Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale Review

Some time ago Atari announced a new title in the series Dungeons & Dragons, something fans of the series and dungeon crawlers in general hoped would come to our consoles.
Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale is now available on Xbox Live Arcade and people expected something big and epic, something a game of this genre should offer. Did this title really live up to what was expected? I’m afraid not.

They introduce us the story with an intro using still images, whether the art is not bad it would have been preferable to use the 3D models or 2D but with better animation.
Not much to hook the player from the start, especially if you are not a player of the Dungeons and Dragons table games. An evil sorcerer built a magical tower and plans to dominate the realm, though that would normally be enough to start a story, I really expected something more epic based upon the trailer of the game released a few months ago.

There are four different classes; human warrior, a elven rogue, halfling wizard and a cleric dwarf. You can criticize the fact that you cannot choose class and race to make unique combinations, but remember that games like Torchlight did not gave us that option either. It is not easy to level up, specifically in the single player option. The preferred option is to join the online multiplayer to level with more ease, but be careful or you might end up losing instead of gaining experience.

Although I like the challenge in a game like this, it is not easy to obtain weapons or proper equipment. it is also easy to get killed because the enemy crowd swarms and overwhelms you, sometimes the gameplay is nothing more than a hit and run which isn’t very satisfactory. I had this experience when using the rogue class, dagger attacks do little damage forcing you to run from the enemy.

Although it is an arcade game the graphics are not as striking as they should, if we take into account the size of the game, there are nice touches here and there but, nothing that leaves you open-mouthed as some other Xbox Live Arcade titles.

The music and sound effects are a nullity, muttering and groans is what you get from the NPCs.There are quests and missions as in all RPG, something that pleases me as a fan of RPGs, but I think they abused the missions of the captured or wounded miners which is all the missions i had for over an hour of play. Some more variety in missions at the beginning would have been welcomed.

I had a few multiplayer sessions, which I enjoyed a lot, lot more than the singleplayer mode. As mentioned before in this mode it is easier to level up. Provided you do not join a group of kamikaze players that will make you lose more experience, something that you should consider when you join a game. Although a lot of fun playing this way also has problems, it is easy to lose the connection which is really annoying when you are enjoying a game with a group of friends.
When you die i trully do not understand why there is an annoying loading screen, and when you’re revived you are back into the game, this is something that i found really annoying, what’s the point?!. Without a doubt, and in spite of some flaws, the multiplayer is the strong point of this game, tower defense type games would have been attractive and a nice addition to the title.

Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale leaves much to be desired, it feels somewhat awkward and could give much more to the player. Some bugs should not be there and hopefully they have a patch to correct this on the way, (nobody likes to get stuck in a corner and have no other option but to reset the game.) The game itself is not bad if you really like the RPG and you’re a die hard fan of Dungeons and Dragons table games.
But when in comparison to Torchlight; that in a matter of design, gameplay and graphics is far superior to this title. If the game was more polished maybe it would be worth the 1200 MSP, a good try, but not enough to compete with other games in the dungeon crawler genre.

We give the game a 5 out of 10

Self proclaimed Anime Courtyard mad scientist. Cat person and anime lover. Hobbies include drawing, videogames and saving this realm from alien invaders.

1 Comment

  1. D&D based game where I can’t even chose my own class/race combination? What a shame… I’m not sure why are You comparing it to Torchlight just because of classes, but as I said before – it’s D&D! It obligates 🙂 And it sounds like developers failed.

    I like challanging games, but as reading Your review, it really sounds like it’s rather painful experience.

    I don’t know what’s the point of making games with singleplayer which somehow “forces” us to play online and makes this experience harder because of dissconnects and loosing exp while dying…

    If You’re saying Torchlight is better than D&D: Daggerdale – I’m not sorry because of fact I’ll be [probably] never able to play this 🙂


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