Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Overall design, Concept
Bad: Ridiculous amount of bugs present
User Score
4.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Even if you have never played it, you will most definitely have heard of Dungeon & Dragons. Many movies and series have often depicted this fantasy tabletop role-playing game as something for ‘nerds’, even though it has so many people around the globe actually playing it. Although the game was created back in the 1970s, the D&D name is still extremely popular, be it in the form of the original game, but also when looking at movies, literature, and video games. This puts us at our next stop, namely the newly released Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance game. This title, which is developed by Tuque Games and published by Wizards of the Coast, tries to garner more fans into this amazing fantasy universe but is sadly held back by the clear lack of testing of the development team.

Story

If we have to be completely honest, we are familiar with Dungeons & Dragons as a whole, but not with the specific period Dark Alliance situates itself in. We reckon you’ll get a lot more entertainment out of this title if you know the lore and storylines pertaining to the Dark Crystal, but even so, with our limited knowledge, we very much enjoyed the plot that was unveiled in Dark Alliance.

You’ll take up arms as one of four known characters in the universe, to once again stop the threat of the Dark Crystal. You’ll wade through different famous environments in the D&D universe, to end up cutting down who crosses your path. The overall premise is appealing, and this is also mainly thanks to the overall presentation of the story snippets.

Graphics

Dark Alliance is very much a mixed bag when it comes to its graphical quality. Overall, the game looks great, especially when taking a closer look at the environments and the backdrops. There are stellar views to behold, and many details to be found in the overall level design. This sadly gets somewhat interrupted by the very bland cast of main characters, as well as the constant copy-pasting of enemy models. The latter are always carbon copies of their fellow henchmen, not even showing any signs of diversity. While many enemies still look impressive, it would have helped a lot if they spiced things up with different pieces of armor, some different facial features, some a tad more battle-worn than others, and so on.

Sound

In terms of sound, there is not that much to say. The overall sound design has been handled with care, as the game has a proper cinematic backdrop, and the cinematics are accompanied by high-quality voice acting. The adventurous soundtrack, as well as the proper story sequences, allow you to deeply immerse yourself in the story, even if this is a rinse-repeat experience in terms of growing stronger and gaining better loot.

Gameplay

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is an Action RPG that has you play through fairly short levels, with a maximum of four players. While you can play this game on your own, it is heavily advised to play with friends, or join random games online, as you’ll have a hard time making progress on your own. Nonetheless, you pick one of four different heroes, and you are pretty much immediately on route to your first quest. These small quests are simply small dungeons in which you have to complete the end objective, with a few detours available for some extra (and hopefully shiny) loot. The offset is simple, as you have a few button combinations for your main skills, while having the ability to unlock new skills and combos, creating a bit of an incentive to keep going.

While the overall offset, concept, and core of the game are quite amusing for multiplayer play, the game suffers from many different issues, some even game-breaking. First of all, the game is absolutely unbalanced if you wish to play it on your own. Dark Alliance is very much a multiplayer experience through and through, to the point you can hardly progress at certain points if you don’t attempt to join random lobbies. Other than that, the game is riddled with so many bugs, where you experience random crashes in levels, making you lose all the loot of said level. This even occurs after the level’s tally screen, where all loot is even presented to you, to then never be able to exit the level, having to force close the game and lose your loot. Other party members also experienced a complete loss of progress resetting them to level 1 or bugs where depleted HP bars of enemies would remain visible throughout the entire gaming session. Smaller mishaps like skills not triggering, the jump action not working, or enemies just attacking our character, for another player to be hit, also occurred constantly. It’s absolutely ludicrous how many bugs there are present in the game, making it clear that the early adopters of the game are actually beta testers, instead of valued customers deserving of a completely polished experience.

Conclusion

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance could have been a massive hit, even with its somewhat shallow RPG components. The overall environments and story lend themselves perfectly for an epic dungeon crawler and even the fairly simplistic core gameplay loop has its merits. Sadly, this could-be amusing D&D experience is completely held back by the hordes of bugs present in the game, making you lose progress, experience random crashes, or just die even though the enemy was targetting another player. This game could have been a diamond, but it is currently still buried deep underneath a pile of dirt, desperately waiting to be polished.

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Rating: 4.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance - Review, 4.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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