Armchair Empire Home

 

Platform: PS2, Xbox

Genre: Action RPG

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Black Isle

ETA: Q4 2003

 

Related Links:

Review: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Gamecube)

Review: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Playstation 2)

Review: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Xbox)

Interview: Dave Maldonado, Lead Designer on BG:DA2

 

 

 

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Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2

baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-xbox-11.jpg (24378 bytes)   baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-xbox-2.jpg (49597 bytes)   baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-xbox-3.jpg (46877 bytes)

Above: Screens for Xbox Version of Dark Alliance 2

Baldur’s Gate has easily established itself as one of the finest PC RPG franchises to come along, then after four installments on that platform it successfully made the leap to all three major consoles in the form of a very well done action RPG.  Now we have a sequel on the way that looks to pick up where the first game let off.  

Features:

- Game spans 5 acts and more than 40 levels

- Takes place in the Forgotten Realms®

- 5 new customizable characters, each with distinctive powers, appearances and abilities that develop throughout the game

- Graphically stunning environments, hundreds of new items, D&D monsters, weapons, spells, enchanted items, potions

- An inventive system, which allows players to create their own ultimate magical artifacts

- Intuitive, console-friendly controls, including improved aiming and blocking systems and a new “Shift” system, allowing for faster switching of spells & abilities

baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-ps2-1.jpg (21348 bytes)   baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-ps2-2.jpg (43094 bytes)   baldurs-gate-dark-alliance-2-ps2-3.jpg (42368 bytes)

Above: Screens for PS2 Version of Dark Alliance 2

The ability to create your own magic artifacts certainly raises an eyebrow, since those sort of systems often have an innate ability to keep players busy trying to make something useful.  

The weapon and item building in Diablo 2, Throne of Darkness, and the Dark Cloud series has proven great fun, hopefully the same will hold true here.

 

The only real major concern for the game would have to be its length.  The original Dark Alliance absolutely flew by, even on the higher difficulties.  Dark Alliance 2 looks to have 5 acts in it, just like the first game, so it seems likely that the two games may be of similar length, but hopefully each of the acts in this sequel will have more meat on their bones than the first.

 

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To Dark Alliance 2's advantage, its predecessor clocks in as one of the most visually mystifying games to be released this generation.  Packed full of amazing water and lighting effects, with tight animation and very crisp presentation, the first Dark Alliance was very, very easy on the eyes.  At this point fans expect nothing but the best from Dark Alliance 2 visually, and obviously the developers of the game know it making it likely that eye candy will most certainly abound in this sequel.

 

While the nitty-gritty details are still unavailable for this game, it'll prove interesting to see how Black Isle can improve on a title that did such a fine job of getting things right.  We'll just have to wait till the Christmas season to find out.

- Mr. Nash

(April 6, 2003)