Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale (2011)


Today I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few hours playing Atari and Bedlam Games new offering for Xbox Live, Dungeon and Dragons: Daggerdale. While the Playstation Network will receive the game on May 31st, Xbox Live subscribers and Windows PC players can purchase it right this minute!

D & D: Daggerdale offers:

“Solo or Co-op Play
It’s up to you! Whether you choose to do battle in the mines of Tethyamar or skirmish on the Tower of Rezlus, you can fight solo, join with up to three friends online, or battle alongside a partner locally.

Questing
Explore Daggerdale’s main questlines to reveal its intriguing backstory, mysterious characters, and the richness of its world. Extended depth and experience reward exploration and side-quests.

Immersive Combat
Battle a wide range of enemies by engaging in intuitive pick-up-and-play melee, tactical ranged combat, or powerful spell casting.

Develop Your Character
Select a class, build your ultimate hero, collect loot, and earn experience! Select powers and feats to enhance and customize your hero as you level up.

Stunning Levels and Deep Exploration
A wide variety of perilous quests encourage you to explore Daggerdale’s richly detailed environments.

Multiple Game Modes
Unlock new areas and challenges in Campaign mode, or hone your skills and discover powerful new items in Freeplay mode.

Authentic D&D Experience
The detailed world of the iconic Dungeons & Dragons franchise has been painstakingly recreated for a rich, complex, and thrilling game experience.”

Taking place in the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms, within the Desertmouth Mountain lays your first quest…to aid the Dwarven Tethyamar Mines! Let me start the review by just saying how incredible the artwork is for this game, just take a moment to look at the Dwarven architecture below, look at the detail they’ve put into the statues. Well, that artwork carries over into the play control and animation of your character as well!

Many of you know I’m still a huge pen and paper fan, so as soon as I selected Single Player (I’ll get to the Multiplayer later today!) I was presented with the four classes to choose from at the starting screen, and I already had a big grin on my face. Sure it might be fun to play a Halfling Wizard, or an Elven Rogue, and at some point I will play the Human Fighter, but I had to choose the Dwarven Cleric to roll as my first character.

As I altered the name of my digital avatar for the game ever so slightly, Zankir Goldbludgeon became Tarnac OneThane (My Dwarven D & D fighter for the last 15 years.), I was then allowed to spend two points selecting my Holy Powers. I placed one point in Shield of the Gods and the other in Daunting Light. Then on the next screen I was allowed to place one point into Feats, I chose Dwarven Battle Priest which grants me additional hit points equal to my Constitution modifier. Any of you old school D & D players feeling the love yet?

D & D: Daggerdale uses the 4th Edition rules for its game play rules, but this is not a turn-based strategy game, it is about taking on the role of a Hero and using action combat to lay low the many forces of Evil that will oppose you. In the case of my Dwarven Cleric that meant unleashing the Daunting Light spell to damage a particular Goblin before scattering his allies by summoning the Shield of the Gods pushing them back, stunning my foes and allowing me to swing my mace into their skulls with a very satisfying cracking sound!

This is yet another ‘simple’ thing that should be praised, I felt like I was really wading into battle, thanks in large part to the sound design. The Goblins and skeletons I’ve faced off against have grunted (Well the skeleton just kind of clacked a bit.) as they are hit, you can hear the armor rending as you smash and stab at your foes, and the very wonderful sound of the coin purses falling to the floor as you continue on your Dungeon Bash. Of course the sight of multiple arrows sticking from my armor as I continued to wipe the floor with my enemies probably made me feel even more heroic!

As I stated up at the top of the review, I’ve only had the few hours to play it, but I will say that you should be smart and save every so often through the menu options, to avoid losing your hard earned XP, Gold and equipment. Of course any fan of this type of game will know that so very much of the fun is finding even better and shinier equipment, it can keep you going that extra hour when you feel the call of sleep. Nothing quite beats the feel of getting your hands on a Morningstar of Perception!

Gameplay is set up as you might expect, talking to a person at point A and help them with a problem in point B. It certainly hasn’t gotten to be a chore though and that owes quite a bit again to the art design of the game, there were a couple of times I found myself just looking at some piece of ‘set dressing’, like a piece of an old cog that was left by the Dwarven miners.

I’m so very impressed with Daggerdale, it’s a nice return to the RPG dungeon bash. I do hope that we will receive further adventures in the form of DLC in the near future. I also would like to see many of you online for Multiplayer where we can combat the dark forces of Rezlus together…just bear in mind that I get to play the Dwarven Cleric!

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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8 thoughts on “Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale (2011)

  1. We played the trial last night and while it seems like a great single-player experience, playing local co-op was a bit frustrating. Both players have control over the camera, leading to some sickening, whirling camera angles at times. And the trial lets you play either fighter or rogue, but when the characters get too far apart, they’re automatically bounced back together, which wasn’t appreciated by the rogue attempting to pick off goblins with a bow then suddenly finding themselves ported right into the middle of the fighter’s melee.

    I was eager to pick this up because there are so few action games with local co-op that aren’t shooters, but I’ll keep an eye on the reviews for this one before plunking down the points. Any more thoughts now that you’ve had more time to check it out?

  2. I played some single player last night which I had fun doing and I am hoping to get some MP in tonight. Those seem like some off game design choices they made on MP.

    Why would they let one persons camera control effect the other persons view??

    I will hopefully have an opinion tonight.

  3. I was able to play a bit of Multiplayer last night…it was odd…to be fair. For some reason our group kept getting kicked out of the “Quest” we were on, we would be knee-deep in the dead and dying and it was as if the game just reset itself…also making us lose all the gold and equipment, not to mention the XP, that we had earned.

    Until they get a patch for this…I’m sticking firmly with the Single Player mode, because as I’ve said in the review up top, I’m having a blast with that part of the game! :)

  4. I was looking forward to this game but upon playing the demo I could not bring myself to shell out the 1200 Microsoft Points required for play on Xbox Live. The game is chock full of bugs and missing textures. Nothing about the demo compelled me to purchase the full game. Unless Atari releases a critical patch soon, this game will be a miss for most people.

  5. @TheSlorg I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the demo, friend. I will say again that I was impressed by the graphics and amount of detail for the background of the mine, the doors, gears, etc.

    I did like your own review of the title on your site by the way, even if I don’t agree with you 100% on it. You are correct though especially on the multiplayer, there needs to be a patch to fix those problems mentioned in the comments section. :)

  6. Hey thanks for reading it. I guess it all boils down to potential. There’s so much potential there but, as for the demo, there wasn’t enough there to win my money. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a patch to see if things improve though.

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