Review by Reeperette
"It's a hackfest, but a nice one."
Baldur's Gate isn't really an RPG, more of a hackfest that appeals to the more bloodthirsty amongst us, yet still retaining enough story value to keep one interested.
Very nice visuals, enough so to make you queasy, does a great job of using the PS2's video capabilities while also getting nearly hideously realistic, it's pretty neat to watch as you swat away your opponents now-battered shield and hack one of his arms off, and even severely creepy to cut down a zombie, and then watch as his battered form drags itself after you any way it can.
The music is ok, but nothing special or even all that interesting.
The sound effects are pretty good, however, grunts, clangs, occasional character commentary and suchlike, acceptable and good, but again, nothing spectacular.
While a bit simplistic and obvious once it gets rolling, it does have a good story behind it, which draws you in deeper as more of it gets revealed to you, high marks for a decent and plausible background to what is basically, a hack and slash adventure.
It does lack in that all three characters follow the same storyline, however.
Simple and very intuitive, it makes even the most vicious battles a matter of actually fighting the enemy, instead of wrestling with the controls, and here is where Dark Alliance really shines...poor control would have ruined this game, but by keeping it simple and almost reflexive, your full attention can be focused on enjoying yourself.
While the gameplay is exceptionally nice, there's a few small problems with it, foremost among them is the utter stupidity of most of your opponents...once you figure out that they can only attack you when you're square in front of them, they become target practice.
Another sore point is that the townsfolk have nothing to say to you, not even basic useless commentary, for shame, it's like you were invisible.
It's also just a bit on the too easy side, even at the higher difficulty levels.
Replay Value: 8/10
It does have some decent replay value, and unlocking the various difficulty modes does extend the overall length of the game, especially since you have at least three characters to play through with.
Rental/Purchase: Either, but Rent it first.
Chances are you'll slaughter it on a 5 day rental, and if you like it that much, well go and buy it, but rent it first.
Averaged Total score: 8/10
It's a quite nice game, even if a bit too easy, and if hacking up legions of baddies appeals to you, why this is just your cup of tea.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/08/02, Updated 01/08/02
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