Friday, January 06, 2006

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II

Set in the very popular Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons world, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II is the sequel to the very popular Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance game released back in 2001 for the Playstation 2. I've been looking forward to this as I'd finished the original Dark Alliance some time ago and have been looking for the sequel, at a decent price, for absolutely ages but with no luck at all.

Anyway, the kids got me this for Christmas and it's been seriously eating into my waking hours over the break. Taking off where Dark Alliance I finished, The three heroes from the first game: Vahn the Arcane Archer, Kromlech the Dwarven Fighter and Adrianna the Elven Sorceress come out of the portal, having defeated Eldrith the Betrayer in the Onyx Tower, surrounded by strange creatures. Leading these creatures is someoned named Mordoc SeLanmere. As Vahn, Kromlech and Adrianna are captured, the game begins as a new group of adventurers make their way south, along the Trade Way, towards Baldur's Gate...

The gameplay follows the usual RPG format of fighting and exploring your way through a series of missions while collecting loot and weapons and gaining experience to make you characters stronger and more powerful. Nothing really new in this but it's simply done and is pretty addictive. There are lots of weapons, armour, magic, artefacts and monsters, etc. to keep you engrossed for ages. The main new feature in this version is the ability to manufacture your own magic weapons, armour and artefacts. Basically you combine good quality equipment with rune stones and gems to create a magically endowed version of it. Adds a bit of depth and variety to the game. The graphics are very nicely done as well and the game is played on a well-detailed 3D/isometric map. It all adds up to a fairly rewarding experience.

There are four main acts to the game and each act contains various missions and there are over 40 levels involved in all of this. I'm still on the first act so there's a long way to go yet...

Platform: Sony Playstation 2
Genre: Adventure, RPG
My Rating: 8/10

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