Second best RPG ever gets an overhaul and a totally unnecessary and very boring extra adventures.

User Rating: 8 | Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition PC
In the summer of 1999 I played Baldur's Gate for the first time and it was the most amazing game ever, everything about it was just perfect for an old pnp player like me and the gods only know how much time I spent playing it. It was an instant classic. Then came the sequel and it was even better. Over the years I have regularly taken my copies out again and played through the whole saga again and while nothing compares to finishing it for the first time, it is always worth playing and stands up to any modern rpg today, with their regurgitated, horribly written story lines and characters (I'm looking at you Dragon Age 2), or instant gratification and reward for the player with out much effort or skill. Or the ever present money grab in form of micro-transitions, and in-game stores.

And here is Baldur's Gate EE's biggest flaw, while the classic game is still worth playing and many of the overhauls to the interface are great and it is fun to play the Baldur's Gate 1 classic story with the BG2 Class kits and new not so bad companions, Overhaul Games had to go and modernize it in the worst way possible, there is an in game store, at the moment you can only buy extra portraits (they are not worth it) and as a big **** you they have taken out the option of having your own portraits in the game. It is kind of insulting. Also on the store is a new adventure The Black Pits, and this is where you can really see the difference between modern rpgs and how it used to be. This new "adventure is just a series of staged battles, always in the same environment, and after each battle you get sent to a store area to upgrade your gear and speak to the shopkeepers rinse and repeat. In addition to story being totally absent the characters you meet and the dialog you can choose to exchange with them ranges from mildly annoying to Dragon age 2-ian retarditude. Worst is the Arena Masters whose voice-acting and dialog is just plain awful. Add to that ridiculously high xp and gold rewards after each battle and you have the classic modern rpg within the Baldur's Gate saga.

However, the new characters you meet in the game it self are pretty good, especially the monk, the wild mage has an interesting back story but the Black Guard is your typical evil guy, almost devoid of character and charisma... he is just... evil.

Only one more complaint worth adding, Overhaul went ahead and took out the original cut-scenes and added new "enhanced" cut-scenes, in 2d. Unfortunatly that may have been an oversight, they look very amateurish and stiff and feel uncomplete, and there are at least two lines missing in the opening cutscene and it lacks all drama and soul of the original 3d cutscene.

But despite all these flaws I love this release, I will just ignore the Black Pit and enjoy the Bhaal saga once more with new companions.
Hopefully it will introduce this old classic to a new generation of players and when they see how great rpgs can and used to be. And if there is demand for good rpgs maybe we will stop seeing the crap we have to put up with today.

Well one can dream...

Pros: It's Baldur's Gate!, some great interface improvements, New characters are mostly okay.

Cons: The Black Pit, ingame store, amateurish 2d cutscenes.

Update: It turns out you acctually can load your own portraits, it's just a big hassle from what it was.

Discussion

0 comments