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Is Baldur’s Gate 3 Good? | GAME REVIEW

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a party-based RPG game that’s based on the popular table-top game Dungeons and Dragons developed by Larian Studios. It focuses more on its story and has a turn-based gameplay. Back in 2023, it was nominated and won the award during the 2023 Game Awards. Not only that, Baldur’s Gate 3 also won Best Performance, Best Community Support, Best Multiplayer Game, Best RPG, and Best Players’ Voice. 

The game’s release invites players to dive into a meticulously crafted world where choice and consequence are paramount. Baldur’s Gate 3 expands on the lore of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, integrating familiar locations, characters, and creatures, while also introducing new elements to surprise even the most seasoned fans. The game embraces a turn-based combat system that rewards strategic thinking, challenging players to utilize the environment and their party’s varied abilities to overcome complex encounters.

Larian Studios has gone to great lengths to ensure that this installment stays true to the essence of the Baldur’s Gate legacy. They have paid careful attention to feedback from the community to refine gameplay mechanics, dialogue options, and character customization. Their commitment to authenticity is evident in the painstaking detail present in the world-building and character interactions, catering to both newcomers and veterans of the series. Whether navigating through perilous dungeons or engaging in dialogues that shape the narrative, players are promised an experience that underscores the importance of choice in a world brimming with magic and intrigue.

Gameplay

Starting off with the most important aspect for any video game is the gameplay. As mentioned before, Baldur’s Gate 3 was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons so it has similar mechanics and with it is the game’s flexibility where almost everything goes. There are so many ways for a player to solve quests and puzzles. It perfectly complements the different styles and tactics players want to use when playing RPG games. This is to the point where you can even use the environment to your advantage. 

There is also the use of dice rolls which can be found in D&D. There are passive rolls and manual rolls that happen depending on the situation the player is in. To put it simply, the gameplay in Baldur’s Gate 3 is basically out of this world and it’s become the game RPG fans could consider as their holy grail. There’s so many things affecting the gameplay that I cannot fit it in one category.

Game Overview

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a rich addition to the role-playing game genre, embracing deep storytelling and intricate mechanics. The game is a blend of classic Dungeons & Dragons lore with a modern twist, creating an engaging experience.

Storyline

The narrative of Baldur’s Gate 3 follows a group of heroes as they tackle the threat of mind flayers, who seek to invade the world. Players engage with a story that is both influenced by their choices and reflective of D&D’s complex moral system. Key decisions lead to a branching narrative, adding layers of replayability.

Gameplay Mechanics

The gameplay of Baldur’s Gate 3 incorporates turn-based combat that rewards strategic thinking and careful planning. Players can control a party of diverse characters, each with unique abilities and backstories. Multiplayer options allow for cooperative play, showcasing Larian Studio’s commitment to shared storytelling.

Key Features:

  • Turn-based combat
  • Party management
  • Co-op multiplayer

Graphics and Audio

In terms of visuals, Baldur’s Gate 3 presents a lush, fully realized world filled with detailed environments. The game’s audio is immersive, with an orchestral score that echoes the epic nature of the adventure and voice acting that brings depth to the characters. High-resolution textures and dynamic lighting enhance the overall aesthetic, making for a visually and sonically captivating experience.

Aspect Description
Graphics Detailed environments, high-resolution textures, dynamic lighting
Audio Orchestral score, immersive voice acting

Story

After the gameplay, another aspect within video games that players look into is the story and Baldur’s Gate 3 does not disappoint. The story starts with the player being infected by a parasite that will turn them into a mind flayer. However, the story is not linear as you might think and with the different acts comes different themes and tones. Act 1 is more safe as it introduces you to the world and it’s characters. While Act 2 just turns the game into something like Resident Evil. Of course, you can actually change how the story feels using your actions and interactions with characters. 

Your actions also affect your future and you might be surprised that some characters are more important than they seem. Because of this, Baldur’s Gate 3 always feels refreshing. Even though the quests seem endless, they all come together at the end.

Graphics and Character Creation

Then, of course, we have to talk about the Graphics. Baldur’s Gate 3 requires the player to at least have 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 970 or an RX 480 Graphics Card. These are the minimum requirements so you could run the graphics at its lowest setting. While at its highest, it feels like a cinematic masterpiece. Its vibrant world and cutting-edge graphics will make you feel like you’re watching a League of Legends trailer.

When it comes to Character Creation, Baldur’s Gate 3 has outdone itself. There are 7 unique Origin Heroes, 31 subraces and 11 main races, 12 classes with 46 subclasses, 600 plus spells and actions and more! There are chances you might be overwhelmed. However, once you get the feel of it you’ll most likely spend an hour or two just changing up your character as each class and race have their own advantages in-game.

Core Gaming Experience

Baldur’s Gate 3 offers an immersive and complex gaming experience, focusing on strategic combat, in-depth character development, and intricately designed quests.

Combat System

Baldur’s Gate 3’s combat is turn-based, demanding tactical prowess from players. Actions and spells are dictated by D&D 5e rules, creating a system where each choice is critical. Players must utilize the environment to gain an advantage, from using high ground for attack bonuses to interacting with objects for strategic effects.

  1. Turn-based Mechanics: Players take turns moving characters and executing actions.
  2. Environmental Interaction: Use surroundings strategically, like igniting combustible substances or pushing enemies off ledges.

Character Development

Character progression in Baldur’s Gate 3 is deeply rooted in Dungeons & Dragons mechanics. Players choose from a variety of races and classes, each with unique abilities and potential for customization.

