May 9, 2011

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale

It's been quite a few year since the last time the Forgotten Realms were under attack and I actually cared, but it seems that Atari and Bedlam are onto something refreshing with their forthcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale. This will apparently be a hack-and-slash, action heavy, episodic, co-op enabled, downloadable CRPG based on the 4th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rule-set and will rather definitely be available for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 during this very May. Also, the chances I will be reviewing it are high indeed.

Besides the novelty of being the first digital interpretation of 4th edition rules, what sounds as intriguing as a particularly intriguing thing is the fact that  Daggerdale will have a strong multiplayer aspect and will be based on some sort of modular architecture. Oh, and it does seem them Wizards of the Coast will be helping with the world and plot. Then again, what would be more enlightening than a trip to the game's official site and a short interview with the developers?

How would you describe Daggerdale?

Daggerdale actually harkens back to the good old hack-n-slash days of Baldur's Gate, specifically with Dark Alliance I and II. You have a full single-player campaign if you want to play by yourself, but it's highly recommended that you play with at least one other friend.

What would you say makes it unique?

Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a D&D game on console to start with, but further than that, I think the fact that Daggerdale was designed to be a smaller scoped and largely multiplayer experience does make it a unique game for the D&D and RPG fans out there. It’s not meant to suck your life away for days or weeks, but it should quench your thirst for a fun-filled hacknslash experience.

Why did you actually choose to create a Dungeons and Dragons game?

There’s a passion here at Atari to make great games utilizing the D&D license. We felt it was a good time to go back into the console genre with D&D and that the digital platforms were the place to do it.

Was working with the 4th edition rules and implementing them for the first time in a game as copious as it sounds?

We worked closely with the folks at Wizards to make sure what we ported over from the pen and paper rules made sense in the video game world. The base line rule the entire time was to make sure the game is fun and that it was true to the D&D universe – I think we did a great job accomplishing just that.

Care to mention some of Daggerdale's inspirations?

The list is just too long. Everyone that worked on the project grew up with a love for the pen & paper game so it really comes back to our childhood. Of course, on the video game side, you have to credit the Baldur’s Gate series of games for giving us a good stepping stone.

I understand it's a download only title. Why's that? Any chance we'll get to see a lavish boxed version?

Daggerdale was designed to be more a modular afternoon experience, rather than a sprawling 40+ hour RPG. Keeping the size it mind, it made perfect sense to put this game out on platforms like XBLA, PSN, & Steam. I have no doubt that if Daggerdale does well, we’ll see some more of it and maybe even a boxed version.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. I'm very interested to see how well 4th ed translates into video games, for all its faults 3rd edtion actually worked really well in ever computer game it was implimented in (Personally my favourite was Ice wind Dale 2, but I do like me a bit of DDO too!), so I think this is a test to see if the radical changes to D&D do actually have merit.

    I haven't heard anyone address this yet, but will PS3 360 and PC players be in the same server? I'm guessing its a big no on that count, but if they can that feature alone will push it into one of my most anticipated games of the new year!

    Would it be alright to plug my blog over at ?

  2. I like sprawling, 40+ hour RPGs far more than hack-and-slash of any variety. I may perhaps give this a try at some point anyway.

  3. @ Dungeon Dragon: I must admit I really don't know whether cross-platform multiplayer will be available, but I really don't feel it's a necessary feature. Oh, and that's a lovely blog you plugged.

    @ Ithmeer: I generally agree dear Ithmeer, but -the truth is- I no longer have the time for such epics.

  4. @ gnome haha yeah isn't it :D There is content waiting to be added, but I was a little concerned that the URL was too close to a certain well known FRPG and that I'd be receiving a letter the second it went live, therefore the most sensible course of action that I could think of was to begin back linking a month before I add any content to test the waters :D

  5. Actually, from what I can understand of IP law, you're pretty safe. No, really.

  6. Well that's my confusion. See when I grew up there were fanzines, and magazines would carry D&D adventures, and everything seemed to be fine... but you don't really get that sort of thing happening anymore.

    As far as I understand it though, its perfectly acceptable to do, say, an adventure and say its intended for use with D&D 4th ed.... But on the other hand Hasbro did seem to go after alot of sites about 4 years ago... (don't know if they've accepted that that was one of the many reasons they completely fragmented the fan base or not though....).

    I'm hoping the fact that it's going to be used for fan/parody uses will keep me out of trouble for a little while :D (although to be honest if they tell me to tkae it down I'll just set up a 301 redirect to the sign up page for lol)

  7. I really wouldn't worry. Really, really.

  8. I think that might be true for many gamers--the time to invest in a game for more than even 20 hours is tough these days.

    RPGs, though, seem well suited for modularity. It's arguably the nature of tabletop gaming. But outside of a few indie games, it's not something we've seen done.

  9. I saw this interview:

    It sounds like the first game will be about 10 hours of gameplay. Sadly, they're not committing to the second and third games.

  10. Modularity is indeed the key my friend. I believe that if they pull it off, this will be excellent news for us time-starved gamers.

  11. Yes, excellent news. I've been looking at Hunted: Demon's Forge and Dungeon Siege III. I like the mapmaking tool for Hunted (especially for a console game), but they have things I'm skeptical of.

  12. Well, truth be said dear guttetalk, Hunted doesn't quite appeal to me. Can't say why really... Think I should go on and design a fully modular CRPG sporting tons of short episodes/adventures...

  13. Oh.... turns out its rubbish :(

  14. Well, not so much really. Started playing today and it's better than the first reviews suggested. Still, nothing spectacular so far.

  15. I broke down and bought it over the weekend, though I knew it has problems. So far, they've not been infuriating (though the camera is annoying).

    My daughter and I played for a couple of hours yesterday. It was actually fun, though partly because we quickly ran out of health potions and were forced to play a bit more smartly. I was the tank while she stood back and fired her bow. I would die and she'd run in for a quick revive and then retreat. And so far, the goblins don't die quickly, which makes for good fights.

    The thing about many dungeon crawls is that they're more dungeon sprints. But we had to actually crawl through the halls, pulling as few goblins as possible. We probably could have run back for more potions, but to be honest, I had way more fun feeling like I was closer to the edge.

    So, even for a problematic, average game, it's providing me at least with some insight into what a better action RPG would be--fewer but smarter & stronger enemies with much greater risks.

  16. I think I'm pretty close to you on Daggerdale my friend. Then again, as I simply hate creating new Gamespy or whatever accounts (Steam should be enough), I don't think I'll be trying the multiplayer bit. Hope to have a review ready within the week.

  17. Have you tried Torchlight? I have somewhat mixed views on it as well, although it's not buggy. Great console controls for an action RPG, but it still seems too stripped down.

  18. Played the demo and loved it, and I do have a physical copy at hand. As soon as I find the time I'll give it a go. You should really see the stacks of bought and unplayed games around here Garry...

  19. Have you played the game now?

    Painfully disappointing

  20. Well, it's definitely not as good as I believed it to be, lacks a proper save function, but I wouldn't really call it a bad game. More in the review that will appear within 48 hours :)

  21. Be interesting to read. Would like to see a positive side to this game, or at least a supportive one.

    Am struggling to get through the game, mainly because it has made some serious steps back from its other digital predecessors

  22. Yes, well, just don't expect something glowing dear badger... It definitely is no Baldur's Gate. It's quite a Diablo though...