|1UP reviews Turbine's latest MMORPG, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and gives it a 6.5 ('All Right' on 1UP's scale).|
The good news about the unwieldy named Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach is that the developer, Turbine, has managed to shoehorn most of the equally unwieldy D&D rules into the game. The bad news: Turbine managed to shoehorn most of those unwieldy rules into the game. The end result is an online game that is a fairly faithful adaptation of its pen-and-paper source but is also less than the sum of its (very) considerable parts.
The classic D&D experience is a bunch of dorky, can't-get-a-girl teenage boys staying up all night, rolling pyramid-shaped dice while they argue which beholder stalk somebody's level 10 paladin just hacked off with his +3 Bastard Sword of Shining Mightiness. I know this firsthand, and I've got the 20-year-old stacks of Doritos-stained graph paper bearing orgies of anal-retentive creation to prove it. D&D was first and foremost about the party; to that end, D&D Online stops just short of putting a gun to your head to force you to group up to successfully make your way through the dungeons littering the city of Stormreach. Soloing is just not a viable option.