Review by xFallenAngelx

"An awesome hack 'n slash RPG"

Some say Baldur's Gate is a Diablo clone, which is pretty much true. However, it has enough originality to still be a fun, fresh idea.

Gameplay: 9/10 In Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, you choose between an archer, a dwarf, or a female mage. With them, you can level up and gain abilities just like an RPG. The rest of the game consists of solving simple puzzles, defeating bosses, and of course, slashing rats, ogres, or jello cubes to mush. Depending on which character you chose, your strategy will differ. With the archer, you shoot enemies from far away, with the dwarf, you kick some booty up close, and with the female mage, you blast enemies away with lightning, fire, etc. If you choose, you can beat the game with a delightful co-op adventure. However, this is not necessary. The game is fun enough on its own.

Audio: 9/10 The music from this game is quite memorable. I especially like the intro music. During the game, medieval orchestra music is played in the background, providing a fitting mood for this game. The enemies' moans, screams, and screeches are very satisfying. When the jello cubes throw smaller jello cubes, it sounds like it would. When your archer grunts, it also sounds like it would. Actually, your character does a fair amount of talking in this game. I like the dwarf's voice especially, he's hilarious. I found no voice acting problems in this game except for one. That being the guy in the bar who tells you to go find him some liquor. He sounds like Mr. Burns, but 30 years younger and with a hernia.

Controls: 10/10 These are just fine. Metal Gear: Solid-type menu selection in the corner, one button for magic, one for using your weapon, one for jumping. (Although I have found few uses for jumping in this game). You can rotate the camera with the shoulder buttons, as well. The conrols are very responsive.

Story: 6/10 Considering that there is a possible 3 characters (and I think a few more) don't expect character-specific cut scenes. Actually, in the whole game, I think there are only two. There is a thieves guild that stole your money and weapons right at the beginning of the game, so you go after them. Eventually, you find a much greater power underneath it (I'm not spoiling anything), and you go kick their butt. Whole story.

Graphics: 10/10 To make up for the lack of cut scenes, Blizzard (Baldur's Gate developers) made the in-game graphics spectacular. I'm sure you've all heard of the damn beautiful ripply water effects. When you are up-close and talking to townspeople, they look great (especially the barkeep). There is much variety in environments, spanning from big, evil castle to mucky swamp. The enemies look cool too, like the jello. (sorry I keep mentioning that)
No problems here.

Replayability: 9/10 Much replayability is here. The game is completely different (strategy-wise) depending on your character. The game is also a blast with a buddy.

Rent/Buy: If you don't mind hack 'n slash action, no problems here. Buy.


Simple, fun gameplay
Great audio
Flawless controls
2-player mode


Not very deep story
Lack of cut scenes

I think this game is awesome, and unless you have a problem with simple, fun gameplay. If you don't, go buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/04/02, Updated 07/04/02

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