There’s nothing better than a co-op action RPG except one thing. A co-op action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms! We’ve put off playing this one for a while to make sure the day one bugs get ironed out, and now I’m so glad we did.
So, What is Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance? It’s a third person action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of Dungeons and Dragons. It follows the events of R. A. Salvatore’s legendary novel “The Crystal Shard” which just so happens to be one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. I may be a little biased…Now, this isn’t to be confused with Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance which just so happened to be remastered recently. This is a whole new adventure for you and your friends to delve into!
The combat is pretty straight forward. For the most part, it’s a traditional hack and slash. Players battle their way from objective to objective cutting down hordes of baddies looking to ruin your day. Unfortunately for them, you are an awesome hero with some pretty sweet powers. You can choose from one of the four heroes, each of which have powers relative to their respective classes. There’s a Ranger, Fighter, Barbadian, and an Archer. It’s has the makings for good party composition, except for one noticeable flaw. No magic.
For those who know me I am ALWAYS the spell caster in the party. I’ve always loved conjuring some of the most powerful spells and pounding baddies from a distance. I think of myself as more of a strategist than anything, so being able to stand back and take in the situation is where I’m most comfortable. Dark Alliance kind of forces players to square up with foes in a chaotic flurry of slashes and stabs. It makes for a good time, but hardly leaves any room for strategy. You’re literally pressing the attack button repeatedly until your power recharges, but honestly that doesn’t take away from the overall experience at all. The combos look really good, and being surrounded by a horde of goblins makes the tension pretty high.
So, with the lack of spell casters and clerics, the developers decided to take an interesting route. The Archer, Catti-Brie, actually has an AOE healing spell for allies. Now, I’m never overly critical of gaming, but this seemed like a cop out to me. Instead of giving a traditional healer, they decided to dump a healing spell on an Archer. Something tells me that the developers haven’t played D&D before, but again themis doesn’t take away from the core experience. Although I wish there was a traditional cleric, the Archer having a healing spell surprisingly works in this case.
The boss fights in this game is absolutely AWESOME. At the end of every act in the story there’s a mini boss that is always challenging. They are each unique, and presents players with different challenges each time. For example, in one quest there is a Troll with elemental powers that absolutely wrecks you with lightning, and another quest you are faced with two Duergar captains leading their armies against you. The fight is actually super epic.
Overall, Dungeons and Dragons Dark Alliance is an amazing game, and even better co-op experience. If you have a group of friends looking for a new action RPG then look no further. This one is absolutely amazing, and it perfect for anyone who has a little knowledge is Dungeons and Dragons lore. DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS GAME! Decent hack and slash RPGs have been dearly missed lately, and this one almost feels nostalgic in a way. With confirmed DLC coming, the future of this awesome game is looking quite bright.
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