  • Abilities & Skills: Each character has innate abilities and skills shaped by their class and race, affecting gameplay and interactions.
  • Customization: Through leveling up, players select feats and spells, tailoring characters to their playstyle.

Quest Design

Quests in Baldur’s Gate 3 are multilayered, with choices impacting the world and story. Players face moral decisions that shape the narrative, and the quest outcomes can drastically alter the game’s progression.

  • Multiple Solutions: Each quest often has several paths to completion, influenced by player decisions and character abilities.
  • Consequence-Driven: The game tracks choices, resulting in a personalized story arc and varied endings for different players.

Multiplayer Elements

Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a rich multiplayer experience through its co-op gameplay and online interactions, allowing players to join forces or compete with one another in a deeply immersive environment.

Co-Op Gameplay

In Baldur’s Gate 3, players can engage in cooperative gameplay with up to four participants, creating a dynamic group where coordination and strategy are key. Each player independently controls their character, bringing unique abilities to the table. They may collaborate on decisions and dialogue choices, affecting the game’s narrative and how events unfold. The Drop-in/Drop-out feature allows flexibility, enabling friends to join or leave the campaign without disrupting the ongoing session.

Online Interactions

Online interactions in Baldur’s Gate 3 extend beyond cooperative play. The game offers a versatile communication system which includes voice chattext messages, and a ping system to facilitate smooth coordination among players. With the incorporation of Larian’s Direct Connectivity, latency is reduced, promoting a more responsive multiplayer experience. Players can also engage in PvP (Player vs. Player) confrontations, challenging each other in battles that test their tactical acumen and character builds.

Technical Aspects

In reviewing the technical aspects of Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s crucial to consider how the game operates across different systems and its performance during gameplay.

System Requirements

Minimum System Requirements:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i5-4690 / AMD FX 4350
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 780 / AMD Radeon R9 280X
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 150 GB available space

Recommended System Requirements:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7 4770k / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB / AMD RX580
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 150 GB available space

Performance

Baldur’s Gate 3 is designed to deliver a smooth gaming experience on systems meeting the recommended specifications. Users with minimum system requirements may experience lower frame rates and longer loading times. However, the game is optimized to maintain a stable performance profile with occasional dips only in graphically intense scenarios. The development team has continuously addressed performance issues reported by the community to provide patches and updates aimed at various hardware configurations.

Comparative Analysis

In this section, the performance and features of Baldur’s Gate 3 are evaluated against its predecessors and games of similar genre.

Previous Installments

Baldur’s Gate 3 brings a substantial evolution to the series with an overhaul in graphics and mechanics. Graphics have shifted from the isometric 2D sprites of its predecessors to fully rendered 3D environments and characters. The gameplay mechanics now embrace the Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, a departure from the Second Edition used in earlier games. These changes have broadened the tactical possibilities and character customization options available to players.

Competitor Games

When compared to competitor games, Baldur’s Gate 3 stands out in its narrative depth and voice acting. Key competitors like Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Pillars of Eternity also offer rich RPG experiences, but Baldur’s Gate 3’s strength lies in its expansive story and the legacy of its franchise. Here’s how it stacks up:

Feature Baldur’s Gate 3 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity
Graphic Fidelity High Moderate Moderate
Narrative Depth Extensive Deep Deep
Voice Acting Full Full Partial
Ruleset D&D 5E Custom Custom
Multiplayer Option Yes Yes No

Baldur’s Gate 3 excels with its implementation of the D&D 5E rule set, offering a familiar experience to tabletop RPG enthusiasts. While both Divinity and Pillars offer multiplayer options, Baldur’s Gate 3 additionally allows for a more interactive and cooperative storytelling experience.

DLC and Post-Launch Content

Baldur’s Gate 3 has offered a robust roadmap for DLC and post-launch content designed to enhance the gaming experience. New features and expansions complement the significant updates and patches that have been regularly deployed.

Expansion Packs

Upcoming Expansion Packs:

  • As of yet, specific expansion packs have not been announced for Baldur’s Gate 3. The developers have hinted at significant content additions that will expand upon the game’s narrative and gameplay mechanics.

Expected Features:

  • New storylines
  • Additional characters and companions
  • Fresh gameplay areas

Updates and Patches

Recent Updates:

  • Update 1: Improved Multiplayer Stability
  • Update 2: Enhanced AI Behavior

Notable Patches:

  • Patch 1: Bug fixes and optimization tweaks
  • Patch 2: Balancing changes based on player feedback
Summary
This is a fairly short review about Baldur’s Gate 3. However, judging from the awards it has received, the feedback and reviews, along with expert analysis, it has become the new standard for what RPG games should feel and look like. It has cemented itself as the greatest game to come out of 2023. What do you think about the game? Would you want to play it? Cast your votes.
Good
  • Rich Story
  • Immersive and Unique Gameplay
  • Seemingly Endless Content
  • Great Graphics
  • Amazing Community Support
Bad
  • There are some bugs due to patches
9.8
Amazing
Written by
I am a graduate of Administration and Business Management and currently studying Computer Science with a major in Game Development as well as an avid writer that can handle several topics including finance, technology, pop culture, literature, and more. I have garnered several awards in my career as a write over the past years including 1st place in poem writing and fictional story writing. In addition, I have experience writing as a freelancer on several platforms for over 2 years as well as some experience in team management, budgeting, and graphic design. I worked as a team leader and manager in one website as well as the founder of a startup company called Collektyv whose goal is to make passions into professions.

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