Baldur’s Gate 3 tells an unexpectedly relatable story. Despite the presence of hags and telepathic tadpoles, Baldur’s Gate 3 is ultimately about a bunch of profoundly broken people trying to find their place in life and possibly save the world. Alter it by burning it to a miserable cinder. It all depends on how you’re feeling right now. Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the most memorable games of its kind because to its complex writing and excellent emphasis on experimentation, which is present whether you go for peace or something less savory.
The depth of Dungeons & Dragons is faithfully recreated in Baldur’s Gate 3, a top-down role-playing game. It simplifies the process of rolling dice and checking your abilities, so you can focus on the strategic decisions that matter most as you discover the world and engage in turn-based combat. Without a dungeon master to shake things up, you have a remarkable amount of depth and freedom on the battlefield, as well as a staggering number of decisions with far-reaching effects.
The foundation of your story is both brilliantly simple and ripe with potential for excitement. In order to avoid having tentacles and other Ilithid appendages replace your flesh and bones after having Mind Flayer tadpoles implanted in your head, you and your companions (provided you find such companions and don’t kill them) will seek a cure.
The search for a cure occasionally veers into the worn-out fantasy trope of an Evil Entity out to destroy the world, but it always manages to surprise you just when you think you have things figured out. The beautiful and heartbreaking backstories of your friends and the people you encounter keep the story fresh, even when its beats are predictable. One of the most engrossing settings of its kind, thanks to constantly excellent character writing.
After a while, you become entangled in the issues and biases of others and begin to worry what new horror lies around the next bend. Baldur’s Gate 3 is at its best when it throws you for a loop, when it forces you to think (or bash or psychic blast) your way out of a tight spot.
If the exploding hyenas don’t catch you first, the demons dressed as holy troops or the pain-loving sisterhood of a cult could. It’s the sort of bleak nightmare you’d have if you were dumped into a fantasy world full with conflict and told, “good luck, have fun.” Despite the fantastic trappings, even at its most deranged (and it gets fairly deranged), it feels more grounded and believable.
Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t afraid to laugh at itself and takes itself lightly. At the conclusion of an early quest involving a hag and a distraught widow, you have the option of either letting the widow find a cure for her zombie husband at a later date or making him your permanent servant. It’s a hilariously horrible predicament, and the fact that you can choose to do good, evil, or something in between makes most of Baldur’s Gate 3’s quests memorable.
That, and you’ll eventually have to face the repercussions of your actions in the game’s namesake city of Baldur’s Gate 3. Having a storyline that develops over the course of the game gives your choices more weight and enriches the characters you interact with.
Okay, pretty much everyone. Unlike goblins, Drow, and a few other villain types, devils may receive a chance to prove they aren’t so awful. There must be an unredeemable villain or villains in every fantasy. This superficial analysis repeats some of the most contentious aspects of Dungeons & Dragons’ racial determinism, and it sticks out in a game where intricacy characterizes every person and situation.
Defeating your enemies in Baldur’s Gate 3 is always an exciting experience, no matter how good or bad they are. The complexity of battle is both ingenious and maddening. If you’re a walking encyclopedia of D&D information, it takes the heart of the tabletop experience and automates most of it, so your attack and saving throws happen invisibly for a seamless experience. If you’re not familiar with the classic tabletop game, you may struggle with the first act because it tosses out dozens of concepts without an explainer.
The good news is that Baldur’s Gate 3 equips you with a dizzying array of abilities and strategies to deal with every challenge. You may use acid spray to weaken a formidable opponent, a bench and some trash to gain an advantageous vantage point, or a hole to bury your boss in while they give a rousing speech. Since you have so much leeway, you can always come up with a workable solution on the fly and pat yourself on the back for your ingenuity, even if it takes several tries and a few save file reloads.
One of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had was in Baldur’s Gate 3. Even though I’ve just completed a lengthy first game, I can’t wait to return to Larian’s great universe and see what else I can do.