Our final impressions of Dark Alliance


With only two weeks left until its release, we recently received another invitation to experience the frozen lands of Icewind Dale in D&D: Dark Alliance, this time to see what it’s like to play with a full team of 4 powerful heroes.

Dark Alliance is not to be confused with the 2001 classic Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for the PS2 era that will be re-released for the next generation consoles. As Dark Alliance is a cooperative action game with an RPG-style progression system based on characters and events from D&D novels from the 80’s and 90’s. You will play as one of the four Companions of the Hall, famous adventurers in the game world, where you will stab, smash, slash and shoot your way through a non-linear series of stages filled with famous fantasy monsters to collect stacks of awesome loot, and also, save the world on your way from destruction If you are interested in that.

It was good to finally see what the Dark Alliance experience with a full four-player group looked like… and it was as chaotic as I expected. I’ve often eliminated an enemy by making a plan about who I should attack next, but when I look back I find the field is already cleared of enemies, or in complete disarray. I’m sure this is partly due to the fact that we’re not yet experts in the mechanics of the game, and having some connection issues during the remote play session didn’t help either. But I’m looking forward to getting the time to really get to know the battle system, as after looking closely at the upgrade trees in them, there seem to be a lot of context specific moves that you can unlock to create some interesting combos.

Connection problems aside, the demo wasn’t without technical issues either. UI elements may disappear from time to time, animations sometimes lag or stutter, and some enemies refuse to fall even when they lose their health, but the developers said they’re aware of these issues, so hopefully they’ll be fixed within the weeks. pre-launch. I also had some issues with input lag with navigation during what was supposed to be platform play and simple exploration, but I hope it was caused by the fact that I had to play through a game streaming service. Regardless, I owe an apology to my teammates for my character’s inability to land successfully when jumping through lava pits, but I’m happy to say that on the whole I still found the session more fun than frustrating.

Despite our fun and challenging time scouting around the demo stage (believe I say, we’ve been stuck in these sticky traps for a long time), we managed to get every battle done on CR1 difficulty. I don’t mean to brag, but we managed to take down the ultimate quest boss in literally 20 seconds. We decided to give the mission another shot at the next level of higher difficulty, and it was a pleasant surprise to find ourselves getting defeated every step of the way. Even as we took every little break we had to recharge our health and potions, we barely reached the halfway point before we had to give up.

Since this was only the second difficulty out of 6 difficulty levels, I’m curious what changes will happen at higher levels than just enemies having more HP and more damage, although I’m not sure that would be a challenge enough by itself. The developers told us that it would largely come down to how well your gear set was, although they did make sure that it wasn’t just about loot, and that with a full squad and enough skill, the team would be able to beat higher difficulty levels even if they didn’t. He was not carrying strong equipment.

We also took a closer look at some of the details of the progression system more than just getting sharper swords. Our characters were all at level 5 (out of 20) and we’ve already unlocked a whole host of attacks and combos, as well as some feats, which in D&D equal perks in other systems. They can range from useful boosts like extra gold drops or elemental resistance, to offensive items like extra damage against elite enemies, or more specific rewards, like reviving full health instead of just a portion of health. . Some of them had level requirements, although the highest one I saw was level 10, so there may be more unlockables that appear once you get past that limit.

The team was also excited to talk about their post-launch plans, which currently include two free bonus content packs that add new stages and difficulty levels, as well as a paid story expansion introducing a new playable Mage. But the most notable addition for me is the local co-op that comes via an update along with the first two additions. I had a great time beating orcs with a team of 4 Online, but I feel the real fun of Dark Alliance will be with a friend sitting next to me on the couch. Hopefully, the final weeks before launch will give the team enough time to solve some of these technical issues, so I can say with certainty that it was no one else’s fault in Faerun’s most famous adventure getting killed. or console. In fact, it’s most likely the console’s fault.

Translated by Dima Muhanna


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