Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 isn’t fun now but that’s not the point

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is old, clunky and boring, but at the same time I am entranced by it. This is history I’m playing; the game is 18 years old. There’s nothing you can do short of remaking it that’s going to make it feel young and exciting again – and Wizards of the Coast tried that last year with Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, and look how that turned out (clue: not well). So all those lumps and bumps I feel while playing it – all those things that have been smoothed by the many waves of action role-playing games since – I don’t mind them. In fact, I love them, because they’re what revisiting Dark Alliance 2 is all about.

Quick history lesson: Dark Alliance was an experiment, really, in bringing Dungeons & Dragons to console. Interplay didn’t want a slower, wordy adventure like BioWare’s Baldur’s Gate but something more suited to a console audience – something faster, something more action-packed. So it enlisted Snowblind Studios (which would go on to make something of a spiritual successor in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – remember that? We gave it 4/10) to make one. There was reticence but when BG Dark Alliance came out in 2001, it was surprisingly well received, so a sequel was greenlit.

This time, however, the beloved Black Isle Studios would make it. This was the house of Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale and Fallout, a bonafide RPG legend, and its involvement added a layer of intrigue and excitement to the game. But Dark Alliance 2 would also be the last game Black Isle would release, with Interplay closing the studio and laying off all of the staff months before release, and cancelling a Dark Alliance 3 in the process. People from Black Isle would go on to form new studio Obsidian Entertainment thereafter. So there’s all this history wrapped up in the game.

Read more

Go To Source

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


thirteen + 16 =