User Rating: 6.2 | Champions of Norrath PS2
The game has just released so I have not had the chance to complete it but after spending some 3 hours with the game here are my thoughts. A bit disappointed. I had just completed BG:Dark Alliance 2 prior to beginning this game and needless to say I can't avoid comparing the two. After reading all the previews, and the 8.5 it received from Gamespot, I expected it to be much better than DA2. It is, in several areas... namely the graphics, but glaringly lacking in several others. If you want to hear the good things about the title, u can find it in the Gamespot review, so I will go straight to what disappointed me... the biggest complaint, the sound. Music is overall good, well in line with everquest, but sound effects in general are very lacking... the game seems... quiet. With a dungeon crawl/hack and slash game like this, sound effects adds a whole lot to the atmosphere... but in Norrath, there seem to be a strange silence. When I am hacking an orc over the head with a mace, I want to hear their skull crack, but for some reason I just don't feel the excitement of the battle. Some times it even appears the sound effects are glitched so it doesn't play every single time you hit an enemy, or open a chest, or smash a barrel. On the other hand Dark Alliance did a great job with this. Another complaint is with the inventory interface... Norrath basically took the exact same interface from diablo, which is not necessarily bad but considering we are using a PS2 controller and not a mouse, using a free floating cursor just don't make a much sense... and what's the point of using a grid interface when u can't rearrange your gears easily. On top of that when purchasing items from a merchant there is no way to compare your current equipement and the one u're looking to buy... this forces u to jump back and forth between the buy and sell interface just to check statistics. This can get especially frustrating when playing multiplayer when u have to wait for other player(s) to check the stats of their items when upgrading. To sum it up, this game is basically Diablo in Norrath, same interface, same randomly generated dungeons, lots of things to kill, lots of items to pick up, it is identical down to the way your player levels up. I'm going to disagree with most people here and go ahead and say with the exception of graphics I found BG: Dark Alliance 2 a more enjoyable game.