Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

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
Programming
Art Director
El Presidente
Audio and Localization Producer
Design
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 53 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 103 ratings with 5 reviews)

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

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

A solid action RPG with impressive visuals, and insanely addictive co-op mode - 4 Stars

The Good
--> Impressive visuals - well developed environments, good character models with realistic facial expressions, nice texture work, great spell effects (though they do sometimes slow the action down when in co-op mode)

--> Good sound and music - voice acting is above average, sound effects are appropriate though not extraordinary, music is well composed and really sets the mood.

--> Good variety of weapons and armor, though I would have liked more, everything from serrated daggers to the Mithril Axe is here...half the fun is gradually improving weapons and armor until you are a mighty fighting machine.

--> Great cooperative mode - nothing like laying waste to a hordes of beasts with a buddy - and in the 2P mode there are hordes, be prepared for a challenge.

The Bad
--> too short, an experienced gamer can finish the game in 10 hours or less

--> a few more items would have been nice.

--> some levels should have had alternative versions for the 2P mode, areas like the Thieves hideout are very annoying in co-op mode. Also, it would have been nice to have the option to exchange gold and items between players.

--> An Auto-Camera mode would have been greatly appreciated as the camera can sometimes be a burden.

The Bottom Line
Action fans and RPG fans alike will love this very entertaining title. Based on the Dungeon & Dragons 3rd Edition rules, with authentic monsters, weapons and the like, gives the player the formidable task of purging the land of evil via several challenging quests. Before beginning the adventure, the player is asked to choose a class, Fighter, Dwarf or Archer...each class a unique gameplay experience....pick off enemies from a distance as the archer, charge in full bore as the hearty dwarf, or choose the fighter for the best of both worlds. Several quests compose this adventure, providing tasks ranging from destroying an enchanted orb to destroying the leader of the dark elves in the dwarven mines. As you travel through the various quest, your character will gradually level up, giving you experience points to distribute among various statistics such as endurance (carry more items) and dodge (increased agility), this is old hat to RPG aficionados but the variety of stats is nice for an action hack-n'-slash, imbues the game with a little depth and strategy (will you place all experience into magic, or try to create a well rounded warrior?). As you travel and gain gold, you will have every weapon at your disposal from lowly daggers to mighty Mithril Axes, each with their own unique properties - such as the flame weapons that ignite when enemies are near. One thing that immediately struck me when playing this game was the environments - absolutely beautiful (one trip into an ice cave will drop your jaw), high polygon counts and hi-res textures combine to make very believable environments complete with realistic lighting and shadows, I think even the most jaded gamer cannot help but be impressed by the environments and water effects in the game - very nice. The character models are well detailed, but take a back seat to the environments. The sound is appropriate, and the music really helps to set the mood. The only thing that prevents me from giving this title 5 stars is the few problems I found with the game, but I still heartily recommend a purchase. and at $20, it's a steal. A great, while relatively short action title that is worth playing again in co-op mode

GameCube · by Ryu (50) · 2003

[ 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, Windows Apps, Macintosh, Windows, iPhone, Linux, iPad 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, DreinIX, FatherJack.

Game added February 18th, 2002. Last modified August 27th, 2023.