Reviewed on Play Station 2

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Reviewed By: Elon Hall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2, XboX, Game Cube
Price Range: $15-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Overall Rating:
Genre: Action
Christian Rating: 2 of 5
Gameplay: 3 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
Adult Content: 3 of 5

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance.  Illustration copyrighted.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance begins at night, as your character enters the small, peaceful-looking town of Baldur's Gate. Almost immediately you are attacked and robbed by bandits. These murderous criminals are about to kill you, but luckily the town guard happens to pass by just then and chases them away before the deed can be done. The guard then directs you to the town 'bar' where you begin to formulate a plan of how you are going to seek revenge on the bandits who robbed you. You do not know at this point that they also tried to kill you. The game eventually turns into a grand adventure taking you to many dazzling and grand environments where you have hundreds of intense and bloody battles with magnificent and some not-so-magnificent creatures.

-Gameplay Positives-
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance offers three separate characters to choose from: Human, Elf, or Dwarf. There are a lot of gameplay environments and enemies, a reasonable amount of replayability, and several side quests to play if you so choose. This makes for a unique experience with a nice blend of Action and Role-Playing conventions. Add in some good quality sound effects and voiceovers, and overall you have a pretty fun game.

Screen shot

-Gameplay Negatives-
Dark Alliance's graphics were considered amazing for 2001, but nowadays they seem rather “blah”. The gameplay doesn't change all that much throughout the story, and can basically be summarized as follows: Hack/ Slash Hack/ Slash Hack/ Slash. It's not a long game and it's fairly easy to complete, and finishes with a cliffhanger ending.

-Moral Positives-
Ultimately, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is a story of "good versus evil". Those who prefer not to use magic will be pleased to learn that you do not HAVE to use sorcery in the game; it is merely an option. Those concerned about violence will be happy that the game is played from a zoomed-out perspective, and the violence isn't the in-your-face kind.

-Moral Negatives-
For a small part of the game your sole intent is revenge. The violence is nonstop and pretty graphic for a Teen-rated game, especially when fighting humans and bosses who burst into gory pieces. The sexual content is limited to a woman at the bar whose outfit shows her cleavage. Also, if you take off your character's armor (which is sometimes necessary) he or she will appear in their underwear. The elf lady's clothes are especially revealing. Dark Alliance's spiritual content includes battles with zombies, ghosts, and evil talking heads. At one point you meet and talk with a "friendly lost spirit", AKA a ghost. Some gamers may also want to be aware that this game is set in the Forgotten Realms and is loosely based on the Dungeons & Dragons rules.

Bottom Line: This is a dark and violent game that pushes the T rating at some points. Don't play it unless you are prepared for a lot of non-stop gory violence, some mild sexual content, and mention and involvement with sorcery. In my opinion this game is not worth it. There are plenty of games out there that are just as good or better than this one, and don't contain so much objectionable content.

Year of Release—2001

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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