Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 81% (based on 53 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 108 ratings with 5 reviews)
The graphics and effects in this game are incredible, but that's where my praise for this game ends. Although the story is paced well and moves along, it seems that it is rather simple to say the least. I'm gunna have to move the rest of my views on this game to the BAD
OK, where do I begin. It's short... very short. The RPG elements are limited to skill building and level gaining, but honestly, the way the game works... they should have just simplified the engine to a Gauntlet style. All this game really is was designed by the Gauntlet creators long ago. The creature variety is lacking. Kill and Knoll, kill another, another, another, etc... Oooo a Troll... ok, back to the knolls... Yeah... And they do nothing but charge you, or run in circles to take pot shots out you with ranged weapons (All the creatures in the game act like this) The bosses are simple to say the least. (Not even going to comment on the joke of a final boss) I just can't say enough about how this game just doesn't follow through. The game has items drop everywhere much like diablo. So you'de think that maybe, item finding is the fun part of the game... beefing up your character. But nope... it's all pretty basic stuff, and only the best stuff appears when your done with the game mostly anyway. The game is a typical hack and slash... pretty, but not worth the time it takes to play it. You want an RPG? Go with Baldurs Gate 2, you want Hack and Slash? Go with Diablo, or Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. (Which has some actually length) Stay away from from this glittering crud.
The Bottom Line
Gold covered crud. Pretty, but lacking any definition as to what it is trying to be good at to set it apart.
PlayStation 2 · by VXBlade (2) · 2002
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.
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
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.
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
--> 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.
--> 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
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.
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 (5398) · 2004
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Critic reviews added by Jeanne, Wizo, mikewwm8, Patrick Bregger, nyccrg, Alsy, Cavalary, brentplz, Jacob Gens, Cantillon, Alaka, Big John WV, Xoleras, Lain Crowley, vicrabb, j. jones, Tim Janssen, firefang9212, POMAH.