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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II

Black Isle Studios, Interplay Entertainment Corp., Square One Games Inc.
Jul 20, 2022 - Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

5.5 / 10
65 / 100
Gaming Nexus
7 / 10
6.5 / 10
6 / 10
6 / 10
Nintendo Life
5 / 10
Pure Nintendo
6 / 10
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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II Trailer

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Critic Reviews for Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II


5.5 / 10.0
Ken McKown

For the nostalgic players looking to relive their time with the Dark Alliance series, I could see them picking this up and having a decent time with it. Players that are really big into ARPGs could have some fun, but will more than likely find themselves preferring a more streamlined and accessible title to jump into. It’s a hard sell for many, but there is some fun to be had here if you keep in mind that this game was released in 2004 and for the most part stayed in 2004.

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Players into the historical origins of the genres they love will find Dark Alliance 2 worth playing. Anyone comfortable with the mechanics and visuals of recent fantasy ARPGs will probably grimace a bit. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance has enough engaging story and characters to deserve a genuine remake or remaster. For the price, this version just doesn’t go far enough, even for players hoping for a hit of spit-shined nostalgia.

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If I hadn't played Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II when I was in high school, would I have enjoyed it now? I don't think so. The simplistic look did not age well. The city of Baldur's Gate feels empty and lifeless. The couch co-op is good; being able to play online would have been great, but only the PC version has that. The only real update was the rapid loading times and smooth frame rate. But I did play this back in high school. The memories carried over from 18 years ago. I'm lucky that the nostalgia was strong enough for me to look past the obvious flaws of Dark Alliance II. Because I was able to distance myself from the flaws, I was able to have a blast playing. Exploring, fighting, and the characters all had a familiar feel that made my time enjoyable. It might not be as sharp and crisp as a modern hack and slash game, but it didn't matter.

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The good news is that today, dungeon-crawling games like this are more popular than ever, so Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 2 could be exactly what you’re looking for. The genre has boomed and this makes an older game feel fresh again, especially to those who didn’t play it the first time around, if you can forgive its imperfections – and some players won’t be able to. Don’t expect it to compare with the likes of Diablo 3 or Path of Exile, but fans of the genre will be well served by Dark Alliance 2.

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There’s value here, for sure, as a visceral stomp through a beloved fantasy world that offers the rare luxury of being entirely playable alongside a friend. It’s swift, slashy, and simple, but comparing it to other games of this era that have been ported to modern platforms – Okami, Resident Evil Remaster, and Silent Hills 3 and 4, to name a few – you’re paying double to quadruple the price. Buying it at this price point feels like it could set a precedent that shouldn’t be supported, tempting though it may be…

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There’s nothing new to see here, just a port of an old classic. For some, I’m sure that this is all that they want or need, but for others I feel that it’s a shame Dark Alliance II hasn’t been modernized - at least a little bit - to bring the gameplay more in line with the times so that it would feel more accessible to newer players. Even still, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II’s price tag at $29.99 feels too steep for what it is. Unless you’re a diehard fan of the Dark Alliance series, I’d wait for a hefty sale before picking this up.

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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is one of those games that acts as an important reference point in realizing how far a genre has come in the last couple decades. While it was likely once considered a solid and perhaps even a little daring example of an ARPG, it's now been resolutely left in the dust by more modern releases. Sluggish combat, drab environmental design, and low build variety all hold this one back considerably, though it's saved somewhat by its equipment upgrade system and dark atmosphere. Fans looking for nostalgia already know what they think about this release and have probably already snapped it up, but if you're a newcomer who's thinking about a purchase, we'd recommend you pass. This simply isn't a good enough game to justify the $30 price tag at time of writing, and there are much better examples of the genre on the Switch that are more worth your time and money.

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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will provide a mana-blast of nostalgic glee for those who played the original Dark Alliance hack-and-slash RPG on their GameCube, but it doesn't offer enough excitement or variety to otherwise hold your attention.

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