While Dark Alliance didn't have the truly epic storyline of it's PC progenitors, the tale was still enjoyable. A young hero, robbed and left for dead, recovers and helps clear rats from the cellar of a tavern. This leads to a den of thieves, a gloomy sewer, and an ancient crypt. Eventually, a dwarven mountain stronghold, a temple filled with minotaurs, and finally the Onyx Tower itself all provide interesting places in which to launch arrows, swing axes, and cast lightning bolts at nearly limitless hordes of enemies. Sure, it's not classic literature, but you don't care, because you're having too much fun slaying and looting.
Of course, the single greatest feature of Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance was co-op. Two players could work together, sharing the same screen and making sure to cover each other's back. As is always the case, the fun factor multiplies greatly when you've got a buddy along for the ride. Deciding on the best strategies to defeat the bosses and dividing up the loot drops for maximum effectiveness were just two ways that cooperation and teamwork made the entire heroic experience that much smoother and more enjoyable.
Like it's PC namesake, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance was followed by a sequel, the impeccably named Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II, which was released in 2004. Since then, Dungeons & Dragons has been, for the most part, absent from home consoles, though the Neverwinter Nights games and D&D Online keep the brand going on PC. To say that seven years is a long time to wait for a spiritual successor to Dark Alliance is a bit of an understatement. In just a few months, we'll be grabbing those +3 daggers and +2 shields once again in D&D Daggerdale. Let's hope the latest D&D game lives up to the heritage that Dark Alliance and its sequel left behind!