Review by Merlin2k

"A game that'll keep you there for hours"

Baldurs Gate? Well if you ask me (and please don't ask me) it is one of the best games that's out there for a pc. The plot is basically the vengeance of the man who killed your foster father Gorion. There are many people to interact with and many (and I’m not kidding you) sub quests, minor quests that have nothing to do with the plot, these quests get you lots of experience treasure and plus weapons. Now you may ask what are plus weapons. Well in order to understand what they are you first have to know how the weapon system for Baldurs gate works. It is based on that of AD&D A.K.A. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, but if you are unfamiliar with that game then let me explain.

With certain weapons (take a quarter staff for example) you roll a die to figure out how much damage you do. A quarterstaff does 1d6, which is basically a six-sided dice. Now a quarterstaff plus one would do 1d6+1. This means that it can do anywhere from 2 to 7 damage because no matter what (assuming you land a hit) it will always do at least one damage.

In Baldurs Gate the plus weapons go as high as 5!!! Considering that you get bonuses for strength. Again allow me to explain. In the game you get to decide what your stats are these six stats are Strength, which gives you a bonus to your damage and T.H.A.C.O. Thaco as it is more often called is you to hit armor class 0. This means that if your opponent has an armor class of 0 whatever you Thaco is, that is your chance of hitting the other person. Also the weapon you are using is also taken in to affect.

Then there is dexterity. Dexterity determines your skill at missile weapons, for some reason, and your armor class. Your armor class, based on how low it is, determines your chances of getting hit by the other guy. For example judging by your constitution (which I will explain in a moment) forces the other person to combine his weapon roll with his strength roll, then it subtracts that number from your dexterity roll. Then it takes into consideration what your constitution and if its higher than the number that your constitution PROVIDED it hits for the amount that is left over, and obviously because Thaco means to hit armor class 0 you Armor class, or ac as it is called, should be as low as it can get.

Then (I said that I would explain this later) there is constitution. This is combined with several random bonuses and it will determine the number that needs to be left over for the other person to do damage to you. Other than that it also determines your roll for hit points. For example if your constitution would be 18 then you would roll a certain die to find out how many hit points you would have.

There is one stat that is easily drainable. This stat is intelligence. Now most people might argue that intelligence is something that is required, but it is not. The only reason a person would want intelligence is if they would be able to cast mage spells, this is mostly done by mages but is also done by bards as well. Intelligence determines how many spells a mage can memorize, and learn. Mages can learn spell but in order to use them they must have them memorized. Of course I’ll get into spell casting a little bit later.

Then there is wisdom. I'm not going to go into detail because it is another one of the spells that involves spell casting. But instead it is the same factor for intelligence save that it is for clerics and druids, who are basically bards that can cast druid spells rather than mage spells, also rangers and paladins (when they get to a high enough level) will also be able to cast priest spells.

The final stat that you can roll for your character is charisma. Yes it is the prime requisites for being a leader but if you pump up this stat you get to buy items from stored at a lower price and when, and if, you decide to sell an item to a store they will offer you more if charisma is high.

In Baldurs Gate you may think that just about everything is based on the roll of a dice but there is one thing, other than prices, that is not determined by the roll of the dice and that is reputation. Reputation determines more than the price of items at stores, it does determine that, nut it also determines your reaction rolls. I'm not going to go to depth into this but if you meet a certain character and you want to have him in your party. You will talk to him and your charisma plus your reaction bonus (or penalty, which will be given to you by your reputation) will determine that roll, and if that roll is low enough then that person will refuse to talk to you. If your reputation gets low enough, from doing things such as say... killing innocent people (Noober is not an innocent person) then every time you enter a civilized area you will be greated by a group of knights if it goes lower not only will that chance of getting attacked increase but also you will be attacked by bounty hunters. These bounty hunters aren't exactly tough but they are really annoying. Take notice that if the person that is attacking you has a name then he or she is probably tougher.

There are a number of good FMV (oh please don't tell me you don't know what those are. An FMV is a full motion video. During those times you get full 3 dimensional graphics.)
Also, the way the game is played goes some thing like this you have a six-man army. These people A.K.A. you party are under you control. But will also do things on their own such as say attack that guy that’s trying to kill you without your command. Don't rely on this however because this little nifty system kicks in after about six seconds. But don't be surprised if someone attacks without you telling. Any hoot you control these people, you tell them where to go, you tell them who to attack, and you even tell them which spells to cast. When you kill something you get experience. That experience is split up thought the whole plot. After a certain amount of experience you level up. When you level up you get a die roll, based on your constitution, which will give you some extra Hit points. Plus if you are at a certain level you get new weapon proficiencies or more spells say. And if you’re a thief you get thief skills.

The sound is really good. Not only the music but also the things people say. There are two good mages that are in, well one is on a bridge in a town and the other is in the mines that belong to that town, not only are they good character but they say some pretty funny things. Also there is a character in the southern part of that same town that is called minsc. He has some good stats and is often referring to his hamster. You might think that he is insane but he is quite funny especially if you have the right females in your party.

All in all Baldurs gate is a good game for beginners and it is a good game for advanced players as well.

P.S. watch out if you go through a door people can follow you into that door.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/01, Updated 01/03/01


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