Review: Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance – A Punishing But Pleasurable Vintage Dungeon Crawler

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Baldur? Well, it has been twenty years…

It’s been twenty long, long years since this Gamecube classic thrilled us all with its quasi top-down hack-and-slash dungeon crawling action. And time has not been kind… to us. This game is really hard! Have we been spoiled by much friendlier, less aggressive takes on the genre that have proliferated in the intervening years? Are we just rubbish? Or is Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance a genuinely difficult game?

All we know is that if we got surrounded by three enemies or more, we were dead. And that’s a very unusual feeling coming from something like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (no relation) which offers a far comfier take on similar gameplay. Here, though, you pick your class (Human Archer, Dwarven Fighter or Elven Sorceress), wade into combat, and die a lot. Unless you put the game down to Easy mode, which makes things a lot more manageable while — quite frankly — still not really being all that easy.

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