Dungeons and Dragons Daggerdale for Xbox 360 is, – developed by Bedlam games and, – published by Atari games. When the evil Rezlus seeks to destroy Daggerdale, a mysterious figure Lorin-Aria recruits four heroes/ heroines to save the land from destruction. The player then picks one of the four heroes/ heroines which include a human fighter, an elven Rogue, a dwarven Cleric and a Halfling Wizard. Shortly after deciding your character, the game takes off with your main quest, and in order to complete your main quest you have numerous small tasks to complete. Although these are quick tasks, the story line pacing is done extremely well. There are cut scenes popping up from time to time to keep the player up to speed with the plot as it thickens throughout the game
The actual game play in Dungeons and Dragons Daggerdale is a bit of a mixed bag. The best element of the game would be the combat system used. The combat is purely made up of the age-old hack and slash formula, which does its job brilliantly as everything is executed smoothly throughout. Each character in the game has six different special moves as well as the standard attacks which can be improved with time and levelling up your player. Over time these attacks can also be strengthened. Even though each character has different attacks, this does not affect which character you should choose as all the controls are mapped out well to the Xbox 360 controller. This not only makes it quick to get a handle on the whole set up but also makes performing actions an afterthought. After a while the combat can seem to get repetitive during battles in which you will find your own battling techniques of which give you a much better defeat rate, there are plenty of opportunities to change your battle techniques if you desire.
Instead of the MP gauge we normally see within this game genre, a cool-down time is given which usually lasts a few seconds at best for all the special abilities. Combat in Daggerdale falls somewhat in between Gauntlet Legends and Baldurs Gate. Special techniques used recharge blisteringly fast. Each character also has an infinite number of throwing weapons or arrows, in the case of the fighter you will have a throwing axe with an automatic knockback otherwise known as spam.
That said playing in multiplayer either two players locally or up to four online is the best way to fill the void that multiplayer fantasy action RPGs have strangely left behind on the console. It does however, make it more difficult to employ the patient one-on-one ranged attack strategy with more than one person. But you do benefit from easier and swifter dungeon crawling when playing with a party, as long as you’ve got enough potions or at least one dwarven cleric (having more than one dwarven cleric i.e., 4 simply owns all)
Customisation is very limited during the game, as aside from upgrading a few spells if you’re the Halfling wizard, mapping attacks and equipping your standard weapons and armoury, there are not enough options to allow you to customise your character to feel more like your own. You cannot even decide on the gender of the character, which leaves the player to deal with the four pre-set characters throughout their journey.
Where the game falters though is in the lack of polish and production. The re-spawn rate for enemies is high enough that backtracking will usually mean that you will be facing the same enemy groups twice. There are also a few all-around flaws here and there, for example, when the game sells you an item you didn’t select or being disoriented after a tutorial cut scene.
The visual in the game play is extremely intense; graphics are amazing and very farfetched. The detail that has gone into each and every enemy from the way they look to the way they attack is very impressive.
The soundtrack for daggerdale is not very memorable, but it does fit into the dungeon crawling theme extremely well. All the cut-scenes are fully voiced and convey the plot very well. The sound effects throughout the game are eerily realistic and add a lot of depth to the whole combat system. An example is when you whack an enemy with a staff it’s almost as if you can hear the wood cracking against a hard piece of armour. Even though it’s only a small effect, overall it certainly makes the combat more enjoyable.
Dungeons and dragons: Daggerdale has some brilliant ideas behind it as it comes from a franchise that paved the way for many of the RPGs that we see on the market today. The controls are mapped perfectly to the 360 controller and the combat works really well. Highly recommended to all those looking for an action packed RPG to sink their teeth into, and also other hardcore Dungeons and dragons fans out there. This is the first ever dungeons and dragons I have actually played myself but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole game from the graphics to the game play. I honestly thought that graphics and game play were very realistic.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.