Reviews and Problems with Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
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Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition
17 January 2014
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 .
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”.
Summary: Where Dungeons & Dragons is concerned, I've always been old-school. I got into the game as a child at the end of the 1970s, during the Gygaxian glory days when the big game was still Advanced and still loaded with more inscrutable numbers than a corporate tax return. That's how I've always liked it. The newfangled rules that supposedly make everything easier with changes like flipping around armor class just make my head hurt.
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
Excerpt: Brief personal confession: I’ve been a huge Baldur’s Gate fan ever since I was a kid. I used to ceremoniously dump CD-ROM after CD-ROM into my not-so-impressive desktop PC in an effort to digitally recreate some of the crazy fun I used to have in ol’ Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition — you know, that real-life geek game that nobody ever admitted to playing (I swear, I didn’t.) Baldur’s Gate was, quite simply, a fairly sprawling title for its time.
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: 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.
Conclusion: Whether it's chitchatting with a talking sword, solving murders, or escaping grim dungeons, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition captures the essence of what makes fantasy RPGs so beloved. Short of a full-blown remake (which I, for one, would love to see), this is the best way for a new generation to experience that greatness for themselves. Even revisiting it after all this time, I laughed, I faced daunting challenges, and I wanted to play it again when I was done.
Pros: Improved visuals, Hexxat's storyline, Black Pits content, Challenging new encounters
Conclusion: Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is a labour of love, certainly, but this labour has been rushed in places. There are one or two scripting errors and occasionally a bad guy will die, decide he isn’t dead and then fight you all over again. The game also crashed when I was moving through two areas of new content, but these are just minor issues that have plagued this game in the past as the venerable Elmonster discovered when fighting a brown dragon.
Pros: A staggeringly large and varied role-playing game, stuffed with brilliantly realized characters, environments, and monsters. The tactical engine that underpins the combat in the game remains fascinating and challenging to use.
Cons: Only limited tutorial to introduce a very complex game system, compounded by the much larger range of powers and effects available in this higher-level adventure.
Summary: Baldur's Gate will forever be regarded as one of the classic PC RPGs. A lot of people never experienced it back in 1998, and it's not exactly the best-looking game anymore. To complicate things, it can be a pain to get the old game to run on newer machines, even after GOG.com began selling the title.