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A Return to the Sword Coast: A Detailed Baldur's Gate 3 Review

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


A vampire duelist, an elven cleric a human sorcerer and a demon
Image: Larian Studios

Well met, fellow adventurers and RPG lovers! Today, we're back in the all too familiar realms of Faerûn, revisiting the city of Baldur's Gate, this time in the third installment of the beloved franchise by Larian Studios, the makers of the famed Divinity series. I was so excited to jump into a Baldur's Gate 3 review, but has it been worth the wait? Is this the next epic journey we’ve all been waiting for? Ready your spellbooks and prepare for adventure, as we take a look at this long-awaited title.


 

Gameplay and Mechanics (10/10)


First and foremost, the essence of any RPG: the gameplay. Building upon the legacy of the previous Baldur's Gate games and Larian's widely celebrated Divinity: Original Sin series, Baldur's Gate 3 successfully combines deep, tactical turn-based combat with intricate, choice-heavy role-playing.


Whether it’s negotiating with a potentially hostile goblin king or deciding the fate of an afflicted companion, the game emphasizes player choice and freedom. However, it does have a steep learning curve and isn’t for those looking for a casual RPG experience. It requires strategic thinking and careful planning, a feature that will no doubt appeal to veteran D&D and Baldur's Gate players.


And I'll be completely honest, I spent a whole hour on my character before even reaching gameplay.


 

Story and Characters (9/10)


The narrative and character development are areas where Baldur's Gate 3 truly shines. The writing is top-notch, creating an immersive and engaging story filled with captivating characters, each with their unique backstories and motivations.


The story takes a bold step, introducing the terrifying Mind Flayers as primary antagonists, and the narrative is packed with suspense, mystery, and numerous plot twists that will keep players on their toes. The story evolves with the players choices adding depth and legitimate pause when making tough decisions. Sure you can stabby stabby your way through situations but the butterfly effect is very real. It's exactly what you'd want from a tabletop inspired D&D game.


 

Visuals and Audio (9/10)


Graphically, Baldur's Gate 3 is a feast for the eyes. From the cursed city of Baldur's Gate to the demon-infested hellscape of Avernus, every environment is meticulously detailed and stunningly beautiful. The character models and animations are equally impressive, with realistic facial expressions and movements that add a layer of immersion to the narrative.

In terms of audio, the game doesn’t disappoint. The orchestral score is both epic and haunting, capturing the game's grandeur and dark themes perfectly. The voice acting is top-tier and gives life to the diverse cast of characters.

 

Multiplayer (8/10)


The multiplayer aspect of Baldur's Gate 3, while not its main selling point, is a valuable addition. It allows for cooperative play, enabling players to tackle the game's many challenges together. While it does have minor synchronization issues, it's a promising feature that brings a whole new dimension to the gameplay.


 

Conclusion


Baldur's Gate 3 is a triumphant return to the iconic city and a worthy successor to the revered franchise. It successfully marries the classic elements of Baldur's Gate with modern RPG innovations, offering an expansive, choice-driven narrative, deep combat mechanics, and stunning visuals. It's not a game for the faint-hearted, but for those seeking a deep and rewarding RPG experience, Baldur's Gate 3 stands as a monumental achievement.


Overall Score: 9/10

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