Review by Shadow
"The Best Computer Role Playing Game To Date"
Ever since CRPG made their debut somewhere in the early 90's. They have been a lot of good RPG's to date. This time Interplay has outdone themselves with probably the most engrossing game ever. Namely Baldur's Gate.
Set in the Forgotten Realms, the game features a very detailed character builder. Not as detailed as Fallout or Fallout 2 but nevertheless a good one. You can even modify your character right down to the clothes and hair that will be shown once you play. The game's combat system is a snap because it resembles a typical RTS game -drag, select and click to attack or move-. Later in the game I found out that you have to plan your attacks as you go because not all hostile creatures found in the Realms are as easy as they look.
The game uses AD&D's game play (obviously because this IS the Forgotten Realms). Offering six races and twenty-six classes and subclasses plus countless spells to cast. The real-time game play is very good but you might want to pause the game if things get a little too much or if you want to plan attack against hoards of powerful creatures.
The story line is the very addictive. You generally begin the adventure with the death of your mentor. This is followed by uncertain allies, crazy people running around, a mystery consisting of bad iron, bandits and clones, an apocalyptic prophecy about the god of murder within a nation full of quests with lots of funny (and annoying) NPCs and evil characters that can give a person nightmares. With the amount of quest received and logged into your journal it can get tedious sometimes.
To a beginner you can go through each chapter without knowing it. So some times you have to play it again and again to get the hang of it which is slightly annoying. Besides most likely you will play it again and again and try to do as much quest as possible to build the most powerful team of adventurers ever. For veterans, there is a script editor that allows you to edit the AI of your character. You can even paste your own picture as the hero and record your own voice if you are feeling vain.
As for the graphics, the background is as sharp as the paper that cuts you. Although some people might not appreciate it almost top down view on the area. It's quite beautiful. The sound has a rich texture, with appropriate background noise and some funny anecdotes from NPCs. I've heard that the game play experience increases with EAX sound. I don't know because I don't have one.
Overall Baldur's Gate has outdone itself. With adictiveness that grabs you by the neck and refuses to let you go. It sets a new standard for future games. Its five CDs might scare away new gamers who have no money, but it's worth every penny. So if you are still looking at this and you haven't bought Baldur's Gate, I suggest you get up now get yourself a copy now!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99
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