I really love role-playing games, and especially D&D, and today I decided to create a post about the history of Dungeons and Dragons games on PC
Golden Box Era
The first attempts to drag DND onto the screens of monitors and TVs occurred in the late 1980s. At that time SSI released Pool of Radiance, which reproduced the famous setting of Faerun on PC. Instead of an open world, such games offered full-fledged computerization of the official adventures delivered with the board game.
Of the variety, the following are worth highlighting:
Pool of Radiance, 1988, SSI
The first game on in the setting, what can I say. Somewhat primitive even in comparison with comrades, but for its time it was magnificent. It has several sequels that came out until 1993.
Champions of Krynn, 1990, SSI
There are few differences, except for the completely new graphics and plot.
Eye of the Beholder, 1992, Westwood
Eye of the Beholder and its sequel are considered the best early dungeon crawlers in general, as the authors managed to achieve the perfect balance between the plot, the riddles and the battles, which fully compensates for the hackneyed setting – Faerun.
Warriors of the Eternal Sun, 1992, Westwood
The first (and only) jRPG in the D&D setting, first released on Sega Genesis. Very good, but the terrible save system killed all the chances of its popularity. The setting this time is pretty little-known – Mistara, a more friendly and colorful version of high fantasy.
Treasures of the Savage Frontier, 1992, SSI
The latest RPG from SSI for “Dungeons and Dragons.” Not good, not bad, just the last of almost two dozen. Setting – Faerun.
Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace, 1992, Cybertech
First of all, the game is distinguished by a setting – in the Spelljammer rule set, science fiction with spaceships has been added to the fantasy. There is even a full-fledged economy in the game.
Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, 1995, Dreamforge
Another dungeon crawler, but this time in the setting of Ravenloft, which can be described as gothic horror.
Infinity Engine Era
The second dawn of the universe of “Dungeons and Dragons”. It was then that Wizards of the Coast (publishers of desktops) published its third edition, and the still unknown company Bioware introduced Infinity Engine. As a demonstration of the engine was released a game that immediately became a cult.
Baldur’s Gate, 1998, Bioware
From everything previous, Baldur’s Gate differs in almost everything. Turn-based battles were replaced by an active pause. The first-person view was replaced by an isometry and etc. We got a huge open world with dozens of locations and dungeons, drawn in high resolution and even voiced. Each character has a personality, history, preferences, and sometimes even a personal quest. The setting is already familiar to us in Faerun.
Planescape: Torment, 1999, Black Isle Studios
What happens if Fallout developers get Dungeons & Dragons in their hands? They will create Planescape: Torment! Using the same engine, Planescape gives a completely different gaming experience. The main actions of the game take place in Sigil, the City of Doors. Sigil is located on top of a giant spire piercing all the plans of the Multiverse of Dungeons and Dragons.
Icewind Dale, 1999, Black Isle Studios
Another awesome game on the Infinity Engine. But unlike the previous game, Icewind Dale focuses on the action and makes a reference to classic dungeon crawlers. We will see a huge number of beautifully painted locations, gorgeous battles with different monsters and still unique atmosphere of D&D.
Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, 2001, Bioware
The second part was created with an eye to criticism of the first, as well as games from Black Isle Studios. So the map became much more full of content, the plot began to move a little faster, and party members finally learned to notice each other and discuss what was happening.
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor, 2001, Stormfront Studios
The first DnD game in 3D. More precisely, with 3D models. And it has one big flaw – it’s terrible! Disgusting plot and control. Absolutely no level design. Constant movement across the same dungeon locations. It can be seen that the authors either did not try at all or did not know what to do.
Neverwinter Nights, 2002, Bioware
The first truly cool three-dimensional game in the universe of Dungeons and Dragons. Everything is as in Baldurs Gate, but twice as good. A huge number of bonuses, such as beautiful graphics, campaign constructor, a great storyline, a role-playing system of 3.5 edition and even avoiding many elements of the setting that are bored to everyone.
Icewind Dale 2, 2002, Black Isle Studios
This game is a great continuation of the first part of Icewind Dale. This game is a great continuation of the first part of the game. The graphics got a little better, the interface got a different shape and the plot didn’t get any worse. The tale ended sadly – despite the success of the game, Interplay publisher went bankrupt, and the Black Isle team scattered in different directions.
The Temple of Elemental Evil, 2003, Troika Games
The Temple of Elemental Evil is based on the Greyhawk setting, which is much more mundane and darker than Faerun. And in general, the game itself is much closer to the desktop rules – the battles are turn-based, and the rules are 3.5.
Neverwinter Nights 2, 2005, Obsidian
This game was the last good RPG in the universe.The game is really a good heir to its ancestors. Here, the graphics became much better compared to the first part, the RPG system was enriched, and the plot is still interesting and addictive.
As I said earlier, Neverwinter Nights 2 is by far the last good game in a D&D setting, but the bright ray of hope has entered the dark realm of terrible creations in this universe. In the summer of 2019, Larian Studios, the developers of Divinity Original Sin announced Baldur’s Gate 3. Together with the announcement, they presented an epic teaser with the city of Baldur’s Gate, the guard of the flaming fist and illithids: