RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Baldur's gate 2

Genre: Western, RPG
Release Date: September 24th 2000
Platforms: PC, Mac, Android, Iphone
Score: 10/10
Similar Titles: Neverwinter Nights, Planetscape: Torment, Icewind Dale

The game cover, nostalgic.
I'm pretty sure my review of Baldur's gate 2 won't do it justice. My score of 10/10 is all I can give it. This game is basically the king of singleplayer RPG, and I don't know how to express that. I started playing it for the first time in 2009, and it still captivated me until the very end. It has aged wonderfully, for such an outdated game.

You won't be surprised to hear it was one of the early games made by Bioware, before they became the gaming behemoth that they are today. This is another one of those games you will get constant remarks for not playing if you consider yourself an RPG connoisseur. It's not hard to get your hands on it, I'm sure there's a torrent you can find somewhere if you're a cheapskate.

Baldur's Gate 2 review

The Good:

  • Continuation of Baldur's Gate one, but drastically improved.
  • Amazing story with countless interesting quests.
  • One of the best game interpretations of Dungeons and Dragons, period.

The Bad:

  • Way too hard learning curve for some scrubs and people without enough time.
  • Requires constant quicksaving and lots of back up files so you can go back if you break your save.
Kicking some dragon ass (after like 30 tries)
Upon starting Baldur's gate you'll find yourself in cell, following the events of the first game. Captured by the psychotic mage Irenicus, you have to free yourself and your allies to go on a world saving crusade. Or destroying, if you're into that kinda thing. In other words, it doesn't seem like the game deviated from the traditional RPG plotline. However, once you progress you shall see how the developers have brought the D&D world of Forgotten Realms to life.

Cruising around the city like a BOSS.
There are so many features that made this game great, the majority of which revolve around the story and interacting with the world. Out of the many characters to recruit you will surely find personalities that mirror your own or amuse you, their dialogue is written so well all your party members have that feeling of depth. Or if you don't like them, you can just stab them in the back.

Baldur's gate 2 is one of the first games that could be called none-linear. Why? When you escape the first dungeon the entire world is pretty much available to you. The catch, you say? If you step into the wrong room or piss off the wrong guy then you're dead faster than you can hit quick save. There are many points at which you will choose a decision that could affect the rest of the game - a feature that was practically none-existent at the time of it's release.

Some enemies will wipe you out in a second.

I think that's enough about the plot design to sufficiently intrigue you, lets go onto the combat system. Winning anything but the simplest of battles will revolve around one singular tactic: trial and error. You will run into a room, some dudes will be all angry in your face and your party will die. The second time you load up you might take down a couple of the dudes, until eventually you succeed. Sure, this doesn't seem like the most fun way to progress, but it gives you that sense of achievement that everyone loves.

Picking your class is entertaining and enjoyable to design. Choose from archetypes like Paladin, Cleric, Thief, Mage. The spells are unique and interesting from the D&D world and are usually more niche than just 'damage X' or 'heal X'. Some are more effective against certain opponents, some only work on one type of enemy.  Weapons and Equipment follow a simple algorithm, +1 +2 +3 the higher the number the more powerful the gear. Late game you will feel unstoppable with all your characters and gear (until you hit a guard).

Inventory screen.
Baldur's gate 2 is one of those games you just have to play to understand why it's amazing. I was skeptical myself until I got hooked on it. Nonetheless, this game will eat your time like a fat man eats cake.

Check out the top 5 PC turn-based RPGs here!

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