On December 21, 1998, one of the best RPGs of all time was born. And today I decided to go into nostalgia and remember the great Baldur’s Gate.
It is very interesting that it was Baldur’s Gate that became the game that could please both the fans of the “lightweight” RPG a la Diablo and the stern pros of the pen and the dice. Do not forget also those who like the adventure story and tactical turn-based battles.
Baldur’s Gate Beginning
At one time, in the mid-90s, to young… hmm… doctors thought that the role-playing genre was gradually dying. Of course, there was a “post-apocalyptic ray of light in the dark realm,” but Bioware decided to defibrillate the genre. They did not begin to invent RPGs again, but simply undertook to honestly translate the AD&D-rules of desktop samples for a computer analog. Nothing special – almost all the classic role-playing games of past years set themselves a similar task.
Bioware coped brilliantly with all the problems, while also preserving the open architecture of the game. The user is allowed to enter their own portraits of the characters, vary their voices and set of phrases, and program (using scripts) the behavior of computer-controlled party members down to the smallest detail.
The combat system is fully adapted to the needs of the player. Handling a batch in real-time? Of course. Do you like turn-based tactical battles? No problems.
As a game world, it was decided to use only a small segment of the global map. This is a stretch of coast between the cities of Baldur’s Gate and Nashkel. Artists digitized and divided the “real” game map into neat sectors. Then the Bioware artists selected the most interesting, from their point of view, areas and painted them – by hand and in detail. Thus, each location in Baldur’s Gate is absolutely unique, as well as all the objects in it: be it houses, fortresses, dungeons.
Traveling through the newly recreated Sword Coast is very easy. You just need to go to the edge of the sector where you are, and you will see a general map of the coast on which adjacent to your area will appear. Each map has some kind of attraction, whether it be the den of the dead dragon, where the wyvern settled, the ruined temple, where the evil clerics conduct their strange rites, to the top there are kobold-filled mazes right under the halfling village, a forest of stone statues that used to be basilisk hunters.
In the word, it will not be boring. In addition, in each sector, there are always two or three NPCs, either wishing to join you or giving useful information, quest, artifact. And in the end, most Sword Coast dwellers are eager to kill you. Well isn’t that fun?
In addition to the stunningly drawn world in Baldur’s Gate, there is something else. Starting to play it, it’s really difficult for you to break away because, despite this age, the game has not lost its qualities. It is still insanely interesting and bewitching. You are still enthusiastically creating a character, and painstakingly pumping it and building relationships with the whole team.
I will not talk about the plot for a long time, because you either already know it, or you want to play Baldur’s Gate for the first time, which means that you do not need spoilers. Yes, spoilers regarding a twenty-year-old game. I can only say that this is the best embodiment of truly classic fantasy on the computer screen.
But I believe that the secret to the success of the first Baldur’s Gate lies in the fact that the creators very skillfully transfer the rules of the pen and paper game in the digital world. They painstakingly created not only the appearance of Dungeons and Dragons but also the very soul of the game. It’s really interesting to travel around the world and explore it. You really want to know the continuation of the plot, although it is very simple in nature. The characters seem lively and vibrant, and their fates arouse genuine interest.
Soon Larian will release the third part of Baldur’s Gate. And in anticipation of this event, I again went through the old parts. And you know what? The feeling that I did not stop playing Baldur’s Gate since 1998. Baldur’s Gate is not out of date even in its original form. And if you want a smoother picture, then you can easily install Baldur’s Gate extended edition. It is available on all possible devices.