Oleg Tytarenko 30 Sep 2023
Baldur's Gate 3 Review: Decision-making game

Sometimes, a remarkable game emerges that leaves an indelible mark due to its memorability, excitement, freshness, and exceptional writing, effectively raising the bar for an entire genre. Baldur's Gate 3 achieves this feat in the realm of tabletop roleplaying-inspired, swords and sorcery adventure. This modern CRPG attracted a massive player base, setting records on game platforms and receiving widespread acclaim…

Baldur's Gate 3's appeal lies in its ability to cater to both veteran CRPG enthusiasts and newbies. It retains the genre's hallmark feature: a vast array of choices in combat, exploration, conversation, and character development, reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPGs. It provides this experience without requiring players to assemble a dedicated group of friends for tabletop gaming sessions, making it more accessible.

General impression

Baldur's Gate 3 is a game centered around decision-making. When confronting a menacing demonic creature in a vast underground temple, the player's character can influence the monster's actions based on their character build. Alternatively, they can engage in a more traditional battle, using weapons, magic, and environmental hazards like fiery barrels.

This game challenges players to prove their heroism, demanding tough choices that add tension and depth to the storytelling.

While CRPGs can be daunting to newbies due to their complexity, Baldur's Gate 3 takes a different approach. Instead of overwhelming players with extensive manuals or tedious tutorials, it encourages a trial-and-error approach to learning its intricate rules for interaction.

Baldur's Gate 3 enriches its world with micro-stories scattered throughout its environments, waiting to be discovered through conversations or exploration.

The game blends standard high fantasy elements with a touch of humor, appealing to a broad audience. It maintains a balanced tone that avoids becoming overly sarcastic or too serious, adapting to the needs of different situations.

Some aspects

Notice, that Baldur's Gate 3 offers a great degree of character customization. For example, with 29 distinct subraces featuring unique abilities and models, players have an abundance of options. Each of the 12 classes offers at least three specializations, providing diverse playstyles.

The game's art direction is commendable, with captivating designs for humanoid characters, enemies, and outfits. Notably, the high-fidelity, performance-captured facial expressions enhance immersion, making the characters feel lifelike.

The game's attention to detail extends to its world design and writing. The city of Baldur's Gate, in particular, stands out as a vibrant hub teeming with life and adventure. Nearly every NPC in the city contributes to the narrative and rewards exploration with lore, loot, and quests. The sheer amount of voice acting throughout the game, even among minor characters, is astonishing and adds depth to the world.

What else is there

The companions in Baldur's Gate 3 are a diverse group of complex characters who evolve throughout the campaign. These multilayered individuals grow and sometimes regress, forming unique relationships with the player character. The main villains are also well-crafted, possessing intricate motives and distinct malevolence that introduce greater threats in the later stages of the game.

Combat encounters in Baldur's Gate 3 are thoughtfully designed to challenge players. Each encounter presents distinct obstacles that require creative solutions, and the AI can be ruthless, especially in higher-difficulty settings.

Baldur's Gate 3 spans three acts, each offering a unique atmosphere and aesthetic. While the pacing can occasionally feel slow, the game compensates with exciting exploration, well-crafted side quests, and engaging combat encounters.

What sets the game apart is the absence of filler content; every location and side quest contributes to a meaningful roleplaying experience.

The choices players make, especially in Act 3, have far-reaching consequences, and the narrative continually references earlier decisions, enhancing the game's authenticity.

In conclusion

Baldur's Gate 3 exemplifies the potential of a talented studio working within a genre it understands well, even if that genre has temporarily fallen out of fashion. Despite some minor bugs and performance issues, Baldur's Gate 3 stands as a landmark in the CRPG genre. It combines tactical combat, a richly written story, complex characters, and cinematic presentation to create an exceptional gaming experience. It's a worthy successor to the classics of the genre and sets a high standard for future CRPGs...

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