Lasting First Impressions of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Developed by Overhaul Games (Beamdog) | Published by Atari
» The original Baldur’s Gate was released in November of 1998 and has since become an RPG classic. It’s an enormous, open world role playing game using Dungeon & Dragons core mechanics and set in Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms. It has all the adventure of a table top roleplaying game combined with the strategy of a PC game, all in a huge sandbox style environment that will consume any kind of RPG player. One of my favourite aspects of Baldur’s Gate is the eclectic cast of NPCs available to join your party. They each have their own goals, opinions, and, of course, alignments, and they have lots of dialogue filled with personality. They chatter to you and each other as you adventure and bring a lot of life to the game.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is not a remake of the original game, but rather an updated version. Overhaul Games has done a great job refreshing the game without drastically changing it. Newly rendered cut-scenes are hand drawn and well done; much better than the early 3D efforts of the original game which would certainly look dated today. There are some animation enhancements and new spell effects, but all-in-all the graphics are still the originals. The game boasts other improvements including the addition of some of Baldur’s Gate 2’s features such as class kits, sub-races and classes, as well new characters, UI enhancements, wide screen support and over 400 bug fixes.
So is Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition worth revisiting, or even playing for the first time if you missed it the first time around? Baldur’s Gate has aged well, and the Enhanced Edition freshens it up enough to make it enjoyable to play through again. If you’ve never played the original game, there is no escaping the fact that this is a fourteen year old game. Also, the game uses AD&D 2nd edition rules which, if you’re unfamiliar with, can be confusing (“what’s a THACO?”) and there is no tutorial to guide you through the mechanics. However, if you’re a fan of Dungeon & Dragons or are a hardcore RPG player, the story, the established setting and the richness of the characters makes it well worth playing. Any fan of the original Baldur’s Gate is going to love revisiting it in this edition.
Overhaul Games, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.