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Baldur’s Gate 3 Review

(Image from Steam Game Page)

I wasn’t in a hurry to give Baldur’s Gate 3 a rating. Such games should be given adequate time and played without hurry in order to test at least the majority of the gameplay components that the creators have provided for us. Another difficulty was that the designers, by giving reviewers access to the game so late, did not allow them an opportunity to evaluate the game accurately, therefore there was even less need to rush to offer a final remark as soon as possible. The fact that several ideas were racing through my mind during the game did not make the task any simpler. When I first started playing the game, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and mechanisms available. Only after I had digested everything did I feel exhilaration and immense appreciation for the creators.

Superlatives can and should be used to describe Baldur’s Gate 3, but what matters most is that Larian Studios set out to create a full-blooded, uncompromising RPG based on the rules of the paper role-playing game system Dungeons & Dragons, and they succeeded with a vengeance. So Larian Studio achieved the production they meant to make from the start, namely an isometric RPG in a modern version with a traditional flare and respect for the original material. Simultaneously, they emphasized demanding gameplay, even on the least difficulty level, with many overlapping elements that you just had to investigate and comprehend. Although many gamers may have rejected or become tired with this method, the developers persisted in pursuing their aim. We now know, a few weeks later, that it was worthwhile to take the risk, because they managed to develop one of the genre’s finest exponents. This is even the more remarkable given that the purpose of big-budget blockbusters is, let’s face it, to sell as many copies of the game as possible. Game makers must combine their vision of the game with the needs of the general public and agree to some concessions. By the end of the first act, I was anxious that the most interesting stuff had passed me by and that nothing would surprise me anymore. How incorrect I was. And I don’t mean plot twists. It’s tough to surprise me in games since I’ve seen virtually everything, and I frequently can’t enjoy things that people talk about for a long time, but the designers of Baldur’s Gate 3 managed to accomplish it multiple times.

Certain occurrences left an indelible effect on me, and nothing hinted that things would take an unexpected turn. One of the camp debates, for example, culminated with an unexpected experiment in which I could nearly feel a chisel being pushed into my hero’s eye socket. By the way, I agreed to this heinous conduct since I did not anticipate the repercussions of my decision being so severe. Importantly, the creators did not discard all of the intriguing concepts at the start, but instead left some surprises for the game’s later stages. The fights with opponents are one of the most crucial features of Baldur’s Gate 3. Skirmishes take place in turns, which may appear to many to be a dull, even ancient, fighting system. Even the most recent Final Fantasy games abandoned turn-based battles in favor of considerably more dynamic duels. However, it works perfectly in this case. Although the first and second portions of Baldur’s Gate were based on real-time combat, they were undoubtedly closer to “turn-based” games owing to the active pause mechanism, which allowed us to halt the game at any time and issue instructions to the squad. That is why the proprietors of Larian Studios opted to include turn-based combat, especially given their expertise in the Divinity Original Sin series. Many aspects from Divinity Original Sin, such as toying with the elements and hurling things, have been translated to Baldur’s Gate 3, which considerably diversifies the gameplay and extends the variety of options. Furthermore, because the settings are designed vertically and have several levels, we may force foes into the abyss, which is really satisfying. These are enhancements, though, because we still need to maximize the most significant strengths of all team members. It will be physical fighting, ranged combat, or the usage of spells and charms – and a vast variety of varied skills connected with them – depending on the character’s class.

(Image from Steam Game Page)

The D&D system itself has been extremely effectively integrated, particularly in the case of dice rolls during different trials, which emerge largely during interactions with NPCs, but also when we open locks and deactivate traps. Each exam of this type is conducted in a separate window, where we can see the minimum score required to pass the test as well as modifiers that enhance our outcome. Though this mechanism is characterized by a high degree of unpredictability, it can elicit strong emotions because it frequently determines our team’s future fate. When speaking with NPCs, we have numerous alternatives for solving the situation and persuading them of our point of view – and it is entirely up to us which strategy we use. So you can occasionally persuade someone to quit fighting, but if the dice don’t fall your way, bad things might happen. This approach works fine, but only if we don’t want to ruin the enjoyment and don’t load the last save to redo the test after each failed effort. In most circumstances, dice rolls occur in the background, such as during battle, yet intriguing occurrences occur in this scenario as well, allowing us to make extra options when attacking or defending. A high enough throwing score will let you to trigger numerous reactions that we see during the game. The game will then ask us whether we wish to employ this technique. As a result, we can cast a spell or execute another skill on the opponent.

