Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance review

Roben Walker

Need to know

What is it? A fantasy action RPG with co-op.
Expect to pay £35/$40
Developer Tuque Games
Publisher Wizards of the Coast
Reviewed on RTX 2080 Super, Intel i7-9700K, 16GB RAM
Multiplayer 1-4
Link Official site

Dark Alliance is Dungeons & Dragons without the dice rolls. It’s an intense, combat-focused action RPG where you slay monsters, collect loot, and fight alongside a party of powerful heroes—but without the usual trappings of a traditional RPG. There are no walls of dialogue or deep, lengthy quests to be found here. Just a lot of goblins and other foul beasts to kill, and some very impressive looking locations to do it in.

In Dark Alliance we follow the Companions of the Hall, a legendary band of adventurers led by D&D favourite Drizzt Do’urden, as they search for a magical MacGuffin called the Shard. Armies of villains and monsters from all corners of Faerûn—the titular dark alliance—are lusting after the Shard and the power it holds, and you have to stop them. It’s a pretty standard fantasy plot, but given weight and authenticity by the involvement of veteran D&D scribe, and teller of some of Icewind Dale’s most memorable tales, R.A. Salvatore. The story takes place just after The Crystal Shard, the first novel in the author’s Icewind Dale trilogy, meaning there’s plenty of crossover with the books.

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Icewind Dale is a chilly, frozen tundra, and one of the most storied and evocative regions of Faerûn. Fans of Black Isle’s classic Infinity Engine RPG of the same name will get an extra kick out of returning to this frosty realm of ice dragons, snowbound mountain passes, and deep dwarven halls. It’s Dungeons & Dragons at its best, and an enjoyably dramatic backdrop for an action RPG. The world is immense in scale and layered with history, and it’s one of the most vibrant, vivid depictions of the Forgotten Realms I’ve seen in a game. Dark Alliance is a linear action game, so you don’t get to explore the world as thoroughly as you would in an RPG. But what’s there is stunning to look at.

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