A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There's an overarching theme of bravery in the face of great evils, but none of the characters are given enough of a story or hook to make that message stick.
Positive Role Models
You help many people with a wide variety of tasks, such as freeing them from captivity or even preventing them from being killed by a band of marauders. For the most part, unfortunately, you're just an errand-runner.
While there are people of varying skin tones and body builds, the game never touches upon any significant social or cultural nuances.
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Ease of Play
It can be hard to fight certain enemies because there's no lock-on mechanic, meaning you'll have to spin around sloppily to hit particularly nimble enemies. Magic can also be a hassle when targeting certain enemies, which could lead to players wasting their abilities. But general movement around a level tends to be far less frustrating.
Violence & Scariness
Players will use daggers, swords, clubs, axes, bows and arrows, crossbows, and a host of other weapons to take on the hordes of dangerous enemies they'll come across. During these engagements, blood will be shed, and the occasional limb may be removed from an enemy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters have mildly revealing attires, but there are no instances of sex or nudity otherwise.
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Products & Purchases
This is a remaster of the original 2004 game, which is also a part of the Baldur's Gate series.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players may occasionally drink alcoholic beverages, but the drinks will never have an effect on them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II is a downloadable single player/co-op RPG (role-playing game) available for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. This is a remaster of the original 2004 title, as well as a part of the Baldur's Gate series. Players will control one of five classes with the goal of saving Baldur's Gate from Mordoc, an evil vampire whose plans for Baldur's Gate must be stopped by any means necessary. They will inevitably engage in many violent struggles along the course of their journey, using daggers, swords, clubs, axes, bows and arrows, crossbows, and a host of other weapons to combat the dangers they'll face. The game tries to tackle a broad theme of bravery, but its lack of characterization dampens the message. Players are put into the role of "role model" for many of Baldur's Gate's citizens, but violence is positioned as the only way many of the game's conflicts can end. As an older game, it also struggles to include meaningful diversity. Players may find combat tedious with the game's lack of a lock-on mechanic, leading to many frustrating moments.
Is It Any Good?
Not all older games are quite fit to be brought to modern audiences. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II is an action RPG (role-playing game) from a time where it was already doing the bare minimum compared to other RPGs of the early 2000s. Now -- as a remastered title in an era where not only have RPGs exceeded well past the standards of its time, but remastered games, in general, have been given more care and detail – Baldur's Gate: DAII stands out as an especially notable example of how not to remaster a game. The game's graphics are incredibly underwhelming, and many spoken lines of dialogue have static behind them that makes it hard to hear what certain characters are saying. The many skills and spells players can learn are also unsatisfying to use since combat devolves into mashing one button in front of an enemy until either you or they die. There's no quicksave option and very few checkpoints, so if players aren't constantly saving their game at designated save points, they may find themselves making up over an hour of gameplay due to a random, unforeseen death that may have been entirely out of their control.
But the game's biggest crime is the fact that it's so boring. Very few RPGs manage to be as lifeless in terms of characters, quest lines, and general setting as Dark Alliance II somehow manages to be. The villains are generic, the heroes are largely interchangeable (and forgettable), and the dungeons go on an hour or two longer than they should, barely advancing the story without rewarding you with cool loot or satisfying conclusions to large sections of the game. It's difficult to see why this particular game was ever given the remaster treatment in the first place, with many other worthwhile, older titles being pushed to the wayside. Dark Alliance 2 might appeal to a very select few who have a certain amount of love and nostalgia for this game, but it's hard to play this game for over an hour without wishing you were playing something else.
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