previews\ May 17, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 - XB - Preview

E3 2002 First Look


Last year Black Isle Studios got a pleasant surprise when copies of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance flew off the shelves at an unexpected rate.  Powered by incredible graphics, addictive action-oriented gameplay, and an RPG element that doesn’t require a veteran Dungeon Master, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance proved that RPGs and action can mix for a successful lend on home consoles. 


BGDA2 continues off where the first title ended.  There’s a new problem in the realm, and it will be up to five new characters to bring peace back to Amn.  New to this year’s roster is the Human Barbarian, the Dark Elf Monk, the Moon Elf Necromancer, the Dwarven Treasure Hunter, and the Human Cleric.  The merry adventurers have 40 levels to play through that should keep them busy for more than an estimated twenty hours of gameplay, almost twice as long as the original title (one of the chief complaints of the first game was its brevity).  Further lengthening the game is its non-linear playability, meaning players will have to choose their options wisely as some quests won’t be available too long, increasing the replay value.  


“We tried to balance offense and defense more this year,” said Kevin Osburn, Associate Producer at Black Isle Studios.  He then rattled off a list of numerous defensive spells that will add even more depth to the game.  Characters can also dual class later in the game on their way to a maximum level of 40.  The popular ability to play cooperatively will also return this year. 


New to this edition of the game is the ability to forge magical weapons.  The details haven’t been solidified, but these new magical weapons should keep the originality content very high.  Incredible amounts of detail have also been added to armor, weapons, and characters, to make the game even more beautiful than its predecessor.  The Xbox version will also have downloadable content via Xbox Live.  Osburn also hinted at a few surprises, but not even a Vorpal Sword + 2 could get the information out of him. 


Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II is scheduled for release this Winter.


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