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In Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, every game is a New Game+

by: Eric -
More On: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II

I've been vacationing with my Switch, hooking it up to the (sometimes not great) televisions in the AirBNBs I've been bopping through. In addition to the excellent Train Valley (see today's review), I've been mostly playing the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II remaster. I'm having a great time with Dark Alliance II; I had forgotten how liberal this game is in allowing players to become unstoppable killing machines.

The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games, released back in the PS2 era, were Diablo-like ARPGs, putting players into a basic D&D world and allowing them to wreck shop through some fairly long and detailed (for the time) dungeons. There are some quests and a small town hub in play, but they are all in service of moving the player quickly to the next murder-arena and allowing them to bloody hundreds of demons, slimes, and sundry monsters.

What I had forgotten was the way that Dark Alliance II allows you to move characters between saves. This allows you to grab endgame characters from a different save and bring them back into the beginning of the game, essentially starting a New Game+ simply by juggling your saved characters. In the old days, this was done very slowly via Memory Card loads, but with the modern convenience of...um...hard drives, you can switch your guys around in a matter of seconds.

In practice, I used this technique to turn my Necromancer from a weak chump into a blood-rending vampire, capable of syphoning health from four monsters at a time and building his own HP in the process. I was playing a new game with my son (he's a cleric), and he was stomping through the game making all the kills, grabbing all the loot, and hoarding all the XP while my weakling Necro shivered in the background.

So one night after my son was in bed, I started a new save, dragged my sorry-ass Necromancer over to it, and ran him through the first couple of dungeons until he was level 6. Then I moved my newly improved Necromancer back to our shared save, and the next time we played together I was able to keep up with his cleric and then some. My super-Necro is now the envy of the dungeons.

It's a great system that clears the way for players to try different characters and lock in on ones they like, then start a fresh game with them powered up a little bit. If you haven't played Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II and you enjoy old-school dungeon crawlers, the game is well worth a look, and is now available on consoles and PC. A full review from Gaming Nexus will be forthcoming in the days ahead.