Graphically, Daggerdale is solid though a bit uninspired. Your quests never take you into any sort of outside world so expect plenty of caverns, caves, and castle walls. Still, as a downloadable title there’s plenty of great effects through spells and items and for the most part, it feels like a Dungeons & Dragons game. Still, the graphics is where we begin to see some of the game’s technical problems. Characters get stuck in animations, textures don’t load, or in some cases character models don’t appear at all - while playing co-op my partner was completely invisible for a good 2 minutes. There are also random pauses while playing and just odd little bugs here and there. We didn’t hit any that were game breaking, but its just little things like not being able to determine which menu selection I’m on that make it an annoyance.
On the co-op side of things you have a pretty solid experience with up to four players online or two players locally. While you can’t play local with online, both experiences are a lot of fun. On the local side of things the camera does a surprisingly good job of watching the action, though it can get dizzying at times. Only one character of each type is allowed in a co-op game, so if you have a group of folks to play with make sure you each have unique characters. Its probably better to play with the same group of folks anyway as joining a game as a lower level character won’t get you credit for completed quests if you skip part of the story. You’ll all need to be on the same page. Not to worry though - you’ll still get plenty of loot, gold and experience (gold and XP are split amongst the group). It was difficult to tell just how the game scaled the battles for co-op, enemies seemed tougher, but there didn’t necessarily seemed to be that many more of them.
There are several nice touches for co-op - for instance as a cleric I was able to heal my partners and gain experience for doing such a task. The game almost forces players to specialize in a role as each enemy has specific weaknesses which are denoted by icons over their head. So while I might be able to damage the goblins well over here with my axe, my co-op partner who is playing a ranged character does more damage to the skeletons that are mixed into the fray. This provides a bit of back and forth during battle that can be very satisfying.
The journey is a fairly meaty affair, especially if you decide to take on all the side quests it can easily be a 10 hour romp, which is quite a bit of value in a $15 game. If you can look past some of the technical issues, Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale there is a fun co-op experience to be had. While we may have set unfair expectations for the game to live up to its pedigree, what is there stands on its own.
The Co-Op Experience: Players can choose one of four classes and play through the story together online in 4 players or offline in 2 players. Only one of each class is allowed in a game.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.