D & D without the sweaty Dungeon Master!

User Rating: 8.5 | Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PCCW The Best) PS2
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is the first game I've played that truly gave me what I wanted in a Dungeons & Dragons based video game experience. It plops the player smack in the middle of a conspiracy to take over the city of Baldur's Gate and sends them on a quest through the Forgotten Realms to stop it.

Gameplay-The isometric viewpoint of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is absolutely perfect for this type of game. It, along with the perfect controls, make combat much easier and reduce the amount of cheap deaths you'll suffer.

There are three different characters to choose from: the dwarven fighter, the elven mage, and the human archer. While the story remains the same for each character, their different styles make each adventure a little different.

To get the most fun out of this game, you're going to need a friend. While it's all kinds of fun to smash your way through this game on your own, playing with a buddy is pure gold. There's just something viscerally satisfying about plowing through hordes of enemies with a pal.

Visuals-The viewpoint that makes the combat so perfect also hinders the graphics just a bit. You're so far away from the action that a lot of the enemies and items don't hold a lot of detail (especially the smaller ones). Whenever you break into conversation, the close-up shots look very good, and that makes up for it a bit. The enviroments are also nicely done, if a bit repetitive.

Sound-While your character doesn't have a voice aside from an occasional grunt or observation, the other characters have plenty to say...and it's excellent. The voice acting in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is extremely well done, only occasionally veering into campy territory. The music is moody and fits the subject matter quite well.

Value-You can play this game from start to finish in around eight hours. But it makes its money in the multiplayer mode. It's just plain fun. And the quest itself is enough fun to actually play through a few times.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is, simply put, a great game. It has no major flaws and is one of the more engaging dungeon hacks out there. If you're a fan of action RPGs, this game is worth picking up.