Baldur’s Gate 3 stands as the epitome of modern CRPG excellence, seamlessly blending rich storytelling, intricate character development, and strategic gameplay. Larian Studios’ meticulous attention to detail and commitment to honoring the series’ legacy result in a breathtaking experience that should captivate both veterans and newcomers to the series.
This review may just be another essay full of praises for a game that will likely be a contender (if not winner) for multiple game of the year awards. I mean, how much can we really tell you that others haven’t already said? But I implore you, if you haven’t read through a review, here is our breakdown of why Baldur’s Gate 3 deserves the praise it’s been receiving.
Building a believable world in a video game isn’t an easy task, but building one for an RPG is absolutely essential. If your dungeon master rolled up and threw some vanilla world at you during your weekly/monthly D&D group, you probably wouldn’t stick around.
The Forgotten Realms universe is beautifully realized, offering a vast and visually stunning environment to explore. Baldur’s Gate 3‘s world is a masterpiece of attention to detail. The Forgotten Realms come alive through lush landscapes, intricate architecture, and bustling settlements. Each environment is designed with an unparalleled level of craftsmanship, offering diverse biomes, from misty forests to eerie caverns. NPCs interact within this world, providing a dynamic backdrop that reacts to player choices. Every location has plenty to uncover, making exploration an exciting and lore-rich journey.
Larian Studios has crafted a narrative that is both captivating and intricate. Choices matter on multiple levels, affecting not only character relationships but also the overarching plot. The writing is stellar, offering branching dialogues that reflect a character’s background and decisions. Dialogue choices also feature skill checks, which now has me wanting to re-roll a super charismatic bard to see how far you can get without getting your weapons dirty.
The game doesn’t shy away from morally complex scenarios, encouraging players to weigh their choices carefully. The problem always with these is that you can never really tell what the outcome will be, so if you are particularly fond of an NPC at a critical moment in making choices, think very carefully on your next response. But, that contributes to the story’s unpredictability, which keeps you engaged and invested, driving you to eventually explore more options through multiple playthroughs.
Without getting to spoilery, the story is top notch. But sometimes its about all the little stories and quests you encounter along the way in a game like Baldur’s Gate 3, which every one of these shines just a bright. You will find yourself talking to every NPC hoping to get another taste of Baldur’s Gate lore or a potential side quest to further distract you.
The turn-based combat system is a perfect marriage of classic D&D mechanics and modern gaming sensibilities. If you have played Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin series, you’ll fall right into place immediately when the battle starts. But don’t worry, other tactical RPG players will recognize a lot of the mechanics as well. Battles demand strategic thinking, as players must navigate the terrain, utilize cover, and exploit elemental interactions to gain an advantage. The ability to push, pull, and interact with the environment adds depth, creating an immersive combat experience that requires both wit and strategy.
Resource management is important but so is understanding your casters’ spell slots and how they work. Mixing items and spells will help you to be successful in limiting the need for long rests (which can potentially impact quest progression if you take too many). Stealth combat is also important to consider when playing a rogue or taking advantage of any situation where sneaking will benefit your action. It will definitely behoove players to brush up on D&D rules of combat before jumping head first into battle.
Comprehensive Character Development
The character creation and progression systems are a testament to Larian’s commitment to depth. Players can customize not only their character’s appearance and class but also make crucial decisions that define their personality, alignment, and origin story. These choices influence interactions with NPCs and impact the world around them. There are a multitude of classes to choose from, and from those classes come subclasses to specialize in. I have been loving my Moon Druid, who emphasizes shapeshifting as their specialty, but was pretty torn on wanting to play the other subclasses. Luckily, if I do really change my mind, there is a way to re-roll characters during the campaign (but I won’t spoil how to get that ability).
That being said, the rich progression system allows characters to evolve in both their abilities and personal arcs, creating a sense of growth and transformation that keeps players invested in their journey. It is the very reason I play RPGs to see how my character grows and adapts to a game’s story, and Baldur’s Gate 3 knocks this out of the park, especially since your party members can grow with (or apart from) you. Oh, and don’t forget to roleplay!
Stunning Visuals and Sound Design
Last but not least (and we don’t need to harp on this), I love the design of all the party characters and the voice acting is top notch. The attention to detail in characters and NPCs, environments, items, and spell effects shows the time and care that Larian put into this world. Also, I LOVE SEEING DICE ROLLS VISUALLY!
Are there any drawbacks? If I am being honest, it’s challenging to find any significant ones in Baldur’s Gate 3. However, a minor drawback might be the occasional technical issue and/or bug here or there that can momentarily disrupt the otherwise flawless experience. Yet, Larian’s consistent updates and dedication to refining the game mitigate this concern.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is a triumphant resurrection of the classic series, demonstrating Larian Studios’ mastery in combining tradition with innovation as seen in their Divinity: Original Sin series. Its breathtaking world, engrossing storytelling, and captivating gameplay culminate in a flawless adventure that sets a new benchmark for all CRPGs to come.
Review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. Images are taken from an Early Access build.
Baldur's Gate 3... Game of the Year?
Score - 10/10
In the realm of CRPGs, Baldur’s Gate 3 reigns supreme, a majestic blend of classic roots and modern innovation. Larian Studios has poured their heart and soul into this game, creating an experience that raises the bar for the genre. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Baldur’s Gate or a newcomer to the franchise, this game deserves your undivided attention. Don your armor, sharpen your wits, and step into a world that’s waiting to be shaped by your choices – because Baldur’s Gate 3 is a masterpiece that RPG enthusiasts won’t want to miss.
Cody Shults has a PhD in neuroscience and is working in medical communications. He has been writing for TVGB since 2012, but has been playing video games since he was 3 years old. Apart from writing...