Search The Forgotten Realms Lyceum

Monday, July 5, 2021

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance - How good is it?

In my post two weeks ago I mentioned I was going to give some thoughts on the new Dungeons & Dragons video game: Dark Alliance. While I’ve yet to complete the game I have played several hours and have a level eight character. I would still like to play more. 

Dark Alliance is a sort of reboot or spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, a spin-off of the Baldur’s Gate video game series. It’s an action RPG, meaning strong focus is on fast-paced “kill everything in sight” combat. It’s decent fun with friends, but a little on the challenging side when playing solo.  

The game is nice to look at, even on my original Xbox One from 2013. Though I still find more appeal in the style of a game like Neverwinter (2013 MMO) more. For example Kelvin’s Cairn is huge. The home of Clan Battlehammer is large and epically extravagant, unlike its book counterpart. The game definitely has a multiplicity of bugs and glitches currently as well.

a tablet of Ostoria
Lore wise, it’s 1356 DR, just after The Crystal Shard. Obviously the books don’t acknowledge these events. The game gets its name from the loose alliance the leaders of many evil factions set against the Companions of the Hall. Regis is not a playable character, so be aware. There also is no caster to play as, since no one at this stage is in the books. 

You face factions of ice giants, goblins, duergar, and undead under the leadership of a returned Akar Kessell (I’m not sure if this would mess with any lore of Legacy of the Crystal Shard adventure). We also have Icewind, the mate of Icingdeath, which they retconned to say she is the namesake behind the Dale. The tone is very much not serious, and if you’re a big fan of lore there honestly isn’t much here. There are tomes and tablets that are interesting to look at however, but most lore is rather basic. Many of these tablets are from ancient giant society, specifically from Ostoria Oddly they don’t use dethek, but the logographic runes for divination purposes shown in Storm King’s Thunder. 

Unsurprisingly to anyone who reads this blog regularly, I’m not happy that they chose these characters. They stuck themselves over 100 years before the current D&D plot line, give us silly enemies, and make it known that they didn’t really have much of a Realms expert on hand that could have really made the game awesome for a lore junky like me. I think so lesser known characters, or even some new ones set during current events would have been better, but Drizzt makes up some sales when the game isn't outstanding.

Overall, as mindless fun, it works. If you want good lore, I’d bet on the upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3 for more goodies. If you happen to be a huge fan of the Legend of Drizzt, this could also be your thing. I will play a little more but I think after that I will likely put the game down and I don't know if I'll ever come back. 

Have you played? What are your thoughts?


You can track my current progress here.

No comments:

Post a Comment