Parents' Guide to

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II

By Dwayne Jenkins, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Older "remaster" fails to keep up with modern standards.

Dark Alliance 2 Cover

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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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