Not that much has been done to this re-release of Baldur’s Gate 2. But then not much needed to be done; it’s as close to the perfect game as games come.
The choices that players make impact on the type of characters they attract, and playing an evil character will result in a very different party to playing a righteous hero. Regardless of what party you wind up with, however, they will be a bunch of truly memorable people. From the certifiably (but lovable) insane, to the romantic, to the psychopaths that make Final Fantasy VI’s Kafka look like a bunny, Baldur’s Gate 2 is nearly endlessly replayable because each combination of characters yields a fundamentally different gameplay experience.
Over the years it’s been depressing to watch what has happened to the RPG genre. Once a beacon for player agency, RPGs have become increasingly linear and even when they supposedly allow players free choice, it’s smokes and mirrors. People write endlessly about how open Skyrim is, but the main narrative will remain exactly the same regardless of what you do in your downtime, and the game’s dungeons are “follow the single path to the boss” affairs. Mass Effect is a stock standard shooter with the occasional cut scene giving players a “yes or no” alternative. Even the Witcher is a largely linear affair.
I exaggerate slightly, and those games are all very fine indeed, but Baldur’s Gate and its sequel were truly open world before open world was cool. And they were a kind of interactive open world people didn’t just stand around for the sake of it – even the minor characters and cityfolk had a reason to exist.
And if you’re relatively new to gaming and haven’t had the chance to play this game yet, then jump to it. It’s as close to canon as games come.
– Matt S.
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