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Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 6.5
Sound 6.0
Value 7.0
Distributor: Atari
Review Date:
May 2011
Andrew Bistak


Dungeons & Dragons

Atari's latest RPG epic, Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale returns gamers to a simpler day of sword and sorcery that pays homage to the game that started it all, Dungeons & Dragons. Gameplay wise, Daggerdale is a hack and slash title as you cut, magic and smash your way to victory in classic RPG style. With that said, Daggerdale is not the most original game out there which features similar gameplay to that of Baldur's Gate and the arcade game Gauntlet as you button smash your way through enemies on the 360 controller. Add in a few Dungeons & Dragons elements and that pretty much sums up Daggerdale.

Based on the version 4.0 rule system of Dungeons & Dragons, gamers have a choice of one of four RPG inspired characters that include a human fighter, Elven Rogue, Halfling wizard and Dwarven cleric. Once you select your character, you have the option of naming them and tweaking their attributes and skills. Featuring a rather short introduction, your job is to ensure that the evil magician known as Rezlus, a worshipper of the evil god Bane does not destroy Daggerdale in his quest for serving his mad god. The story is clichéd but so is the gameplay.

Once in the game, the first level has the player fighting goblins and rescuing dwarves which acts as a tutorial for the gamer, teaching them the basics of the title. The easiest character in Daggerdale to control is the fighter but if you want something a little bit more challenging, the Halfling mage is the way to go because you have a limited number of hitpoints and spells in the beginning but through perseverance, you will eventually become a battle hardened mage as you throw spells around.

Combat is the key to Daggerdale and as you hack and slash or magic your way to victory. You receive experience points for killing enemies that allows you to level-up and fine tune your characters. At the start, combat is rather dull and lacklustre but as you progress and your characters skills do, it becomes more entertaining. Weapons and armour also have their pros and cons such as +1 to armour class or weapons that move at lightning speeds that must be taken into consideration when you're embarking on your missions and equipping your character. Just like Gauntlet however, you never run our of ranged missiles like the throwing axe for the fighter which can be quite powerful to use from distant attacks. There's also lots of goodies to be found through your dungeon crawling.

Thankfully missions can be found via your map in the top right hand corner of the screen with a red exclamation mark informing the player that there is an NPC that you can talk to or an arrow pointing you in the right direction. Apart from NPC's, there are shops and other goodies to be found throughout the levels that you explore. Given that, there's also lots of barrel smashing in this game as well but thankfully for collecting items from the ground or fallen enemies, it is done via the Y button which is nice and quick. To collect gold, you just have to walk over it. Although the game is single-player, the title does support two-players locally or up to four players online that does making adventuring more exciting. Multiplayer is a hell of a lot more exciting as well which harkens back to the original role-playing game concept.

Unfortunately Daggerdale is not the most attractive game to look at and some levels look rather Spartan and bare at times. My biggest gripe is when you are talking to non-player characters, there is no voice acting, just lines of endless text. This caused me to click through their endless dialogue on more than one occasion just to get to the action. Sound and music is also on the dull sound. There are some nice effects here and there and good looking monsters, especially the larger ones but overall, Daggerdale looks quite dated.


In the end, Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale doesn't offer the gamer anything new in terms of gameplay but gives players a classic sword and sorcery experience plus 10 or so hours of gameplay. It may not be the most exciting game of the year but considering the cost, it's actually not that bad either. If you are a fan of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rules and game settings than you really should check out this game, provided you like button smashing. Hopefully we'll see more RPG titles from Atari around the corner but more polished!

If in doubt, check out the free demo from XBox Live!


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