A local co-op series evolves for an online multiplayer era
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance reboots a series whose multiplayer is firmly rooted in local co-op play. That’s no surprise given the existence of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 1 and 2 before the common use of online connectivity in console gaming. Fast forward two decades and the gaming landscape has changed dramatically in regards to online systems. In fact, the emergence of online multiplayer has vastly reduced the existence of local co-op, often referred to as “couch co-op.”
Since Tuque Games’ Dark Alliance is looking to revitalize the series in the modern era, the inclusion of co-op is a no-brainer and a non-negotiable demand from the fanbase. Sure, Tuque could model the spirit of the older titles to adopt online multiplayer to truly advance the experience — this is exactly what they did — but there are still nostalgia-stricken fans longing for the simpler times of sitting down with a few friends and a few controller before diving into the fantasy adventure.
For those that still enjoy experiencing cooperative games side-by-side rather than over a headset, here’s what you can expect.
Does Dark Alliance Support Split-Screen Co-op?
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance will not have split-screen co-op at launch, but the feature is planned as a post-launch release. The post-launch plans were recently revealed for the new Dark Alliance game, and among them is split-screen play.
The first free DLC, labeled as Wraiths, is targeting a general Summer 2021 release window and this is where split-screen is supposed to make its appearance. Jeff Hattem, Tuque Games’ Head of Studio, made the following statement in an Xbox Wire post:
“We expect to add two-player split-screen play options to PC and Xbox Series X|S with [the Free DLC 1] update.”
Note that Hattem explicitly mentions two players. Although Dark Alliance will support up to four players via online multiplayer, split-screen co-op will be limited to two players. You will have to choose your co-op partner carefully (at least the one you’d prefer to physically sit next to).
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance will release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on June 22, 2021.
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