Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II Updated Impressions

We take a quick look at the upcoming action RPG sequel at Gen Con Indy 2003.

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We were able to see the Xbox version of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II in action at the new Indianopolis-based Gen Con consumer event. The game is extremely far along and very much on schedule--at this point, about 90 percent of the game's whopping 80 levels are already complete and implemented. The development team is currently in the process of shaping up the last few levels and polishing and balancing the existing content. All five of the game's playable characters are already implemented and working, including the human barbarian, the elf necromancer, and the dark elf monk, all of which will use the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rule set with regard to their magic spells and special abilities, which remain mostly true to the heroic feat system of Dungeons & Dragons.

As we've seen previously, the developer is attempting to not fix what wasn't broken to begin with, so the original game's translucent minimap (which appeared in the upper right corner of the screen) will appear in the sequel, as will the original game's easy-to-use system of mapping feats and items to specific buttons on the Xbox controller. Dark Alliance II will feature cooperative, same-screen multiplayer gameplay for up to two players on the same console, and though the Xbox version of the game won't support online play over Xbox Live, the development team has apparently expressed interest in supporting online play in a future sequel, should the opportunity arise to make one.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will be the action RPG sequel to the original game, and it will let you play as a high-fantasy character and hack and slash your way through waves of enemies, while assuming major and minor quests for varying rewards of items or experience points. The game is scheduled for release later this year.

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