This section of the review should begin with the classic statement stated by Piotr Fronczewski, the narrator of the first half of Baldur’s Gate, advising us that we need to collect the squad before continuing on. Unfortunetly we will not hear his voice because Baldur’s Gate 3 has only been given a theatrical release date. To be honest, we won’t hear any further warning because our party of up to four is considerably less likely to get lost. It is worth noting, however, that we obtained dubbing less than a quarter-century ago, which became an indicator of the quality of game localization in Poland, and the publication of the first installment of Baldur’s Gate with Polish voices in our nation was a tremendous risk. When success seemed nearly likely, the reverse occurred. However, this does not remove the fact that selecting team partners is one of the most crucial jobs in Baldur’s Gate 3. The fifth edition D&D rules, which the current iteration use, make the heroes more universal. Despite this, we will not employ our companions to their full capacity because the team composition has dropped by two companions compared to the first and second parts of Baldur’s Gate, limiting our fighting strength.

In my situation, introducing Astarion, the rogue, to the party was pointless because my hunter was too busy unlocking locks and disarming traps. However, due to the restricted number of available spots in the group, I did not employ both a mage and a priest at the same time. Previously, I always had at least one representative from each of these vocations in the group. A significant benefit of team management is the ability to join a character we have not previously used, even at the end of the game. Even the ally’s lack of experience is not an impediment because he can pick up quickly and therefore be on par with our squad. Furthermore, if we make an error when creating a hero, we may level him up again for a nominal charge. It’s a good thing the developers didn’t overcomplicate things. Another part of the game in which the makers offered us a lot of leeway. While we’re on the subject of growing heroes, we can obtain 12 levels in the game, which, for such a long game, seems insufficient for the effort put in. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because the game is based on D&D rules, each team member leveling up is significant. We sense a huge boost in statistics after achieving a new level, as well as acquire new skills and spells that have a tangible influence on fighting and other duties. Importantly, we may grow our hero in a variety of ways inside a single class. The developers did an excellent job in this regard, providing a wide variety of choices.

(Image from Steam Game Page)

We’ll meet the majority of the companions we’ll be able to invite to the party in the first act. Each of these individuals has its own personality and issues that we must address if we want to form a long-term connection with them, which may even develop into a romance. The chores assigned to the companions are broad and frequently last virtually the whole game. Allies respond to our activities as well, frequently meddling in talks during tasks that are unrelated to them. Baldur’s Gate 3 tells a brand-new tale set a hundred years after the events of the Baldur’s Gate 2 expansion Throne of Bhaal. The game includes allusions and even characters from the first and second chapters. The allusions, however, are made ineptly, if not violently, to somehow link the new with the old and justify the addition of the “three” to the title. However, when it comes to the primary narrative, it is extremely well executed, however keep in mind that it develops slowly. We must confront the enigmatic Absolute, a cult that threatens the people of the Sword Coast and Baldur’s Gate. The storyline is deep and comprehensive, and it is also intertwined with various threads and objectives to the point that unexpected occurrences frequently occur in which our friends take part. Who we have on the team is frequently critical. We don’t get a good dose of knowledge until the conclusion of the second chapter, so until then we may enjoy exploring the area and doing side quests, which are one of the greatest aspects of the game in my view. We learn about the next significant events over time, so we must be prepared that the game’s action does not hurry ahead, but I don’t believe anyone anticipated that from a game in which you may spend more than a hundred hours.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a fantastic game that borders on a masterpiece in many ways. Many components have been improved over the first two editions, and we really feel like we have a meaningful influence on the environment and the events that occur in it. At the same time, my initial concerns about the game were validated. Larian Studios capitalized on the brand’s success by developing Baldur, which should be considered a spin-off at best, rather than another numbered portion. As I indicated at the start of the article, it may be a negative for some and a benefit for others. I’m a little disappointed, but it won’t matter to gamers who haven’t seen the original. This does not affect the fact that we have acquired a fantastic title with which we may spend hundreds of hours, if not months, playing leisurely. It’s a rare for RPG enthusiasts to feel like we’re contributing, sitting at the table and participating in the finest session of the paper role-playing game system.

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