in which we are invited to live the feats of magic and swords of The Companions, the conclusion on paper is that the Tuque Games game had everything necessary to succeed.
The reality, on the other hand, is that it is a game that aspires to a lot and stumbles on the most basic: the gameplay.
On Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance role elements are practically overshadowed by the action, and despite the fact that its setting and the way it immerses us in the Valley of the Frozen Wind It is very successful – it shows that there is a really interesting background work – the combat system, mobility and some difficult physics to defend play against it. Fortunately, its huge focus on multiplayer balances the thing out.
If we remove all the elements related to Salvatore’s work, to Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance It is hard for him to find his own identity as a game if we play on our own, but it must be recognized that his strong commitment to action and fantasy finds redemption in games with two players or more.
Because, as in most of the feats of fantastic literature, the great evils of the world are not defeated with courage, magic or simple brute force, but with the strangest and most unexpected alliances.
Welcome to the Valley of the Frozen Wind: important to bring the sharp weapon and some potions
If you are passionate about fantastic literature, in Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance you will feel almost at home. The events of the game itself are a direct continuation of RA Salvatore’s crystal stone (published in 1988) and we are transferred to a tangible and imposing Icewind Valley, with mines where it is easy to get lost with your eyes, valleys dominated by cold and nature and caves full of traps and all kinds of beings with sharp teeth.
In fact, the setting of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance It is one of its great strengths, since the design of its enormous levels is practically handmade. Its aesthetics largely recalls that Middle Earth vivid, twisted, and generous in detail imagined by Peter Jackson for the film trilogy of the Hobbit. In this particular case, a comparison in a good way for both licenses.
The personality infused into the settings matches that of the game’s four selectable protagonists. In this case, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance takes inspiration from the Secession series to allow us to take control of the drow Drizzt Do’Urden, the right-handed archer Catti-brie, the dwarf Bruenor of the Battlehammer clan and the barbarian of effective but unorthodox methods Wulfgar.
In the playable, each of the heroes has their own strengths and weaknesses, so there is a kind of implicit balance that gives strength to the multiplayerBut which consequently weighs on individual experience: Catti-brie’s arrows are truly lethal at a distance, but she is severely limited in close combat. So, although we can embark on the adventure only with her, the games become much more enjoyable with at least one character in combat.
Visually, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance It is quite attractive. We may not be able to make ourselves a hero to taste in this game, but the protagonists, the environments and the enemies have some really elaborate finishes that, unfortunately, they tend to be dull in motion
It is not that we demand a combat system similar to that of Batman: Arkham, of course, but the blocking -which is essential in this game- or the execution of preset combos breaks more times than necessary with the dynamics of the battle. Sometimes our targets are shot out of the screen in one fell swoop and when we or our enemies are knocked down, the sensation of being lifeless dolls manifests itself. That can not be.
On the other hand, the progress and loot system is quite unique: we must complete the adventures to release equipment, which is generated in a chest as if they were loot boxes with the preset rarity. Unfortunately most of the time what we get are disappointing parts that we will be paid a pittance for.
Also, the way to unlock skills and level up does not encourage us to alternate between the four available heroes, but we will hold on to it and improve it. Above all, when the most recommended thing to avoid getting scalded when trying another character is to repeat the overcome scenarios and return to the most basic difficulties. Definitely, that’s not the best way to do it.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance returning to The Forgotten Realms is always better in company
With the above in mind, practically all the weak points of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance they are more or less cushioned when sharing games and adventures online. To start with, because what we do will not condition the rest of the players: we can move freely around the game stage and dedicate ourselves to looting or fighting without hindering the rest.
Nevertheless, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance it becomes really interesting by balancing the strengths and weaknesses of our character with those of the other players. Both in combat and when solving the sections of each level. Especially if we play with friends and through voice chat, when there is a really clear vision of what to do, where to go and you can even define the role of each one on the fly.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance not a modern version of Golden Axe O Gauntlet, Nor does it pretend, but the best of sharing the game of these classics is present in the game. Above all, based on the fact that the traditional role-playing approach is very diluted from experience in favor of action and exploration. Although, in fairness, by constantly improving our character we will notice that the games become more and more bearable, and interesting.
While there is a tenuous storyline throughout Dungeons & Dragons: Dark AllianceThe truth is that in the end it all comes down to going through twisted scenes, opening doors or operating cranks and, quite often, pulverizing evil creatures.
The loot and the improvements in increasing difficulty levels are powerful incentives to repeat scenarios, which will not be optional after a certain point, but it must be recognized that the Tuque Games title easily promotes that we continue playing if our team it is well understood both in combat and when discovering treasures not so visible.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance could have been better, of course. A much more fluid gameplay, a better planned progression system, a greater initial selection of protagonists and, above all, a way to reinforce that we also play alone would have rounded out an experience that is tremendously faithful to the material of Dungeons & Dragons, but that doesn’t quite shine enough as an action-adventure game. And, in a way, it is quite modest when it comes to introducing RPG elements compared to the rest of the games published by Wizards of the Coast.
And yet, to date and since its release, it has never taken me too long to find fellow adventurers thirsty and more than willing to venture into the Valley of the Frozen Wind. For something will be.
Dungeons and Dragons Dark Alliance Day One Edition PS4
- Platforms: Xbox (included in Game Pass), PC, PS5 and PS4
- Multiplayer: Yes, up to 4 players online.
- Developer: Tuque Games
- Company: Wizards of the Coast
- Released: June 22, 2021