What They Say:
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a story-rich, party-based RPG set in the universe of Dungeons & Dragons, where your choices shape a tale of fellowship and betrayal, survival and sacrifice, and the lure of absolute power.
There are few games that surprised me as much as Baldur’s Gate 3. While I never played the first two games, I adore some of the past Dungeons & Dragons-inspired titles, such as the Neverwinter Nights games. If you have a PC or console, this is a must-play RPG.
Players create their own custom character or take the role of one of the many companions and play through a deep, rich, and engrossing 3-Act story about trying to fight back against the mind flayer parasite inside your head.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the most colorful and stunning games I’ve played on my Steam Deck, which it was made for, in my opinion. There is nothing like taking this game on the go, doing a few dice rolls in conversations, or completing a fight while on a commute.
The gameplay in this title revolves around exploring the various large maps, chatting with characters, exploring dungeons, completing puzzles, and engaging in the lengthy turn-based combat. Each turn, every character has a chance to go and do a couple of actions, such as move to a certain location, cast a spell, heal someone, or attack with a weapon.
Most fights are pretty wild, going on for several minutes and often including a ton of characters or enemies onscreen at once. This immense challenge and tactical nature spoke to me, and I didn’t mind the long fights as I tried to strategize about what to do next, such as casting an AOE spell to affect many enemies or summon a familiar to help out.
Outside of the already smooth and detailed combat, the other part of Baldur’s Gate 3 I adore is the unbelievable amount of choice. You can roleplay however you want and play as whoever you want, with a surprising amount of potential for replayability.
In one playthrough on my own, I might save a prisoner and have them help lead me to the goblin camp, while my friends and I in a multiplayer playthrough might condemn the poor goblin to their fate. There is so much depth that I can’t believe I restarted and played through multiple sessions during the month I’ve played this game, when I can count on my hands the number of games I’ve replayed.
This is a testament to the potential of this game for wildly different playthroughs. It also helps that it is anchored by a solid cast of characters. Though most of the companions, such as Karlach, Astarion, and Shadowheart, are slow burns that take time to really capture the player, they are well worth the wait.
And not only are the companions phenomenal, but the other members you meet in the game are worthy, too. Even one-off characters like the man you save in a fiery village or the aforementioned goblin prisoner steal the scenes they are in.
The main story of Baldur’s Gate 3 may not be the most impressive, but this is a game of being more about the journey than the destination. The stories you create on your own and the characters you meet along the way help this massive game to be an unforgettable experience.
It also all leads to a brilliant Act 3 taking place in the city of Baldur’s Gate. This wonderful city is enormous and so incredibly detailed with all of the various characters and quests for you to do. I would argue that perhaps it didn’t have to be so far into the game for you to reach there but it is another case of being worth the wait.
I would also argue that Act 2 is a bit weaker in terms of its location and overall plot compared to the two Acts that surround it, especially when it comes to annoying sections like the Gauntlet of Shar, but even it still felt so polished in a way most games aren’t.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is the first game to bring me back to those days of playing Neverwinter Nights and learning about computer RPGs as a kid. And the best part is it soars past those older titles and defines itself as one of the best overall RPGs to ever be created.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the finest RPGs ever made, bringing back the classic D&D-inspired computer RPGs of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and outshining all of them in the process. There is no game with this level of roleplay potential, rich combat, and player choice.
Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Age Rating: 17+
Release Date: August 3, 2023 (PC)
Platform: PC (reviewed), PS5, and Xbox Series X/S
This review was done with a review copy provided by the publisher. We are grateful for their continued support.