Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale
Dungeons and Dragons. It conjures memories of a cartoon aired on CBBC in the mid 1990s, which in turn was probably a late 80s cartoon. For many others, who are decidedly more “into” the franchise, it’s all about the common lore, the magical powers and the ability to crush evil in the world by a use of numbers, turns and logic. Of course, a franchise that’s been around for many years and has existed in many iterations is always going to have its critics – it goes without saying; however, Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale available on the Xbox Live is taking a different stance on the series.
Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale can be played in single player mode, or as part of a co-operative team. The single player is essentially the same as the co-operative mode; however, the title is far more bland and disengaging when playing on your own. Set in a world of lifeless, unmoving NPCs your character has to battle its way through the worlds meeting several little “hubs” along the way that help the story move along a little.
The usual characters are available to choose from, Elf Rogue, Human Warrior, Dwarf Cleric and a Mage. There is a selection of abilities depending on the character chosen, and then it’s your choice as to where to assign the points to make some abilities a little better. Once the characters have been chosen and their optional capabilities leveled up, it’s time to set off and battle your way through the overworld in order to restore order.
Unfortunately, it is at this point when the game is let down by its prohibitively dull interface. With an incredibly fixed storyline, with no room for movement or character development, this hack and slash game is further sullied by the poor graphics and textures. Whilst this is a downloadable game, it’s still over a gig and the textures are dull and bland. Now, this is a game set underground, so there’s an expectation for the game to be dark, dank and grimy; however, Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale is just dull. It’s a fine line between something that’s dank and something that is dull and unfortunately Daggerdale has moved to the wrong side of the line.
In addition to this, the actual gameplay is limited by the linear storymode. Jumping from one, unmoving, lifeless NPC to another getting the bare minimum information whilst you travel through the various caverns killing the same enemies multiple times over, it’s enjoyable for a short period of time but becomes tedious pretty quickly.
Where this game really comes into its own is in the co-operative modes, be that online or with other players in the same room. When co-oping with other players, this hack and slash title becomes far more interesting, whereas playing on your own it’s a dull game, playing with others it becomes competitive and the graphics and poor gameplay is left to the side.
At no point can one describe this as a “great game” but with the multiplayer elements it moves from a poor game, to something that’s enjoyable. Whilst Daggerdale could easily be bettered by going back into the “oven” for a few more months, it’s passable with the co-op mode.
Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale is essentially a poor game. Limited graphics, poor textures, and a painfully linear storymode it’s true saving grace is the multiplayer mode where human nature comes in and makes the game enjoyable.