Photo taken by Emma Michaud of her PlayStation and TV with the Baldur’s Gate 3 loadscreen.
Written by: Emma Michaud
Baldur’s Gate 3 is the newest installment of the Baldur’s Gate series developed and published by Larian Studios. The game is currently only available to play on PC and PS5, but will soon be available on Xbox X/S series before the end of this year. It’s a RPG based in the world of Dungeons & Dragons in which you travel across Faerun with your party exploring an open world, solving mysteries, surviving encounters, and navigating a new, unknown power bestowed upon you. It is important to note that you do not have to be knowledgeable in D&D to play and enjoy the game.
You can create your own character with many customization options available along with race, gender, identity, class, and more. Fair warning however, that there are intimate scenes in this game as you can choose to romance character(s). This allows you in your character creation to choose your gender identity, what genitalia your character has, and you can also choose to censor any nudity in the game. I really enjoyed the character creation, and I especially loved how inclusive Larian Studios was with it. I think they did a great job in making players feel comfortable and seen. I also want to add that after creating your character, you are then made to create your guardian. You still have choices of customization, but it’s more limited this time.
There are three different difficulty levels to choose from which will affect how challenging the combat is. Now if you are an experienced gamer and/or experienced with D&D, then you probably won’t feel overwhelmed. If you’re newer and/or are just playing for the story (like me) then I’d recommend choosing the easiest difficulty.
The combat experience is based on toggling: using your trigger button and joystick at the same time in order to utilize different spells, melee attacks, health potions, jumping, dashing, etc. It’s not just “pressing buttons” on your controller/keyboard to attack freely like it is in most RPG games. This combat style is staying true to the first and second Baldur’s Gates, which is nice to see that Larian Studies stuck with the original design, but mixed the old in with the new.
Now, the story begins… and the visuals/art/animation are all breathtaking. Everything is clear and vivid in motion as well as in colors. It really helps pull you into the story and keep you wanting to explore Faerun. The music is well-written, making it catchy and ethereal sounding.
Your character is able to freely explore the world and go at their own pace, allowing you to be able to do as many side quests as you want before even starting the main quests. This helps you level up quicker, gaining more experience from completing quests and fighting battles, and helps when having to go to harder regions of the world. Leveling up your characters is fun too because you can choose what spells they are able to cast, ability scores, and even what animals to shapeshift into. This game truly gives free-reign on a lot of aspects of the game. You also get dialogue choices as your character when speaking to others and each choice gives off a different tone than the other. So if you want to have your character be good, neutral, evil, or anything in between then you can affect them by the dialogue choices you make. Dialogue choices are also really important for story progression as you get to choose what your character does throughout the whole game. Every choice has an outcome, no matter what, which is another part about Baldur’s Gate 3 that makes it so enjoyable.
Don’t worry if you’re new to gaming or aren’t super experienced in RPGs; anyone can play this game. It may be a little overwhelming in the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of it once you adapt to the game style after playing the introduction. Also, there are many sites that help players figure out what to do if they are stuck, confused, etc. I recommend looking at IGN and Gamerant’s sites as they seem to explain things clearly to where you immediately understand what to do. I look things up all the time when I play. It doesn’t make you any less of a gamer; in fact, it helps you want to continue playing the game.
Overall, I really enjoy playing Baldur’s Gate 3, especially because it’s based on D&D. I think its story and characters are interesting and keep you enthralled enough to keep playing through the three acts. Everything is deeply thought out and well developed to where you can emotionally connect with everything going on, which makes you feel immersed into the world- as if you are actually there with everyone. I highly recommend this video game to anyone who enjoys fantasy, and RPGs, but I highly recommend it to those who enjoy playing D&D. I hope that you will give it a chance and enjoy a fantastical fantasy world.