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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Moby ID: 5805
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an action RPG which casts the player as one of three basic characters: an elf sorceress, a human archer, or a dwarf fighter. From humble beginnings slaying rats in the cellars of an inn, the adventurer will move on to exploring caves, crypts, and mountain passes. Naturally, it's all filled to the brim with horrible monsters, wicked traps, treasures, and fabled magical weapons. As the game progresses, the player is constantly rewarded with new weaponry, new monsters to fight, and experience points to put into the adventurer's character stats to grow even more powerful. The adventurer must eventually unravel the secrets of a dark, new Thieves Guild backed by powerful mages.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

19 People

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Line Producer
Lead Programming
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Art Director
El Presidente
Audio and Localization Producer
Design
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 53 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 104 ratings with 5 reviews)

A graphically attractive hack n' slash with little gameplay

The Good
Graphics-wise there is little to complain about in Dark Alliance. The monsters are well modeled and animated, the locations are interesting to look at, and the lighting effects are wonderful. The ripple and counter-ripple as your character wades through water is beautiful. Your character portrait is a pleasure to look at. My only real complaint with the graphics is that your character is a bit small and there is no way to zoom in closer to the action.

The Bad
Sadly, for me there was more bad than good to this game. The game began very well and I was anticipating and enjoyable adventure. By the end of Act I I was very disappointed.

The game play is repetitive and predictable. Each level consists of nothing more than killing the hordes of monsters that charge you. Usually there are only 2 or 3 types of monsters per level. There are no puzzles to solve beyond the very simple 'pull the lever to open the door' variety found in Act I. There are no mazes to explore. Every level is either a twisty passage from entrance to exit or starts with a left or right choice that both lead to the same place. Game play is a matter of walking from point A to point B killing anything that gets in your way.

There is not even the excitement of finding powerful artifacts and treasure in the dungeons. I found that the weapons in the chests and dropped by enemies were always inferior to what was available in the shop at the start of each level. There came to be no point picking up other weapons except to sell them for gold in order to buy the most powerful weapon at the next shop.

The game was also VERY short. I finished it in 11 hours, and that was making point of searching out and exterminating every monster on each level. Another gripe is that the end boss was ridiculously easy. It was over so fast that I figured that it must not be the end of the game after all. I was wrong. It was the end and a short on at that.

The Bottom Line
Dark Alliance started out very well and then dropped the ball. There are no surprises in this game after Act I. As an action game it is completely average. It is so standard that it could have been a 2D side scroller without losing anything from the gameplay. As a RPG it fails. I was actually glad that there were so many save points so that I could play in short intervals before I grew too bored.

If you are looking for a serious RPG skip Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. It is nothing like it's PC cousins. If you are looking for a simple hack and slash fantasy game you have found it with Dark Alliance. Don't expect too may thrills though.

PlayStation 2 · by NobodysSon (13) · 2006

This game is very good and is best when played with another person

The Good
The co-op feature was really cool because it made the game even better when I played it with someone else.

It was very challenging at parts which made the game interesting to play through.

It had vivid maps that expanded which really got the player in depth in the story line.

Large variety of creatures with different levels (including bandits, rats, undead, etc. with various difficulties).

The spells in the game were really cool and made it very fun.

The Bad
Some parts were very hard to get past such as the orb part in the under ground. But besides that, it was a very good game.

Also, there really wasn't much of a background story to the characters you play as (like other adventures on how the human or the elf were able to get there).

The Bottom Line
The game was very good and probably should be in all RPG game libraries because of its replayability.

Xbox · by Todd Bello (28) · 2006

Eldrith the Betrayer? Not ringing any bells.

The Good
Penniless and nursing sore heads, my party began its adventures in Baldur’s Gate in a haunted tavern recovering from a mugging. I, the Arcane Archer, and my wife, the Elven Sorceress (with no one being the Dwarven Fighter), had experienced the might of the new Thieves Guild firsthand and eagerly sought an attempt to avenge ourselves, but first we had to kill rats in the wine cellar with rusty daggers.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is a fun one/two player romp in the Forgotten Realms. Using 3rd Edition Rules, Baldur’s Gate embraces almost every RPG cliché while delving deep into the Monster’s Manual to hold your interest through fifteen hours of game play. Trouble is afoot in Baldur’s Gate, the city’s sublevels are crawling (and oozing) with monsters, shadowy figures are opening eldritch portals, and sinister portents are coming from distant lands. Separated into three acts and three geographical regions, Baldur’s Gate pits the adventurer(s) against a true Axis of Evil.

Baldur’s Gate is played from an overhead view and in most areas the player is able to rotate the camera. Graphics are nice- with great combat and spell animations, detailed dungeons, and nice character models. Magic weapons emit an eerie glow and (for some reason) the characters themselves luminesce to light up dark areas. Voice acting is commendable, except for the running chatter merchants make. Ambient noises, music, and general sound effects are all excellent.

The game’s controls are good, except I had some difficulty aiming with the Arcane Archer. The ability to lock on to a target would have helped more than my spending precious level-up points on a targeting line.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is more action than RPG (and is intentionally aware of its resemblance to Gauntlet). While you can’t create your own character, you can customize him/her when you level up by concentrating on specific abilities and feats. Conversation options are available, but the story is set in stone.

The Bad
Baldur’s Gate is so polished and focused, it’s hard to find fault with any part of it.

The Bottom Line
Having played and been disappointed by the tedious PC incarnation of Baldur’s Gate I had reservations about this game, but I really enjoyed it. Arcade over RPG was a good move, and Snowblind was able to retain the importance of the AD&D rules system. I highly recommend.

PlayStation 2 · by Terrence Bosky (5375) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by NeoMoose.

Android, Linux, iPhone, Macintosh, iPad, Windows Apps, Windows added by Plok. Xbox added by vism. Xbox Series, Xbox One added by Rik Hideto. GameCube added by Kartanym. PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Corn Popper, FatherJack.

Game added February 18th, 2002. Last modified October 9th, 2023.