Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, the tried

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, the tried

Dungeons & Dragons

A year and a few months. This is the time between the first announcement and our test of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance. The title was shown with great fanfare during the 2019 Game Awards, and since then very little information about the product from Tuque Games and Wizards of the Coast has come down to us. Often, in such situations, radio silence means poor game health or a reset of work due to some impeding situation or insurmountable problem. In this case, however, it is pure and simple willingness to work, so as not to excessively raise expectations. What we have come across is a surprisingly more impactful title than we could have imagined. We tell you our preliminary impressions on Dungeons & Dragons; Dark Alliance in our tried.

Adventures at Icewind Dale

The goal of Tuque Games and Wizards of the Coast is simple: to bring the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden and his company back to life in a new way. Forgotten Realms. The idea then is to accomplish this feat by involving the greatest number and type of players, avoiding embracing only the most loyal fans. For this reason, therefore, the game is part of a genre, that of third-person coop action RPGs, which is currently certainly one of the most popular in the market. In doing so, however, it exploits a series of features that as we will see make it very peculiar and intriguing. On a narrative level, it will launch you into the icy tundra of Icewind Dale, to defeat the monsters that haunt it in what is a fight against darkness but also against fate. Being able to defeat the adversity that will stand between you and your goal will be the main engine of the adventure. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, however, is a title that focuses heavily on gameplay, on synergies with comrades in arms and on the increasing level of challenge than on hard and pure narrative.

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance: some of the creatures you will face And it is precisely starting from this key point that the construction of the game ecosystem must be read. There will not be a classic division between story and secondary activities, but your way of playing will be managed within a game hub (accessible both individually and by your allies when you are together) in which to program each action and then subsequently embark in various activities. NPCs to interact with (blacksmith, vendors, etc.), but also the map to choose your next destination and many little secrets will be hidden in this hub that struck us both for the intuitiveness of navigation (not very dispersive, easy to understand and quick to explore) and the number of activities to be carried out within it.

Once the logistics of your characters have been fixed, it will be time to decide what to do. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance perfectly combines two worlds: that of the campaigns of the pen & paper game and that of recent video games such as Monster Hunter. We could have cited MMOs to guarantee you an effective similarity on how important the loot and completing activities are to obtain it, but as far as we have seen, many ideas have reminded us of some peculiarities of the Capcom title. In Monster Hunter, the preparation for a hunt, facing a certain enemy to obtain a set of weapons and armor but also the progress of the story, all revolve around precise mechanisms, synergies with allies and the ability to manage battles already in the gaming hub, all elements that have come in handy again in this case. In Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance you will have to hunt monsters from Icewind Dale, choosing which mission to face, between normal or more complex dungeons always to get new loot, hunting different monsters and trying to better face the situations that the maps and opponents could conceal.

Unexpected fun and depth

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance: Drizzt and his abilities Once the battle is planned and the mission started, you will be in the action. The proposed coop reaches up to four players and the playable characters will be: Drizzt Do'Urden, Catti-brie, Bruenor and Wulfgar, each with his own personal style of play and with his skills and synergies. The mechanics of the party, born before the role-playing game and then used in various forms in many video games, here finds its most practical application: Warrior, Barbarian, Assassin and Ranger come together in a set of possible combinations that make it really fun and well successful action in battle. Immobilizing a group of enemies to then stun them with a forest of arrows and finish them off with a giant hammer from above is not easy to implement, but it is extremely fun to do.

The commands are the classic ones of the genre: attack light, heavy attack, jump, dodge, parry, two skills and the ultimate. However, the combat system is stratified: not only are there contextual attacks such as attack in jumping, running, after a dodge and so on, but also combos based on the sequence of keys pressed and synergies with status effects or attacks by allies . An immobilized enemy, for example, will suffer a different attack than a situation in which it is free to move. The same goes for the physics of blows and bodies. An enemy that takes a powerful blow after a sequence of light thrusts could take more damage, the limbs of a large enemy could suffer different mutilations and / or damage, but especially small enemies could be thrown into the air or around for the map from large weapons thus activating spectacular eliminations and / or environmental contusion damage. This kind of depth was what we didn't expect and what impressed us the most. The coop full of these mechanics and embellished by the synergies between the various members of the party was really a pleasant surprise.

Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance: the bigger they are, the more they make noise when they fall Even the technical sector surprised us, on a visual level the title is very pleasant, with peaks of excellence in the artistic side. What stands out is obviously the characterization of environments and monsters that draws heavily from a cauldron of opportunities guaranteed by the lore of Dungeons & Dragons of the highest level. Even the stability during the test (a title played on a streaming platform and therefore subject to possible variations in connectivity) was excellent, with a title that only in a couple of extremely excited cases showed some drops. For this kind of judgment, however, it will be necessary to wait for a test different from the one performed. Even from the point of view of the loot and equipment, as well as from that of the aesthetic personalization and ability of the character, the judgment must be postponed. We could not try anything different from the setup offered to us, but we were able to observe how what was collected (including material for crafting) is still central to the game experience.

The last mention must go to two elements that have really impressed us: the sound sector and the management of the save points. As for the first point, the game seemed to us to be of a very high level. Music, ambient audio, even songs sung by enemies to best characterize them have impressed us both in the cutscenes and in-game. The management of savepoints is instead something to be explored but which on paper has great potential. In fact, you can decide to never rest during a dungeon, avoiding saving, to influence the loot making the challenge more exciting (if you die, you will have to start over). This choice will not be irreversible (if at a certain checkpoint you want to rest you can do it), but if you can complete the mission without resting and saving, then you will guarantee yourself a decidedly high degree loot.

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance was a surprise. The first approach with the title has definitely shown that the good intentions of Tuque Games and Wizards of the Coast did not remain just that. The game showed potential by drawing different mechanics from a few cornerstones of the genre and putting its personality in the form of artistic character, scenery, lore and customization. The combat system and the coop seemed like a good beating heart on which to create a solid scaffolding. To find out if this structure will allow the title to survive in the sea of ​​sharks of the market we will have to wait for the release, but in the meantime the judgment is positive. The idea of ​​missions, loot, monster hunts and their preparation and the alchemy of the various characters are on paper an excellent starting point that will be supported by a conspicuous longevity and replayability, as well as a more accentuated depth than that. which we have for now, positively, only scratched.


Combat System fun and stimulating Artistically fascinating Characters well characterized and peculiar DOUBTS To be judged longevity and replayability It must be even more profound in the long run The whole system of dungeons and rewards still need to be analyzed

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