"Truly is a masterpiece RPG"

This game is a rare gem. It doesn't seem like much when you first see it but if you just give it a chance you will realize it truly is a masterpiece. First off I would like to say very few games have the lasting appeal as Baldur's Gate does; its addictive but in a fun way. It is one of the few games that I actually want to play through again and again just to see all the different ways I can go through.

Graphics: 6/10

I have never really had a problem with the graphics of this game. While it is not that great compared to most RPGs today or even during its time you can still tell what everything is. Also some of the backgrounds are pretty well detailed but can tend to get a little repetitive when you go through many forests whereas most of them have almost the same exact backround if not for very few differences. None of this is really a problem though because you can pretty much tell what everything is supposed to be and not everything looks so bad. The cutscenes after every chapter are nice though they don't really add much besides atmosphere. All in all I would say they are just about average.

Sound: 10/10

The sound effects are nice and the game does have nice voices that in the most part are quite right for the character. Some of the voicing is excellent and well acted out by some popular professionals. The sound effects in the background are very nice such as when you are in a town you hear people yelling and talking or in an Inn you might hear people fighting and such. You also hear many sounds of weapons and death screams and such. Very well done.

Story: 10/10

For most people this is what makes and breaks an RPG. The story was very well thought out and taken from the Forgotten Realm setting. It starts out simply with you leaving your home of many years with your foster father and it picks up from there. There is a bit of a slowdown in the story midgame but there are plenty of sidequests to keep you busy. A very good story that was even made into a book at one time dealing with war, plague, etc.

Gameplay: 9/10

Great gameplay! Tons of monsters to battle and many spells and weapons to battle them with, being able to lockpick and sing as a bard, etc. There are tons of sidequests to do for experience but its not so easy to level up as you would first think. My only real problems with this is the way most monsters can be beaten cheaply with no problem; take Drizzt for example, it is extremely hard to beat him but you can if you abuse the game extremely easily. That is my main gripe but it is minor compared to all the ups.

Control: 9/10

Better then most games in ways such as being able to almost completely make a character you would enjoy using DnD 2nd edition rules. You start by picking your Gender, followed by your portrait (wherein you can make your own custom portrait for more fun), what race you wish to be (including Elves, Half-elves, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings), then what class you wish to be (such as fighter, mage, thief, and much more), and there is a way to receive your abilities by rolling the dice and subtracting and adding to the scores Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, and Wisdom as you see fit to create your character. As you can see this gives you much control over how you want to play through your game such as how you are aligned (good or evil?) and such. My major gripe with the control is you parties path finding abilities; for example you may wish to move one of your characters ahead to do something such as disarm a trap possibly, well that character will most likely take the longest possible way to the spot you chose if any other NPC is in his way, this can lead to much frustration. Albeit that problem you can have a certain degree of control during battles by being able to pause at any time to think out the battle by hitting the space bar.

Replay Value: 10/10

You can play through this game multiple times and each time it will be a different experience. With all the choices for character, races, subquests and such every time you play you can change what you did slightly. You can even play through the game on what most call a ''solo''. On a solo you play through the game with just your main character adding a new degree of challenge and interest.

Final Score: 10/10 not an average

Excellent game with a rich deep story that just might be the best RPG I have ever played.

Rent/buy: Buy

Even if you could rent it you would just end up wanting to buy it after realizing all the different things you can do in this game and its rich plot, gameplay, and sound.

In short this game is AWESOME!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/03, Updated 04/07/03


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