New 'Dungeons & Dragons' video game based on R.A. Salvatore characters coming in 2020

Key Points
  • A new video game based on "Dungeons and Dragons" is coming fall of next year.
  • Wizards of the Coast and Tuque have partnered to create "Dark Alliance," a third-person action role-playing game.
  • The game will feature characters from R.A. Salvatore's novels.
"Dark Alliance" is a new video game coming from the makers of "Dungeons and Dragons."
Wizards of the Coast | Tuque

A new video game based on "Dungeons and Dragons" is coming to computers and consoles in the fall of next year.

Wizards of the Coast, the Hasbro-owned company behind the popular 45-year-old tabletop game, and video game company Tuque have partnered to create "Dark Alliance," a third-person action role-playing game.

"Once you roll initiative, that's when our game begins," said Kevin Neibert, lead game designer at Tuque.

"Dark Alliance" is being billed as a "spiritual successor" to the "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" series of video games and features characters from R.A. Salvatore's novels.

This new video game comes at a time when "Dungeons and Dragons" is having a renaissance. The tabletop games are more popular than ever, with sales of the fifth edition, which was released in 2014, continuing to sell better and better each year. The newest edition centers more on storytelling than previous versions, allowing players to focus more on narrative than the technical game mechanics.

Also, YouTube and Twitch channels featuring celebrities and voice actors have introduced more people to the game. New player handbooks and starter sets have been a large portion of Wizards of the Coast's "Dungeons and Dragons" sales growth, the company told CNBC back in March.

The upcoming video game was designed so that even if you aren't a fan of "Dungeons and Dragons," you could enjoy the combat mechanics. There's an overarching story that ties a series of missions together, Neibert said, but there's no dice rolling or counting up hit points.

On the game's easiest level, players can button-smash their way through enemies, but on higher difficulty modes players will need to be more masterful in timing their strikes.

There are four playable characters: Drizzt Do'Urden, a drow (dark elf) with twin blades, Catti-Brie, an archer who can be used as a sniper, Bruenor, a dwarf with battle ax, and Wulfgar, who wields a battle hammer, according to Neibert. Each character has their own specific weaponry and attacks.

In single-player mode, you can select any character you wish to play and swap between them throughout the campaign. In the co-op mode, which can be played with friends or people from the online community, each player must select a different character.

Neibert said the new game will not follow the top-down perspective of past "Dark Alliance" games. Instead, the camera will be from the third-person perspective.

"The third-person camera pulls [them] into the action and it's much more intimate," Neibert said. "It allows you to react more dynamically."

Tuque has also incorporated more "RPG elements," allowing players to customize the characters and pick up loot and upgrades after battles.

"What separates us is the focus on co-op but also having that mechanical mastery that you see in more hardcore games like 'Dark Souls,'" Neibert said.

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