The ‘Baldur’s Gate’ series of games is a true classic of PC gaming. It established the PC’s reputation as a platform for hardcore gamers in the late 1990s/early 2000s. In many ways, the series also pioneered the CRPG (Classic Role-Playing Game) genre and hugely influenced subsequent RPG behemoths such as ‘Dragon Age’ and ‘Divinity: Original Sin 2’.
However, the game was restricted to the PC platform at the time, partly due to hardware and control scheme limitations of the consoles. In order to provide console players with a taste of ‘Baldur’s Gate’, Snowblind studios released ‘Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance’ for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo Game Boy Advance in 2001. The game was essentially a console ready version of the original ‘Baldur’s Gate’, eschewing its slow, deliberate RPG mechanics in favor of more action-packed hack and slash gameplay.
A sequel titled ‘Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II’ was released a few years later in 2004, but the series has pretty much been dead in the water since then for the past 15 years or so. At least, that was the case until the franchise was revived with the announcement of a new game titled ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ late last year. So, what can we expect from the long-awaited reboot of the ‘Dark Alliance’ series? Read on to find out everything we know.
Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons: What to Expect?
Just like the previous games in the franchise, ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ is a co-op hack and slash action RPG. However, the new game will not be a sequel or even successor to the original games. It is being described as a “spiritual successor” to the older ‘Dark Alliance’ games.
Essentially, what this means is that while ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ will retain a lot of the gameplay and design principles that made the original so great, it will incorporate its own visual style and gameplay mechanics.
The webpage for ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ describes the game as follows:
“Join up to 4 friends, online or on the couch, and battle iconic monsters from Dungeons & Dragons in a new co-op action RPG.”
The first big change is the game’s perspective. The series’ classic top-down perspective is being replaced by a more immersive third-person view. The reasoning behind this, as given by Tuque Games head Jeff Hattem is, “We wanted to bring in the camera to have a more intimate, visceral experience with the harshness of Icewind Dale”. Along with the new visual style also comes a new setting. The city of Baldur’s Gate is replaced by the frigid land of Icewind Dale.
The playable protagonists in ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ have been revealed to be the peace-loving dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, his human wife (eventually) Cattie-Brie, leader of the dwarf Clan Battlehammer Bruenor, and barbarian hero Wulfgar. Each character will possess their own unique equipment and abilities. You will also be able to customize them.
As the name would suggest, ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ is based on the universe of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, so you can expect to battle iconic D&D enemies such as goblins, gnolls, frost giants and even dragons. However, the game will be more like ‘Diablo’ than ‘Baldur’s Gate’ in terms of gameplay as the focus is squarely on battling monsters and collecting loot.
However, just like the originals, ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ will place a major emphasis on co-op gameplay. You will be able to play through the entire story campaign with up to three other players, both locally and online. For local co-op, you can play in dual split-screen or even screen quartering split-screen, which is practically unheard of on anything, other than small indie projects these days.
Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons Developers: Who Are the People Behind the Game?
‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ is being developed by Montreal based Canadian video game development studio Tuque Games. Tuque Games was founded by ex-Ubisoft employees and was recently acquired by ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ license holder Wizards of the Coast, who will also be publishing the new game.
Tuque Games are best known for the co-op action RPG game ‘Livelock’, the studio’s first and only completed project thus far.
Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons Release Date: When and Where Can I Play It?
Although ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ does not have a specific release date at this point in time, the game is expected to launch sometime in 2020.
‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ will be available to play on a number of platforms including PC, in what is a first for the franchise. The game will also launch on the consoles, which means that a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version is likely, and a Nintendo Switch version could be in the offing as well.
If you crave a more traditional ‘Baldur’s Gate’ experience, ‘Baldur’s Gate III’ is a CRPG that is currently also in development.
Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons Trailer:
You can watch the trailer for ‘Dark Alliance: Dungeons & Dragons’ right here.
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