The new fantasy action-RPG Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance has arrived, but my excitement has turned into fear as the reviews start to roll in. The game is a spiritual successor to the old Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games on console,though it swaps out the more basic hack and slash style to fancy ability-using action. Unfortunately, players have already reported a number of launch issues - from framerate drops and poor animations, to odd difficulty spikes and broken AI.
Set in the chilly D&D location, the Icewind Dales, Dark Alliance will have you play as one of four characters either solo or in online co-op (local co-op is coming in a later update) battling through goblins galore. Flight Of The Conchords' Jermaine Clement explains it all much better (and funnier) than I can in the trailer below.
Alas, from the sounds of things, D&D: Dark Alliance has a lot of problems that need fixing before it's as fun to play as Jermaine Clement makes it sound. Lots of players are reporting issues with difficulty scaling and AI. Apparently the easier mode is just way too easy, and the harder mode turns enemies into damage sponges, making levels take ages to clear. Others have mentioned that the game has janky controls and stuttering issues, while some have gone so far as to say it feels like it's still in alpha.
It's only been available on Steam for a few hours, but the game is currently sat with a "mostly negative" rating. Yikes. It sounds like it's going to need a handful of patches before it's in a polished state. Which is such a shame! I adore the old Dark Alliance games, and was so looking forward to a new take on them.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is out now on Steam, priced at £35/$40/€40. It's also available on Xbox Game Pass For PC, as well as Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
But perhaps it's better to stick with the oldies for now. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance was recently re-released on consoles, and it's coming to PC later this year. Or you could play the proper old versions of the game if you still have a PS2 or GameCube kicking around (Dark Alliance 2 holds up really well, promise).