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Dark Alliance Beholder boss battle trailer - How it compares to real D&D

Dark Alliance Beholder boss battle trailer - How it compares to real D&D
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Only a couple of weeks ago, we published our Dark Alliance hands-on review, and at the same time Wizards of the Coast announced that the game would be launching on June 22, 2021 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5 and Xbox Series X | Xbox Series S. Now we have our first trailer of the Beholder boss battle.

It looks and acts a little different from how you expect a Beholder to act in Dungeons & Dragons. Here are some of the differences we picked up on.

Hagedorn vs. D&D 5e Beholder

"The Beholder is one of the most iconic D&D creatures, so it was an incredible opportunity to bring it to life for Dark Alliance" says Kevin Neibert, Lead Game Designer at Tuque Games, in an interview with IGN. "We looked to the Monster Manual for inspiration, and then gave it our own creative twist. Enter Hagedorn, the Dreamer, and his distinctive chitinous shell."

Since Dark Alliance is a fast-paced action game and not a turn-based game, there are quite a few different things about the Beholder. Firstly, its eye stalks don't actually shoot any of the infamous eye rays. Instead, there's a general magic power that blasts from it, either via the big eye or in its space. 

The explanation for this change was that it was a technical limitation. As far as its moves go, it probably has some thing similar to a Death Ray, Disintegration Ray and Enervation Ray, since those are mostly just damage dealing. But, it's unclear if it has some of the fun ones, like the Charm Ray or Fear Ray, because that might not work in this type of game. However, we've seen some moves that are definitely not in the Monster Manual, like lightning bolts hitting the entire battlefield. It seems like the team took only a few of the cool tricks that the Beholder has and made them more AoE abilities for the sake of the game.

Beholder also typically have an Antimagic Cone, but it's unclear if that comes into play in the game. For a second, it looked like the comically giant eye ball might have represented that, but it's unclear. The Beholder also seems a bit on the smaller side despite being a classified as a "large" creature, but maybe that's just me.

Regardless, I'm excited to face off against this Hagedorn to see how to fairs against the real thing when the game launches on June 22.