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.
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.
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!