Reviews and Problems with Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
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Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition (PC) Review
30 January 2014
Excerpt: As a huge fan of the original Baldur's Gate series, I was really excited to embark on the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate 2 as my first review for 411 Mania. However, the experience turned out to be a “best of times, worst of times” situation, with lots of enjoyable original content but also an inexcusable number of bugs that turn an already challenging game into an exercise in frustration.
Summary: Baldur’s Gate II holds a pretty special place in my heart. It was easily my favorite RPG from my younger days, and to be honest not much has changed since. Classic Dungeons & Dragons gameplay combined with wonderful characters and writing is a simple recipe for a timeless classic. Visually, however, this timeless classic has certainly aged. And so steps in Beamdog with Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition .
Summary: Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition is a revamped edition of the homonymous 2000 hit role-playing game, originally developed by BioWare, and now remade by Overhaul Games, a division of Beamdog. The game includes the original Shadows of Amn campaign as well as its expansion, Throne of Bhaal, wrapping up the Bhaalspawn saga. A more combat-oriented expansion has also been added, The Black Pits 2: Gladiators of Thay.
Conclusion: The original game is a classic. The “Enhanced Edition” is a near-clone, with some additional content. If you haven't played it before, or would like a deep RPG to put on your tablet, this is a good buy. It is $20 for the Enhanced Edition vs. $10 for the original + mods (some assembly required) – give these guys your money so they can make “Baldur's Gate 3”.
Excerpt: Go for the eyes, Boo!!! Approaching a game like Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition from a critical standpoint can be difficult. On the one hand, it's a faithful recreation of a RPG classic, complete with a diverse cast of characters and a fully-realized virtual world. But the "Enhanced Edition" moniker still remains, and developer Beamdog fails to effectively capitalize on the titular promise.
Conclusion: The game itself runs fine and there isn’t much worth noting that can’t be read in an original review of the game back from 2000. Baldur’s Gate II set the bar for CRPGs in both its incredible depth and ability to let players learn without feeling like there was a 1000 page manual to read before stepping into the world.
Pros: One of the best, most comprehensive D&D games ever made, Epic story, epic quests, and epic length, Incredible tactical depth, particularly when it comes to spellcasting in combat, Enhanced game adds quests, characters, and improved visuals
Cons: Enhancements don't address longstanding issues with pathfinding and dungeon size, Crashes to the desktop are too common
Summary: If you’re on the fence, or have no idea what Baldur’s Gate even is, go pick up GoG.com’s title. Unless Beamdog’s remake makes it to a Steam sale — which it surely will — you’ll be more frustrated by how much you spent for an experience that's survived the test of time, but doesn't have all that much to show for it.
Pros: Title works on systems of all shapes and sizes; plenty of content packed in
Cons: Updates and tweaks too few; public multiplayer doesn't work; expensive
Conclusion: While I wasn’t too impressed with the ‘Enhanced’ side of last year’s re-release of Baldur’s Gate , I am much more positive about what is on offer today. Similar to that release, Beamdog added new characters, additional quests, an improved version of The Black Pits and the ability to play full screen on modern-day PCs.
Pros: New Scale User Interface option modernizes the game.
Conclusion: The new content is fun and adds to the experience, but let’s not forget that we’re talking about Baldur’s Gate II here. While balls-hard and requiring a lot of patience if you’re prepared to take it on you’ll discover what is arguably the best and deepest RPG of all time, that many people believe represents Bioware at their peak.