Baldurs Gate 3 Review – Game Of The Decade?

Don’t Fomo Just Yet, Wait for Bug Fixes

One most talked about games in recent weeks has been the new Baldurs Gate III game (which was released out of Early Access on August 3rd) which made people like me return to the game and introduced also people who didn’t play it prior. If you have played Divinity Original Sin II this is quite a similar experience, except a lot more in-depth combat with more features and also much more cinematical and offers a lot more choices/endings.

(CAUTION) Before you FOMO into buying this game I want to make it clear that there are many bugs and glitches inside the game despite three hotfix patches that have been deployed. I’m sure we are going to see a lot more patches coming in the next coming weeks, I mean mostly this game is working as intended (yes some people have reported crashes) where the real issues lie are some bugs that occur in sidequests that either make a character disappear or you’re not able to interact with them properly.

What has Changed Since Early Access?

So I played the game the first time around before they released the Druid and the second time after its release, since then there have been adjustments in the game like certain main characters have improved and changed models. They added new races into the game like the Dragonborn and there were a lot of quests in the starting area that were removed also the beginning Nautiloid ship doesn’t have the bridge part anymore (few things I can remember at the top of my head).

Of course, there are new bugs too that weren’t there before, and Early access was limited to Act I and now you can access the game beyond that which is quite massive. Hanging around on Act 1 alone can take anywhere from 25-30 hours if you want to complete everything. To be completely honest though given the state of the bugs it does feel like it’s still early access somewhat, but at this point, we can only wait.

Massive World to Explore

It took 115h approximately to complete the game, this excludes obviously all retries and changing my decisions about certain dialogue options, so in reality, I played around ~150h this game in the last 10 days, it has been a while since I had a dedication to this level, note that I didn’t complete 2 sidequests but I pretty much did complete all areas in the game. The game is broken down into Three Acts, you are able to traverse between the first two – but once you’re in Act 3 there is no returning to old areas.

There are towns, dungeons, forests, astral planes, and the Underdark zones to explore. There is a great deal of variety in terrain and level design truly, it doesn’t have any icy zones or heavily tropical areas, but despite that, there is a great deal of change.

There are hundreds of NPC’s that you are able to interact with, kill, rob, or just talk to them – this makes the game a truly immersive experience because you are allowed to do so many things in the world. Something that I find modern game design lacks always been the NPC interactions, Rockstar Games has been one of the few studios alongside Bethesda that still believe in that.

The Great detailing on levels and areas is just on the next level, also the way you can enter a fight from a different side or in stealth also just opens a multitude of different ways to experience the battles and zones.

Let’s Address The Character Creation

So if you are familiar with DnD you probably know that there are quite many different races and classes to choose from. I can’t say I’m a total expert on the matter but it seems they added all the important core races, of course, some people want to see Goblins as playable (i mean they already exist here) and there are cool things like Centaurs and Eladrin too.

But i feel like the races aren’t exactly balanced, lot of differences are based on proficiency with weapons, but when it comes to most passives I think tieflings are really strong with their fire resistance and hellish rebuke, plus they have dark vision too which is handy in caves. The Dragonborn got the breath abilities which are good AoE especially if you are going for a non-caster class and they also have elemental resistance based on subrace.

As for the classes we have Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. I Switched around between the classes starting with Warlock and then eventually swapping to Druid – there are also subclasses for all classes and especially for Druid I felt like The Circle of the Moon was overpowered compared to the other two based on the great shapeshifting forms it gave.

I also think Monk and Fighter were strong classes. But I do feel that Warlock was a bit weak in my experience and Ranger also left a similar expression – while Rogue seemed weak if you didn’t go the arcane subclass. Overall there is some spell overlap but there are unique game mechanics which make the experiences and playstyles different which I appreciate about the classes in the game.

There are some classes/subclasses missing though including Artificier & Blood Hunter, which would be great add-ons if they were to do an expansion on the game at some point (More about these theories later).

Lastly, I want to talk slightly about the visual customization, which is rather decent, but not perfect on an Asian MMORPG level that you tend to see in Korean/Chinese titles. There are some female faces that look really good on humans, but then there are faces that look way too masculine on tiefling side for example. There was already drama about Larian focusing too much on penis sizes than the actual customization of the looks.

Now first of all – why there is some fantasy mohel in the world of Baldurs Gate performing circumcisions on these penises? This doesn’t feel canon nor sensical in all honesty and I wish people were more focused on this subject than the other drama that’s been going on. However I feel like the hair is really good what they did and the tattoos are nice too, but I wish there was a couple more face options and at least a change boob size? What’s the point of being able to choose different vulva and penis if this isn’t on the table.

For those who are by the way wishing for some good sex scenes, this isn’t on the same level as Witcher 3 sadly, you can clearly kinda see that these scenes were coordinated by women – not men. I’m here to fuck that half-elf pussy and not some soy boy cuddling on the beach – get the fuck out here feminists. If you are going to be committed to scenes like these might as well deliver properly, because everyone is jerking off to this shit anyways (Not me) but your common coomers.

I’m sure you are going to find more mods for visuals in the near future (there are already a few quality ones out there) and I think the modding community is going to likely add a lot of stuff in the future, including goblin support if possible.

Story Worth Listening

I’ve been incredibly critical of modern storytelling in Hollywood movies or Eastern/western games over the last decade or so. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an experience like Baldurs Gate 3 and the story it’s presenting us via multiple different options we make through the game as we progress. It’s simply quite an incredible process to see a game like this deliver a world and story that’s engaging and offers very pleasing plots regardless of the decisions you make along your journey.

In many other games where you make these Good/Evil decisions they always tend to have one canonical story conclusion that feels best above all, but here I could say many endings and outcomes yield really nice results. I really think the companions have good backstories and they tend to stick out from each other, but I do feel like Wyll and Gale were a bit too tame – the hyper-aggressive alpha male is missing out here, and yes… Minsc is too funny to be that guy.

The generic dialogues even in the game are pretty great, there are some clever writing and comedy dynamic works as well, I mean I wasn’t laughing at the jokes out loud, but Minsc talking about Boo just made me smile (as an ex-hamster owner especially).

The Final Word

Okay, I’m getting tired of writing, you can find obviously more of my thoughts in the video above. But to be clear here when I use the term “Game Of The Decade” this is emphasizing that Larian will actually fix all these issues & bugs in the game right now, there are some annoying things missing out from the game like proper hotkeys and accessing your companions loot when they are not in your party. I think a lot of these current problems can be fixed with relative ease and once they get around that, it will go down as a massive game of its own.

I probably have to write about my DLC / Expansion pack theories in another post, but I really hope they are going to create something despite there might be some obstacles to doing so due to level maximum.