Navigating the Vast World of Baldur's Gate 3
Updated: Nov 20
Join Liv from Podcasters United as she shares her fun review of Baldur's Gate 3!
Game: Baldur’s Gate 3
Developer: Larian Studios
Platforms: PlayStation and PC. Launching on Xbox in the future.
Hours Played: 120 hours
Before we dive into the Baldur's Gate 3 review, there are a few items I would like to address! I have not played the previous installments of Baldur’s Gate, so I cannot compare them. Being a Dungeons & Dragons fan is not needed to enjoy this game. In my opinion, my Dungeons & Dragons knowledge aided me, but the game does a great job of explaining every item, weapon, or spell, for the player. Additionally, my review is based on my solo playthrough experience as I did not play with the multiplayer option. Lastly, this will be a spoiler-free review! Baldur’s Gate 3 is a wonderful experience and I want you to be able to enjoy it for yourself. With that out of the way, let’s dive into what makes Baldur’s Gate 3 such a unique and wonderful experience.
When a game allows character customization, everyone loves the ability to create a personalized character and I will spend as much time as possible to get it right. Being able to carefully craft who you will be in this world is important! This game gives you full control over your appearance, background, stats, and spells. For my first playthrough, I created a female High-Elf Sorcerer named Vanasha. I was very tempted to create a Druid, but I chose to be a sorcerer for the abundance of spells I could cast. I chose the recommended stat build for a sorcerer, but if I was feeling adventurous then I could have rearranged my stats for different bonuses. As this is a dialogue-heavy game, I am thankful I chose to have a high Charisma stat to persuade or talk myself out of any situation. Had I been unhappy with my character build, I could have respec my character later. The full customization of every aspect of my character really made me feel connected and invested in Vanasha’s journey.
Turn-based combat in Baldur's Gate 3 may not cater to every gamer's taste, but it perfectly aligns with the essence of Dungeons & Dragons. Before playing Baldur's Gate 3, I was hesitant about its combat system, recalling my struggles with Dragon Age: Origins and its real-time combat, which eventually led me to abandon the game. The chaos of real-time combat, particularly when casting area spells while trying to avoid harming your own party members, made the gameplay extremely difficult for me. However, I was instantly relieved when I discovered that Baldur's Gate 3 was built around a turn-based combat system. Managing each member of your party during battle becomes a seamless and intuitive experience, offering a welcome respite from the frantic real-time struggles of other RPGs.
Baldur's Gate 3 offers a wide variety of companions that you can recruit for your adventure. The variety is very much appreciated when you decide who will be adventuring with you and who will be waiting at camp. At the beginning of the game, my party boasted a Sorcerer, a Cleric, a Wizard, and a Fighter, which made it difficult for me to pass the necessary dice rolls in order to lock pick doors and chests. The world of Baldur's Gate 3 teems with many secrets concealed behind countless doors and chests, compelling me to delve deeper into their mysteries. Thankfully, I came across a Rogue who can pass these checks with ease! Each companion not only brings a unique class and set of skills to the table but also a distinctive personality that lends depth to your interactions. Naturally, your affinities may lead you to favor one character over another, giving you the freedom to send the other companions back to camp. If you change your mind, you can always swap out your party next time you are at camp.
The characters and companions you come across in Baldur's Gate 3 feel alive and not robotic as some NPCs feel in games. Everyone has a unique dialogue for any situation. After you make a choice in the game, the next time you talk to another character they will bring it up! The branching dialogue choices also allow you to get to know others in the game. By doing so, many of the companions may try to romance you! If you are just here to be an adventurer and save the day, you have the option to friend-zone everyone, but romance is there if you want it! Aside from the NPCs in the world, you might be surprised to know that all of the animals in the game have dialogue options too. If you are fortunate enough to have the skill to speak with animals, this ability is a gem because you never know what the animals are going to say. Some of them are very opinionated about the state of their current situation! Others may just tell you they like to eat grass. A frog in the game led me to a secret treasure chest. I highly suggest you speak with the animals if you can do so because it really opens up the world for you. Every aspect of this world feels alive and it is so refreshing compared to some games that have characters that feel one-dimensional and bland.
The world of Faerûn is full of life and is a beautiful sight. One wish I have for this game is for a photo mode to be added to the game! It is such a shame to see a breathtaking world and not be able to engage with a photo mode! I digress, each of the environments in this world is stunning. In Baldur's Gate 3, there are several areas you will adventure to and each one is distinctive from one another. With large open-world games, one complaint that I typically have is the environment seems to be copy and paste. You will pass by NPCs or structures that look exactly the same. In my opinion, that generally takes away from the experience. However, this is not the case in Baldur's Gate 3! This world feels very carefully crafted. As you carry on with your adventure, I encourage you to take time to appreciate the world around you!
My Dungeons & Dragons group fell apart a few years ago and I have missed it terribly. I have tried to join other groups, but it never felt the same as the original! I watch Critical Role regularly, but I really miss playing. Over the years, I have tried to find a video game that felt like Dungeons & Dragons. One game that really spoke to me was Wildermyth, but after a few campaigns, the side quests became repetitive. I have also tried Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance which felt very bland and boring, so I ended up returning the game and never playing it again. Baldur's Gate 3 is far and away the best choice if you are looking to play a video game similar to Dungeons & Dragons. Between the characters, monsters, and quests, it has been a wonderful experience that I have been waiting years for. It fills the void that my last Dungeons & Dragons group left in my heart.
With so many variations of character customization and quest outcomes, you would be a fool not to try to play through Baldur's Gate 3 at least twice! I am already looking forward to my next playthrough to try out a new build and romance with different characters. I hope you find Baldur's Gate 3 as exciting as I do. Happy adventuring!
BIO: Liv writes for Podcasters United. When she's not gaming, she's watching sports! Looking for more of Liv’s video game and sports takes? Follow her over on Twitter: