Review by Big Man 316

"A promising return to Baldur's Gate"

I've always been a AD&D fan, and when I saw Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, I didn't get my hopes up, 'cause it'd probably be crappy, I thought. Then I played it and was immediately sold. This game really does justice to the Baldur's Gate series, and I can only hope that a Diablo II is on the way to consoles.

Graphics 8/10: The graphics in Baldur's Gate are higher than average, but seem to be rushed in some areas. Water effects are great, sparks fly from weapons when they clash, and blood splashes from wounds you inflict. Some enemies could be a little more detailed, and more interactive objects could've been added. Other than that, the graphics are brilliant, and the lighting effects are the best I've seen thus far.

Sound 8/10: Water splashes, weapons clang, and enemies shout, and there's a nice round of cheesy voices mixed in. The music is par for the course, and makes a nice background tune. You'll find yourself concentrating more on battle than the music, though, but in some places, you'll only know the enemy is near if you can hear it growl. Cool stuff, indeed.

Control 10/10: Your guy handles like a dream, and attacks and combos are simple to pull off, as is healing, using magic, and switching weapons. A nice looking menu lets you check weapon and armor stats, as well as your inventory and your own character stats. The controls are simple to learn, and each weapon seems to handle differently. You manually aim your arrows, and that can get tedious when pinned down, but other than that, the controls are excellent.

Gameplay 10/10: This game is like the Diablo II of the consoles. The hack and slash adventure is simple to control, fun to play, and easy to get into. I love simple games, so how much simpler can you get than a guy running around dungeons, beating on monsters, and finding treasure? Of course, the magic weapons, various feats, and some tough enemies tend to break up the simplicity, but that's fine by me. If you're into RPGs and Diablo, and such, and especially if you're a AD&D fan, you'll have a ball with Baldur's Gate. I know I did.

Buy/Rent?: Once again, if you're an AD&D or RPG fan, you'll want to consider buying this game. Also, if you enjoyed Gauntlet Legends or Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, or Diablo II, then check this game out.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/10/02, Updated 01/10/02

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