Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is a series of action role-playing games developed exclusively for game consoles. The first game in a series, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, was developed by Snowblind Studios for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, with versions for the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube released in 2002. A Game Boy Advance version of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance was also released in 2004 by Magic Pockets. The sequel to the game, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, was developed by Black Isle Studios for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, released in 2004.

Like the Baldur's Gate series for the PC, the Dark Alliance series is set along the Sword Coast and Western Heartlands, two locations from the popular Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms campaign setting. However, the Dark Alliance series and the PC Baldur's Gate series are often not seen as part of the same universe, as they differ heavily in plot and gameplay. The Dark Alliance series takes place after the PC Baldur's Gate series.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance[]

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an action role-playing game developed by Snowblind Studios for the PlayStation 2, and later for the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, originally released in 2001. It began the Dark Alliance series of games.

The battle system in the game is simplistic, but allows for customizability. The human archer, for example, can assign experience points to enchanting arrows rather than to strength, which will result in more powerful arrows. Likewise, the Elven sorceress is capable of choosing between different spells. However, starting character statistics are preset, and the player may only customize his or her character's statistics through gaining experience points. There are also relatively few non-player characters: the only characters to whom your character can speak are those who are part of a quest.

Dark Alliance was built on a much more powerful game engine than the PC Baldur's Gate series, which utilized the Infinity Engine - an engine debuting in 1998 that exclusively used sprite characters and static, pre-rendered backgrounds. The Dark Alliance engine allows for such things as dynamic lighting, real-time shadowing, fully rendered backgrounds and 3D character models. The graphics, in particular, are considered a highlight of the game by many critics.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II[]

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II is a computer role-playing game developed by Black Isle Studios for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, released in 2004. Dark Alliance II returned to Baldur's Gate with a new story and new characters. The story begins when the player's previous 3 heroes are taken prisoner by an evil vampire king, Mordoc. In part 2, the player is one of the many adventurers seeking fame and fortune in Baldur's Gate. The game's gameplay is very similar to that of the original Dark Alliance.

The new characters are:

  • Dorn Redbear, human barbarian: strong melee fighter
  • Vhaidra Uoswiir, drow monk: unarmed and unarmored melee fighter
  • Ysuran Auondril, moon elf necromancer: spell caster
  • Borador Goldhand, dwarven rogue: able to pick locks and traps
  • Allessia Faithhammer, human cleric: casts healing/protection spells
  • Drizzt Do'Urden, drow ranger: fights with two scimitars, Twinkle & Icingdeath (unlockable)
  • Artemis Entreri, human assassin: fights with Charon's Claw and a Defending dagger (unlockable)

Unlike in the original Dark Alliance game, players can create their own magical weapons, armor, and trinkets (for a price) in Dark Alliance II.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance III[]

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance III was cancelled when Developer Interplay was forced to shut down operations in June of 2004, to the disappointment of fans of the series, especially after the teaser trailer at the end of Dark Alliance II. It has been said that the Champions of Norrath series is the "continuation" of the series by virtue of the fact that it uses an identical game engine; however, as the Dark Alliance franchise uses the D & D universe and CoN uses the Everquest universe, this has been disputed. Interplay is now pushing to be allowed to create a Fallout Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), and it has been rumored that they are also trying to find funds to develop Dark Alliance III as well, according to the January issue of the magazine GameInformer.[1]


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