Baldur’s Gate 3 is a “masterpiece,” but its final act needs work

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a masterpiece, blending Dungeons & Dragons rules with accessible CRPG gameplay for a unique experience.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a “masterpiece,” but its final act needs work
Published by Noah @ PC Game Spotlight 9 months ago

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a masterpiece

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a “masterpiece.” That’s not hyperbole; I mean it both literally and figuratively. It is a masterpiece of storytelling and worldbuilding, of level design and combat, of quests and character creation, and of, well, romance. It provokes wonder and joy, and every element is finely tuned to make this RPG stand out in an already stellar genre.

That said, the game’s final arc in the titular city feels rushed; some quests lack proper resolution, and others feel like they’re missing crucial context. The whole thing feels off kilter from the rest of the game, and, as a result, the conclusion lacks the emotional impact it deserves.

Nevertheless, this is a game I would recommend to anyone, both Baldur’s Gate and CRPG fans alike. If you’re not familiar with the series, don’t let the D&D rules put you off. This is a game that is accessible to all and one that, I believe, will stand the test of time.

A masterclass in narrative

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a masterclass in narrative, with a story that evolves and surprises at every turn. It takes the form of a tadpole attached to your brain, driving you insane as you desperately search for a cure. There’s an implied time limit, which discourages long rests and encourages pragmatic decision-making.

The world of the game is so densely populated with secrets to uncover and encounters to face that you never feel like you’re grinding through filler content. Whether it’s a necromancer summoning a horde of skeletons or an eccentric inventor recruiting a party of adventurers to help with his experiments, there’s always something interesting to see on the horizon.

Turn-based combat

The combat is turn-based, and will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has played a Baldur’s Gate game before, or any other classic tabletop D&D CRPG. A wide range of actions are available, with a particular focus on positioning and area of effect attacks. Each combat encounter is like an intricate puzzle, meticulously designed to offer unique setups and mechanics.

If you’re playing a mage or a ranged character, you’ll find yourself carefully lining up your shots so you can hit multiple enemies with a single fireball. If you’re a fighter, you’ll carefully pick your targets to prevent being mobbed by the horde of foes surrounding you. Combat feels like a chess match, and thinking strategically about your character builds and your choices is rewarded. The game is also well-balanced, so you never feel like you’re at a disadvantage because of your class or your choices.

Character creation

Baldur’s Gate 3 achieves the perfect blend of traditional D&D in its character creation. On the one hand, you have the Origin Character, which takes the form of a unique evil backstory that is revealed to you during the game. It’s a fun addition that adds some narrative spice to the game. On the other hand, you can also create a fully customised character if you don’t want to go down that route.

The custom character creator is streamlined and user-friendly, with robust appearance options that let you create your character to look exactly how you want them to. The backstory you choose is unique to you, and the game throws in some unique locations and characters to make your journey feel even more special.

While you can play through the game as a good-aligned character, the game really embraces its “horny” reputation by letting you romance several of the well-written companions.

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