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SummaryMore stuff to kill to better prepare your character for BG2
The GoodAll the things that I liked about 'Baldur's Gate' still applies to this expansion. It makes for an enjoyable AD&D experience on the PC. There are three new areas to explore, plus the new town, Ulgoth's Beard. From this town you'll be sent out on quests to the new areas. The most major new area is Durlag's Tower, a many-leveled typical RPG style dungeon. Level after level you descend as increasingly powerful bad guys try to impede you on your quest.
Not to suggest that it isn't fun. It still has the great combat system and overall feel of BG. Plus, the new expansion offers enough new weapons, items, and spells to keep things interesting. The previous experience point cap is raised a bit, allowing you characters to earn another level or two. There are new, more powerful monsters as well, and some of the battles can be quite challenging.
On the other side of coin, 'Tales of the Sword Coast" has it's faults. The loose story of the expansion is in no way related to the events in 'Baldur's Gate'. It barely gets a mention. This is likely be disappointing for people hoping for some more depth added to the original story.
It is also unfortunate that the expansion was not used as an opportunity to fix some of the flaws of the original. Odd AD&D rules inconsistencies are still there, as are more important issues, such as the tendency for your party to get turned around while walking places. You may direct your party down a corridor, only to find your Ranger walking in the opposite direction.
The onslaught of magic items continues in 'Tales of the Sword Coast', as wands and magic weapons seem to be more common than may be desirable. I feel that it takes away from the excitement of finding certain magic items, when you seem to find them all the time. (Not that I don't like a good magic item.)
'Tales of the Sword Coast' doesn't add a whole lot of new content, and it's not hard to get through it fairly quickly.
The Bottom Line
The expansion pack is basically more of the same gameplay that players of 'Baldur's Gate' are familiar with. Just don't expect any compelling story, many gameplay improvements, or a game anywhere near the scope of BG. However, I am sure that anyone who had fun with 'Baldur's Gate' will find some enjoyment with 'Tales of the Sword Coast'. Besides, isn't it really just a way to spend some time improving your character before you play BG2?