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Baldur's Gate (Windows)

91
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  OlSkool_Gamer (99)
Written on  :  Jan 04, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

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Summary

Excellent standard setting RPG game for years and years to follow!

The Good

I loved EVERYTHING about this game. The musical compositions rate up there with Carl Orff, sounds like music from something like a Braveheart battle. The music written for this game is classic in itself. I have the intro theme on CD and listen to it as though I would other music. The game was an instant jaw-dropper for me and my AD&D buddies... for once, it felt as though we were instantly submerged in a real-life forgotten realms campaign. The rules and modifiers follow the paper N' pen game to a T. Extremely accurate.

Nothing was cheesy about this game, just a serious hardcore RPG for hardcore gamers. The path is somewhat linear but enough freedom to allow you to explore areas that you would get horribly reamed if you weren't strong enough (Something most RPGs today don't let you do). The atmosphere of the realm is such a beautiful recreation of the Paper N Pen game, some recognizable characters appear such as the almighty human form of Paladine AKA Fizban... the infamous and deadly drow elf, Drizzt.

This game was so addicting to me and my friends, we literally cut the outside world off for a month after buying this classic. I believe it was the first gamed developed using the old engine and its a shame they quit using it because these games blow the new NeverWinter Night style games out of the water. No polygon 3d engine will every produce colors and the hand drawn background art like in this game. The game is huge, many many hours of exploring, fighting and town wandering.

The game has a full day cycle where you can tell if its getting close to sunset or morning. The great thing about this is like the Ultima series, different events happen during the day and night. The town of Baldur's Gate is almost like 2 different towns depending on whether or not you go in at night or day.

I loved everything about this game... timeless. A perfect recreation of how the paper n pen game WOULD look if you could actually see it.

The Bad

Setting up the pause features can get a bit annoying, sometimes you want it to pause after certain events, others not. You have to go back in and change it every time you want to adjust it.

If you didn't do the full install, prepare for some disc swapping. 5 to be exact. Why was it on 5 discs?? The whole game can be compressed and fit on 2.

Much too difficult to play without using the pause features. Especially when you're trying to control 6 guys, 3 of which are spell casters, trying to fumble through your spells, cast them, aim them... it would be much too hard fighting in real time.

Some poor AI path-finding code. I think they addressed this in a patch but there are still some problems even after the patch. If you click to walk too far ahead of the character, the characters will start walking very stupidly, running in to walls and each other. VERY VERY frustrating in combat!

Characters can block each other in tight quarters!! Very annoying. And some of the scenes and areas are too small for 6 people to fight in. One could argue that this is a realistic factor but the AI sometimes makes dumb choices in those events.

Mages you encounter and have to fight are extremely difficult in my opinion, especially towards the end of the game. As though a high level mage should be difficult, sometimes its ridiculous.

The Bottom Line

One of the best RPG's EVER EVER created... a faithful recreation of the Paper and Pen version of AD&D... a MUST PLAY for any RPG fan...a MUST MUST MUST play for fans of the paper n pen version of AD&D!