Waiting for the next Neverwinter Nights game is going to take a while, but Atari has been working on another little Dungeons & Dragons game to be released sometime in 2011 for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network download. Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale takes place in the setting of Forgotten Realms, which author R.A. Salvatore has written many books.
Daggerdale is planned to be module-based (episodic), much like any tabletop D&D adventure, where you could finish a small story and continue to the next. The title's roots will be coming from the 4th and current edition of the pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons system.
The action/RPG will feature hack 'n' slash gameplay that can be played solo or with some buddies, as D&D is meant to be played. Players will adventure in familiar Forgotten Realms areas like Tethyamar where they will battle monsters to gain experience and loot. Developer Bedlam Games promises pick-up-and-play combat to allow players to get right into the action via the campaign or a freeplay mode that allows the player to hunt for more loot.
A trailer of the game can be seen right here:
Looks like Daggerdale will embody some Diablo-esque gameplay, killing monsters and getting treasure, which many people are fans of. Hopefully the game will be able to differentiate itself enough from the equally classic dungeon-crawler franchise and not just be a clone with a D&D skin masking it.
As a long time player of the tabletop D&D, I am curious to see how 4th Edition will translate into a videogame medium. If you have played 4E, you have undoubtedly noticed the "videogame" like quality of the system now. That particular change has been met with both good and bad feedback, however, will be an interesting thing now that it has been injected into an actual videogame.
Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale will be splitting the party sometime in 2011 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For some interesting food for thought, check out this interview with Tracy Hickman, a forefather of tabletop RPG.