Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is set in the tundra region of Icewind Dale, a name that many Dungeons & Dragons fans should know by now. With the story taking place after the 1988 novel, The Crystal Shard within The Forgotten Realms timeline. It features many characters from the R. A. Salvatore’s novel series including Drizzt and Wulfgar
Anyway within the game each mission is activated through the world map and consists of 3 Acts. Each mission also comes with its own set of optional objectives too, these often include collecting a certain amount of items and or defeating certain foes. Completing these is, as said, optional and plays no affect on the overall story.
Whilst not in a mission players can gather and gear up in the lobby whilst they wait for the next mission.
This location is where you can also purchase new gear and improve your abilities.
Speaking of abilities the skill tree within the game also requires you to spend gold, which you can collect on your travels through opening treasure chests or just randomly finding it on the floor
The online play is rather fun with players being able to assemble in a lobby and select a mission to embark on from the typical story board, though unless you are in a private lobby, then only the designated leader can select the mission and this is chosen at random.
Missions can then be replayed as many times as one sees fit, whilst other players can come and join that lobby at any given time. Though, if you join up late you will automatically be kicked due to a set mission timer that plays when other players are ready. No more having to wait for those particular time wasters, yes it does happen but thankfully in other titles. Voice chat is enabled for this game so players can strategize each mission accordingly, and the game allows for up to 4-players to join and select from various different difficulties Obviously the higher the difficulty the greater the rewards.
For those who prefer to play solo however, then the option is of course there. You do not need to play online and though there is still a bit of a difficulty spike you can always adjust this with the difficulty settings within the mission menu. The only real difficulty spike occurs during the latter half of the game, which in a way is to be expected.
The game also allows you to pick between several different characters, all of which are pregenerated. You have your basic Dungeons and Dragons style classes such as the Barbarian, Ranger and Fighter. Each character comes with their own set of abilities and the option to select a specific Feat.
These Feats can improve your character either as a fighter or as a ranger, depending on what playstyle you prefer to use. With the Hunter feat prioritising damage and the Ranger mainly for the armor improvement upgrades.
Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance is an alright game, it is as the developers said, better enjoyed online with other people. It was intended to be this way and it certainly shows. Playing solo with very minimal story and having to repeat the same actions over and over can get very boring and repetitive rather quickly.
Another thing that we had issues with is with the limited menu system when out in a mission. Though, for some this might not be a big thing, but its rough when you happen to stumble upon a nice weapon or a lore book which you cannot equip or read until after the mission has ended.
Perhaps this feature was implemented due to the online aspect and given the lobby timer, they didn’t want people to be slowing things down for others and thus potentially ruining the experience. Either this or equipping gear during a mission had some sort of effect on the chosen mission difficulty. Either way you need to wait until you return to the lobby to be able to do these things, unfortunately.
Also, as more or less said before, if you came hoping for a good story experience then chances are you will find yourself being disappointed.
This is not a story driven title, in fact most of the game is very linear. It is mainly and mostly all gameplay with very little cinematic story, you simply run into a mission and complete it and that is all there is to it. Most of the story comes from the lore collectibles that you need to find during each mission, so I hope you like reading.
With this style of gameplay and mechanics, it can certainly feel like a lot of the game has been rushed. The missions are quite short, and as said, linear. The optional collectibles can certainly give each mission a bit more depth to it, but in reality a lot of these are also rather repetitive and we often found ourselves having to collect and complete the same objectives once again. This also goes for the main story objectives too.
So overall it is an okay game that is highly recommended to play amongst friends. I also would try to hold off on purchasing it at full price, perhaps waiting for it to go on sale is the safer option.
- Developer: Tuque Games
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Release Date: June 22nd, 2021
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox One, XBox Series X/S
Genre: Action RPG
Main Story Length: 12-15 Hours
Platinum Trophy Length:
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 5
- Overall Rating: 3/5 (Okay)