2022-10-02
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

In the early 2000s, the Dark Alliance subseries of the Baldur’s Gate franchise was created as a way to bring the Baldur’s Gate experience to console players. Due to either hardware limitations or a simple lack of user interest at the time, his traditional Baldur’s Gate computer RPG design wouldn’t work in a console game, so Snowblind decided to go with Dark Alliance’s action RPG. did. It turned out to be the right decision, as audiences loved it, so a sequel was quickly greenlit to keep the momentum going. Now that it’s been re-released on modern platforms, how does it compare? Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is a better game than its predecessor. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for this release.

The plot of Dark Alliance 2 is mostly basic, centering around a vicious vampire who kidnaps the heroes of the first Dark Alliance and terrorizes the area around the city of Baldur’s Gate. You assume the role of a new hero who comes to the city in search of fame and fortune, but your hero eventually becomes involved in an effort to fight vampires and bring peace to the surrounding area.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Review - Screenshots 2/5
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Not much to write home about, but the plot does a great job of setting the scene and ensuring a consistently heavy atmosphere. These can be fun and interesting in their own way, such as when you explore a mysterious mansion and find its owner conducting terrifying experiments. It’s not the focal point, but none of it’s offering is very impressive or interesting, but it does manage to set the tone nicely.

Dark Alliance 2’s gameplay is best described as a simplification of the typical. DiabloWind action RPG format. Start by choosing one of his five character classes (and two unlockable classes) that specialize in different skills and abilities, and set off on a semi-open-world adventure viewed from an isometric angle . The first few hours are relatively linear, but the range gradually widens as more locations are unlocked and more side quests can be obtained from NPCs. Defeating monsters and enemies earns you gold and experience points that you can invest in new gear and class skills. It’s a fine example of the genre in the sense that it ticks all the boxes it needs to, but the execution here is disappointing, to say the least.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Review - Screenshots 3/5
Capturing with Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

The main problem with this setup is that it’s bloody drag Even in the early stages of the campaign. Enemies are rarely challenging enough to pose a real threat to your character, at least on normal difficulty. Only a few can be hit at once, as that was all the original hardware could realistically deal with. This is because your typical fight is simply holding down the attack button, changing positions every now and then and sitting there while your character waits to kill nearby enemies. means

There’s no weight to fight, no dynamics to keep things interesting. Special attacks and spells can help with this a bit, but not enough depth to set up interesting flows for high DPS. Additionally, these special attacks run out of mana ridiculously fast. This means that you either have to keep using his potions to regenerate stamina, or wait a while for it to regenerate.

Build versatility also feels pretty limited, as there aren’t many ways to play around with creative damage mitigation or increase your own output, but the gear system helps slightly in this regard. Shortly after starting the quest, you can start upgrading your gear using the runes and gems you find on your travels. These can imbue armor and weapons with useful properties. Aquamarine, for example, adds cold damage or cold resistance depending on whether it’s slotted into a weapon or armor, and equipping two different gems with both of them fuels the cold damage. A new passive his ability will appear. I appreciate how this system introduces a little more player agency to keep the ongoing grind interesting, but it’s hampered by a shallow skill pool.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Review - Screenshots 4/5
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

Another significant drawback here is that multiplayer is pretty limited. Two player local co-op (same screen, not two separate switches) is supported, but no online, probably because it didn’t work in the original 2004 release. This was certainly acceptable 18 years ago, but today Dark Alliance 2 tends to feel much older. However, I strongly feel that this issue not online should have been addressed when it was decided to remaster this release.

With all that said, the biggest problem at the heart of Dark Alliance 2 is simply that it hasn’t matured enough. Things like small environments and slow, uncomplicated gameplay aren’t perfect. badbut they don’t live up to the design principles of today’s more advanced genres. torch light series (not to mention continue to grow way of exile) So far, everything has skyrocketed in terms of gameplay design and scope beyond what Dark Alliance 2 offers, making it almost impossible to seriously recommend to potential new players. Why bother playing a slow, junky, and overall dull take on a genre that has reached its peak?

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Review - Screenshots 5/5
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

Graphically, it’s clear that Dark Alliance 2 is an update to a much older title, and the results here are a bit middling. Sharper character models, HD textures, and 60 FPS performance are all part of it. , meaning Dark Alliance 2 looks better than ever, but its art style is rather hit and miss given its simplicity. It’s as pragmatic and basic as “high fantasy,” leaving no room for new concepts of flair or imagination. Battle orcs, goblins, and bats that look just like you can imagine, and explore equally ‘safe’ caves, dungeons, and forests. That said, it’s hard to say that it doesn’t have a noteworthy charm. On the one hand, it uses an unimaginable environment design and drab color palette, so there’s not much excitement when you stumble upon another new area. On the other hand, there’s something oddly charming about the more gritty kind of world design here that creates a brooding atmosphere that’s not often seen in recently released games.

Conclusion

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is one of those games that serves as an important reference point in understanding how far the genre has come in the last two decades. What may have once been considered a solid, perhaps slightly bolder example of ARPG, is now steadfastly left behind by newer releases. Slow combat, repetitive environment design, and low build variety all hamper the game quite a bit, but are somewhat rescued by the equipment upgrade system and dark atmosphere. Fans looking for nostalgia will already know what to think of this release and have probably already bought it, but if you’re a newbie looking to buy, I’d recommend giving it a pass. , just not a good enough game to justify its $30 price tag at the time of writing, and there are far better examples of the genre on Switch that are worth your time and money.