Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the biggest releases this summer and an automatic candidate for the title of game of the year. It’s also a continuation of a beloved series, so you have to take it seriously. So I took a weekend off for you to… Who am I kidding, I did it only for myself.
Entire generations of players grew up on “Baldur”, including the author of this text. For many, it was the first contact with classic RPGs, years ahead of sessions with a sheet of paper, pencil and dice – also for the author of this text. As with other cult titles, many trembled before the continuation and were afraid of damaging the good name of the series. And here I was no exception.
There were plenty of bad examples. After all, the third part of Half-Life, Dungeon Keeper or Team Fortress never appeared, the return of Duke Nukem was not worth waiting for, and the solid but devoid of “that” atmosphere of the third Max Payne went almost unnoticed. Hardly anyone remembers about the subsequent pupation of the Settlers, fans don’t even want to talk about Gothic 3. It is not without reason that “Heros” 3 is still alive, and the next parts of the series are not controversial. Moderately successful attempts to catch up with Diablo 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Medal of Honor… The list goes on and on.
Baldur’s Gate 3 will fulfill the hopes of the players?
Let’s admit, after more than two decades of waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3, you could have some doubts. Even if we were reassured by the fact that people experienced in the RPG genre from Larian Studios took care of the game, we could be afraid that they would make Divinity: Original Sin 3 instead of BG 3. You will say that the development process was transparent and always shown in the form of early access? A good argument, but not wanting to reveal the outline of the plot or even one side mission, I decided not to pre-order.
Return to Baldur’s Gate back in time
I waited until the last minute and… oh man, it was worth it. You probably already know this from streams, vlogs and friends’ reports. Baldur’s Gate 3 hits the mark, convinces the doubters and does the impossible – taking us back in time to the joyful moments spent with the first two parts.
Playing from Thursday evening to late Sunday hours, I hardly took any breaks. It was like in the old days, when only a fantastic adventure mattered during the holidays: whether it was from books by Tolkien, Martin, Sapkowski; whether from Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale or Neverwinter Nights CDs. I haven’t had such a complete immersion in a fantasy world for many years.
Even more, one of my timid dreams came true – I got a pure Dungeons and Dragons game transferred to the PC. BG3 is the best conversion of the feeling from “paper RPGs” to digital conditions so far. There is so much freedom of choice and options for the player here that sometimes I scolded myself for lack of imagination. Every now and then I find myself having to abandon the thought patterns of a computer gamer and try something that I would do as a person sitting in front of a living game master.
First moments in Baldur’s Gate 3
Of course, that’s only 36 hours of gameplay. I couldn’t even get past the first major location. I look under every stone and talk to every living (and every non-living) organism. I snail terribly, and at the same time I notice that I am not using the game and my characters to their full potential anyway. I already know that I will be approaching the campaign again: both solo and in cooperation with friends. There are simply too many characters and interactions for one approach.
This is just the beginning of my adventure with Baldur’s Gate 3, and I’m already in love with the great side characters. I am attracted to their stories, animations, way of speaking. The graphics are simply beautiful and more importantly, there are no fluidity issues. Music is not only the background, but often stands out in the foreground, attracts us with the quality of performance.
Combat is always engaging and challenging. Even when I raise the level of the team a bit, so as not to struggle too much with more difficult opponents, after a while I meet even stronger ones. Often, however, I don’t have to fight at all, because I just chose a character endowed with charisma and diplomatic inclinations. The rolls of the dice make a great impression, which not only symbolically remind you of the roots of the genre, but are also simply exciting and satisfying.
Who remembers Hogwarts Legacy and Diablo IV?
I always remind myself not to fall into excessive optimism. This is just the beginning of the game, let’s wait for the titular Baldur’s Gate, for one of the thousands of possible endings. However, I wonder how it is possible to spoil this impression? There are no bugs here, and in a few cases it helps to save and load the game in the same place. I even asked my friends for help and out of several people, only one person pointed out the disadvantages, talking about … a 4-person team and turn-based combat.
I played the new Harry Potter this year, I also spent a lot of hours on Diablo 4. I touched on a few other major premieres and at the moment I don’t see a competitor for Baldur’s Gate 3 for the title of the game of the year. And I’m writing this now, based on just these few days of playing. 36 hours on the way to Baldur’s Gate was more fun than all my time at Hogwarts and Blizzard’s latest game combined. And there’s still so much to discover!