Review by DarkFury3827
"Still a classic; BG stays as fun as it ever was, even as it ages..."
Baldur's Gate, I must say, amazes me still. I have played it through a few times and still get the enjoyment of going again through the game just that one more time. And another. Warcraft III was released not but a month ago, with Neverwinter Nights and Morrowind to top it all off. and yet, I can still go back and play Baldur's Gate because it has that effect on you; there is always something new to explore, something you never did in the last game. Or maybe you never played as that thief, and after the magic slinging wizard and powerful fighter, you want a change to your game.
What is funny, is that I find this game even better than the second version, however slight that that may be. The reason is; there is so much more to explore. You can wander around, anywhere you want to, and take part in quests or just meander across the countryside. Baldur's Gate II lacked the freedom of exploration. Athkatla, half of the game, is explored for you already and there are no pockets of woods you can go into just for the hell of it. Don't get me wrong, Throne of Bhaal is the best of them all.
Multiplayer is another great thing about this game; you and up to five other people, (or you controlling more than one person), can go together to fight your way through the Sword Coast. Not having full control of the party is great, unless of course your partner is out to see you dead.
As far as character creating, you have more than ten classes to choose from, ranging from the bard to the ranger and, of course, the magic users. Mages themselves have around eight different types to choose from, so there is sure to be one to fit your interests. Everything about creating your character is purely made by you, but also is very straightforward and easy to use. The only setback about this I find is rolling for stats; I can easily spend a half hour rolling to try to find enough points to distribute among your strength, charisma, wisdom, etc.
The battle system you may find is a bit old, being the first installment of the Baldur's Gate series. It would also be advantageous to get the expansion pack in order to unlock those other areas you normally can't get to and to increase the XP cap.
This game is pretty cheap now... to spend a mere 20 bucks or so isn't that bad for such great gameplay. Other games may have the graphics and better battle systems, but you can never really turn down a classic.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/04/02, Updated 08/04/02
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