Baldur’s Gate 3 Review – Faerun’s Greatest Hits

“The bard’s death is a weight for thine own conscience to bear.” 

This line of dialogue is without a doubt one of the most powerful spoken texts that I’ve ever listened to.

That not only conveys the gravity of your main character’s situation but also makes you feel the evil that’s harboring within you. And the best part? You might even miss it altogether if you don’t pick this character’s origin at the beginning. 

It’s choices like this that make Baldur’s Gate 3 a joy to playthrough, even with its hauntingly large scale, its developers, Larian Studios, deserve all of the plaudit that they have received since its 1.0 launch way back in September, and with players still discovering new stuff all the time, it’s fair to say people are super hooked.

Presentation

The game presents itself incredibly well from the get-go, all thanks to the many long years within the Early Access that their die-hard players have given feedback and contributed to. The bells and whistles that you would expect are polished from the start to the end and It’s another case of “letting the folks who know that stuff” do it and I’m all for it. 

What more can I say? The cast is memorable, the music is divine and the story grips you from the moment you awaken from a strange ship to hijinks that players may or may not even expect to happen, not to mention all of the secrets, dialogue changes that happen if you have certain elements, it’s just a smorgasbord of systems that just fits everywhere without any issues and I’m not surprised that people are hooked.

The game really nails the cinematics too, like each dialogue feels incredibly in tune with the writing on display, and each companion or NPC you talked to, has different expressions to engage out how you would respond. It just showcases how much effort the folks at Larian have made to make it their masterpiece.

Gameplay

Baldur’s Gate 3 plays most like its predecessors from back in the early 2000s, with some nice added quality-of-life improvements that Larian has taken from their own series, Divinity Original Sin, that help elevate the game to a system-based CRPG that I haven’t played before or since.

It’s the sort of gameplay that makes it more like an immersive sim than any of its peers during any time within the last years and it’s baffling how many things you can do within one playthrough that some people might even miss as well.

It’s just so solid that every element is fine-tuned to perfection makes all of the silly stuff that you can do within the game work as you wanted it to, which makes all the years within early access worth it for the devs to make the game and its combat systems work like this without the fear of breaking the game.

And when you add in the 4 player multiplayer aspect, golly I am glad the game is solid enough to handle it, because imagine the chaos that is two to four wizards with the Nuclear blast spell on a boss for the ultimate overkill is always a sight to behold as the fire spread everywhere. 

And although there are still complaints about the Dice Rolls within the game months after it has turned 1.0 and released on consoles, I kinda feel it fits the charm of its source materials rather well, because of the hilarity of failing a skill check on a hostile squirrel but critical 20 roll on the final boss is what makes it memorable both here and on the tabletop in real life.

But, the complaints about save files corrupting still linger for some, myself included even during Hotfix 15, and I guess it is due to compatibility with four different platforms (Steam, GOG, PlayStation, and Xbox) but it does bummer the experience of playing with friends when the save goes kaput.

Content

As a matter of fact, this is a 40 – 50 hour game on a SINGLE playthrough that might not even color the outer line of secrets and questlines that are buried within this massive game, which has branching story paths, character-specific quests, and an overarching plot that sees you racing against time to get rid of something that’s killing you. So I’ll wager the content that you can do within the game is more than substantial. 

And the co-op stuff you can do with friends is going to bring the parallels of tabletop DnD of course, but now in the comfort of your steam and discord combo for longer sessions, evil DM (difficulty spikes), bad dice rolls and all.

Personal Enjoyment

Goodness, you know it’s a banger that I can’t really ignore if I’m writing this review after it had launched almost half a year now at the time of writing, and with hundreds of thousands still playing this game if you look at the Steam Charts and such, you know the personal enjoyment factor is going to rank high. 

Really, it’s that sort of video game that even people who haven’t played anything that isn’t remotely Grand Theft Auto or EAFC would take notice of when they see it at any gaming kiosk or store, with people working there striking a conversation on their personal experience of the game too, which somehow feels gratifying as well? Like it’s now everywhere, all at once.

And I do love that. After a decade of covering games and seeing this skrunky CRPG doing the business makes me feel like this industry still has the shining of the moonlight as everyone tries to hold on. 

Verdict 

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the ultimate RPG game that respects its audience and welcomes newcomers to try out this genre-defining game that sucks you in from the moment you awoke from your pod. It is essential to anyone to try out this game if you are curious as to why it won 2023, and who knows. You might find your found gaming family via this one. 

Played on PC, Review Copy purchased by the reviewer. 

9.5

Baldur's Gate 3

The ultimate RPG game that respects its audience and welcomes newcomers to try out this genre-defining game that sucks you in from the moment you awoke from your pod. It is essential to anyone to try out this game.

  • Presentation 9.8
  • Gameplay 9
  • Content 9
  • Personal Enjoyment 10

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