Dark Alliance Lives
"Your Party. Their Funeral." It's the tagline that's led most of the advertising for D&D's ambitious new game, Dark Alliance, focusing on the fun and adventure of playing together. The fun is a big part of what makes the game great, according to Jean François Champagne, Lead Mission Designer on Dark Alliance at Tuque games.
He describes the game as "Fun. I know-LAME ANSWER! Except it's not. Dungeons & Dragons is a huge IP that millions of people play for hundreds of different reasons. We want to translate our love for D&D so that everybody can find something to like and enjoy."
Dungeons & Dragons has always been about gathering a party and venturing forth, but despite the game's focus on co-op, they paid attention to the solo experience as well. "[Both solo and co-op] are great experiences. Solo requires a bit more care and strategy [because] you can’t count on people for reviving you if you go down, [but it's still a great experience overall.]"
As Jean François mentioned, people are coming to the game for different reasons. Some may feel nostalgic for the Dark Alliance games they grew up with; others may be fans of R.A. Salvatore's novels; some may be D&D players with no experience in either; the game will cater to many different needs and playstyles precisely because players are coming to the game for different reasons.
"You want to hang around with friends and play the game all casual-like? Go for it. You want a challenging and deep combat experience? There you go. You play for the lore and beautiful locations? We have that."
As long as you're having fun, that's all that matters.
Making a game Dark Alliance set in a massive world like D&D is incredibly difficult fraught with many pitfalls. The main one? Trying to cram too much into one game and doing everything poorly. "[The world of] D&D is huge and trying to incorporate everything is pretty much impossible...sometimes that creates difficult choices on what to include. You need to pick one aspect of a great big game and focus on that. For us the most important piece was visceral tactical combat, something not often explored in D&D games."
Combat is certainly an important component of the action/rpg-brawler that Dark Alliance looks to be...and based on all the early reviews, it looks like it's working!
Dark Alliance releases tomorrow on Xbox One X|S, Xbox One, Xbox Gamepass, PS4, PS5, Steam, and Epic Games.
You can catch a weekly Fort Nerd playthrough on Wednesday nights at 8 pm ET on twitch.tv/FortNerdDotCom
Thanks to Jean François Champagne from Tuque Games for taking the time to chat with me during the run up to the launch of this massive game
Images property of Wizards and Tuque games and used with permission