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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an action role-playing game developed by Snowblind Studios for the PlayStation 2, and later for the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance, originally released in 2001. It began the Dark Alliance series of games.
The battle system in the game is simplistic, but allows for customizability. The human archer, for example, can assign experience points to enchanting arrows rather than to strength, which will result in more powerful arrows. Likewise, the Elven sorceress is capable of selecting between different spells. However, starting character statistics are preset, and the player may only customize his or her character's statistics through gaining experience points. There are also relatively few non-player characters: the only characters who may be spoken to are those who are part of a quest or sidequest.
Dark Alliance was built on a much more powerful game engine than the PC Baldur's Gate series, which utilized the Infinity Engine - an engine debuting in 1998 which exclusively used sprite characters and static, pre-rendered backgrounds. The Dark Alliance engine allowed for such things as dynamic lighting, real-time shadowing, fully rendered backgrounds and 3d character models. The graphics, in particular, were considered a highlight of the game by many critics.
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