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Baldur's Gate 3 Review: A Spellbinding Adventure Worth Every Second


Title image showing the Baldur's gate 3 logo with the city of baldur's gate as a backdrop
Image: Larian

Hello, fellow gamers and enthusiasts! Its happened, the RPG game of the decade has released and I have finally finished it, so time for the full release review.

 

Story & Gameplay


I've always believed that the perfect game is a lot like a good book – captivating from the first line, filled with surprising twists, and unforgettable even long after you've put it down. And let me tell you, after spending a solid 80 hours immersed in its magical realms and narrative depths, Baldur’s Gate 3 has confidently claimed a spot on my list of all-time favorites.

First things first, the world-building is spectacular. The environments, from the sunlit forests to the darkest caverns, are so intricately detailed that it's as if you're stepping into a living painting. There were moments when I would just stop, pan the camera around, and absorb the sheer beauty of it all. Every location feels alive and buzzing with its own energy, teeming with secrets waiting to be uncovered.


And then there are the characters. Larian Studios has a knack for creating characters that are multi-dimensional and deeply relatable. Every member of my party, and even some of the NPCs, had backstories so rich and personalities so defined that they felt more like old friends than mere pixels on a screen. Their personal quests, witty banter, and even disagreements add layers to the story, making the experience all the more immersive. Karlach is the absolute best golden retriever personality companion and Shadowheart and Lae'zel's quests are integrated so seamlessly into the overarching story.


Speaking of the story, wow, just wow. Without venturing into spoiler territory, I can confidently say that the narrative is both grand in its scale and personal in its impact. I found myself deeply invested in the choices I made, weighing the consequences carefully, and occasionally being struck with genuine remorse or elation based on the outcomes. The branching narratives and multiple endings ensure that every player's journey feels unique and personal.

"The game really does encourage thinking outside the box, like a party of friends sitting around a table with a DM saying "sure why not"

Now, onto the gameplay mechanics. As a seasoned RPG player, I've seen my fair share of combat systems. Baldur’s Gate 3 brings a mix of classic tabletop mechanics with modern adaptions, resulting in battles that are both strategic and exhilarating. With a plethora of spells, abilities, and gear at your disposal, every encounter presents an opportunity to experiment and devise new strategies. I saw Matt Mercer build a ladder out of boxes to get onto a roof. The game really does encourage thinking outside the box and is similar to a party of friends sitting around a table with a DM going "sure why not"


 

Sound Design


The music and sound design of Baldur's Gate 3 are nothing short of mesmerizing. From the sweeping orchestral scores that imbue each scene with emotion, to the subtle ambiances of rustling leaves and distant chatter in a bustling city, every sonic element has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The compositions transport players, evoking feelings of awe, suspense, and nostalgia, effectively becoming an unspoken character in this epic narrative. It's not just a backdrop, but a lifeline, pulling you deeper into the world of Faerûn with every note and echo. Truly, a masterclass in auditory storytelling. Special shout out to a particular battle involving a certain devil whose voice actor actually joined in the background singing making it one of the most epic encounters I had.

"Truly, a masterclass in auditory storytelling"

The voice acting in Baldur's Gate 3 is a testament to the dedication Larian Studios has put into creating a vivid and immersive world. Each character, from the central protagonists to the most fleeting of NPCs, is given depth and authenticity through performances that are both nuanced and compelling. The diverse cast captures the essence of the game's vast world, expertly conveying a range of emotions—from the fervor of battle cries to the subtleties of intimate dialogues. It's this caliber of voice acting that elevates the narrative, ensuring that players are not just observers, but deeply connected participants in the unfolding saga. Amelia Tyler teleports us into the game with her soothing voice as the narrator, while Neil Newbon's Frank-N-Furter-esque portrayal of Astarion makes everyone feel particular 'feelings'.


Of course, no game is without its minor quirks and glitches. But to the game's credit, any bugs I encountered were quickly addressed by the dedicated and passionate development team. Their commitment to the community is commendable and is reflected in the quality and polish of the final product. All this from a game that released cheaper than most AAA games, with no money grabbing extras, or rushed development. The game is truly the love child of a studio that cares, and I hope Swen Vincke continues to pour his heart and soul into future games (or maybe a DLC pretty please with cherries)


 

Conclusion


In closing, Baldur’s Gate 3 is more than just a game; it's a narrative experience that challenges, surprises, and deeply resonates. Whether you're a die-hard fan of the series or a newcomer just dipping your toes into the world of Faerûn, there's something in this game for you. After 80 hours of gameplay and 30 in the early access, I can genuinely say that it's been a journey worth embarking upon and my game of the year.


If you ever find yourself wandering the streets of Baldur's Gate or battling the forces that threaten its walls, know that you're in for a treat.

"Baldur's Gate 3 is more than just a game"

9.8/10

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