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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Early Access Review @ Collider

October 23rd, 2020, 21:20
Collider checked out Baldur's Gate III:

'Baldur's Gate III' Review: Can Larian Studios Save 'Dungeons & Dragons' From Itself?

Baldur's Gate III, the unexpected sequel to Bioware's CRPG classic Baldur's Gate II, was released in Early Access two weeks ago. The game is, understandably, rough around the edges. It crashes often and is pretty buggy in its current state. I'm certainly not going to knock the game for that, or even go into further detail--these are the kinds of things Larian Studios, the game's developer, is well aware of.

I'm a big fan of RPGs. They're my favorite type of video game by far. I love getting caught in winding dialogue, evolving my character across a lengthy journey, and, on subsequent replays, exploring previously unexplored venues and finding secrets I may have missed. The promise of an exclusive, unique adventure that you craft yourself is enticing. Baldur's Gate III promises a lot coming on the heels of Divinity Original Sin II, Larian's crowning achievement and arguably the best CRPG made to date.

Over the past two weeks, I've played through what the game has to offer in its current state once and am working my way through a second run to see how it stacks up.

So how is Baldur's Gate III? Well, it's hard to appraise entirely the way it is now. There are things that are noticeably missing that I expect to be filled in as time goes on. Larian has already stated the full game won't be released until it's been in Early Access for at least a year, and after that, you won't even be able to import your save from the Early Access version into the final game. That seems to indicate some major changes coming over the coming months.

[…]

Baldur's Gate III is understandably rough around the edges, but it's hard to ignore some of the issues with the game's foundation. Still, it's chock full of content even in its early phases and can be tackled with a myriad of playstyles.

Rating: B-
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October 23rd, 2020, 21:53
…Divinity Original Sin II, Larianís crowning achievement and arguably the best CRPG made to date.
HAHAHAHAAaaaaaa! What a thing to say!
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October 23rd, 2020, 23:36
I've played 3 of their other games. This for is the best one they have made even in EA.
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October 23rd, 2020, 23:48
For me, The Dragon Knight Saga is still the best game Larian has made.
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October 24th, 2020, 02:06
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
HAHAHAHAAaaaaaa! What a thing to say!
It would be hilarious but I've seen this written on almost every main gaming website including reddit. Many new RPG players seem to have only played those two games.

Probably due to mass appeal and Co-op.
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
For me, The Dragon Knight Saga is still the best game Larian has made.
Me to but Swen goes out of the way to claim that game almost ruined his company. He's probably right but it's more to do with a failed publisher deal, and lack of funding.
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October 24th, 2020, 03:34
I would agree that DOS 2 is their best game and BG3 will probably surpass it.

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October 24th, 2020, 09:49
Uhh, only one I really like is Divine Divinity 1 crappy combat and all. All the others while decent just didnt grab me.
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October 24th, 2020, 10:02
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It would be hilarious but I've seen this written on almost every main gaming website including reddit. Many new RPG players seem to have only played those two games.

Probably due to mass appeal and Co-op.
This is right. The Divinity: Original Sin games brought many new gamers to (turn-based!) RPGs. They are not the greatest RPGs ever made, but they are fun, have a great engine and are very popular. And voila many new (turn based) RPGs are made and sell well.
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October 24th, 2020, 10:42
Not the best article I've read, even if some points are fine. This guy is just to biased towards his own preferences, and against D&D or any ruleset in general, to give any interesting insight on the subject.

"Divinity Original Sin II, Larianís crowning achievement and arguably the best CRPG made to date".

It's one of the best, but saying the best is just silly, there is no such title because it would be too subjective. What is best, an apple or a pear?

Then he goes on, "You wonít find remarkable combat here. [Ö] Itís tedious and takes a long time, a downgrade from the addictive terrain-based fights in DOSII", but the combat has been copied from D:OS2 he just praised, that's been a constant reproach by D&D fans. As for the rules, they've been bent to make it more like D:OS2 as well.

"Itís another example of D&Dís underpinning limiting Larian from truly stretching their creativity. Itís certainly not the worst Iíve played in a CRPG, but combat feels somewhat dated in a genre that has since evolved."

Not sure how you measure whether a system is dated or not, it certainly doesn't feel dated to me, it is mature and fine-tuned, which is not the case of D:OS2 which is still searching its equilibrium (noticeably in AoE vs armour/AC). Perhaps it does feel dated to some people? I think it's more a question of genre, it's sure that when Larian announced a D&D title, I was very sceptical because it's not their style at all, and I was a bit worried at how they'd tackle it. Also, there's a whole tactical potential to develop with D&D, so I doubt that would underpin their creativity. On the contrary, that would push them beyond their comfort zone.

What this article does reveal though, is the breadth of the different expectations people have on that sort of game. Not entirely surprising, if you try to merge the "old" Baldur's Gate/D&D's fan club with the "new" Larian's into one title.
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October 24th, 2020, 10:59
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
This is right. The Divinity: Original Sin games brought many new gamers to (turn-based!) RPGs. They are not the greatest RPGs ever made, but they are fun, have a great engine and are very popular. And voila many new (turn based) RPGs are made and sell well.
I agree with you but I can do without more TB RPGs. As I grew up playing RT & RTwP RPGs. Though I've said it many times already that I love TB strategy games though.
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
What this article does reveal though, is the breadth of the different expectations people have on that sort of game. Not entirely surprising, if you try to merge the "old" Baldur's Gate/D&D's fan club with the "new" Larian's into one title.
That's been a problem since Larian announced they were developing BG III. Probably would have been better to call it Baldur's Gate: Something instead of using three.

At this point I don't think many old fan-club players can be appeased as it's a very different RPG. Personally as an old fan I'm torn a bit myself, but I like what I see.

Only thing I hate so far is the damn dice rolls.
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October 24th, 2020, 13:08
This game seems to provoke many BS reviews. These know-it-all types have to formulate strong opinions about things they clearly have very little clue of. I would not put much weight on the opinions in such articles.
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October 24th, 2020, 13:17
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I agree with you but I can do without more TB RPGs. As I grew up playing RT & RTwP RPGs. Though I've said it many time already that I love TB strategy games though.
I suppose that technically it shouldn't be that hard to propose both modes in D&D, without compromising the mechanics. And that would make its acceptance easier with new players too. I hadn't played table-top sessions when I first discovered NWN, I'm not sure I would have been hooked if Bioware had made a TB version instead of RTwP. Now I enjoy both, perhaps I'm getting slower (or nerder) and I enjoy the TB mode because I have more time to understand what is going on But it's longer, and those big battlesÖ I could use a switch sometimes.

Ah but they'd need to implement a good companion AI, then.

Owlcat Games did both modes eventually with Pathfinder, which isn't that different from D&D, and I don't think the real-time mode ruins the rule mechanics. It's nice to have the choice, too.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Only thing I hate so far is the damn dice rolls.
Yeah, they really overdid it. I don't think a DM would care with dice for an obvious DC=1, or for checks of no significant importance. It's fun, but in the end, it's all about balance, I suppose?

I'm trying to take it for what it is too, and if they depart from the style I was expecting in a sequel, well, it's still very fun to play.
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October 24th, 2020, 13:26
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Yeah, they really overdid it. I don't think a DM would care with dice for an obvious DC=1, or for checks of no significant importance. It's fun, but in the end, it's all about balance, I suppose?

I'm trying to take it for what it is too, and if they depart from the style I was expecting in a sequel, well, it's still very fun to play.
I have a feeling Larian will probably add an easy/story mode in the definite edition. I only say this based on Original Sin 2. Pillar's of Eternity 1&2 did the same also.

I believe Owlcat did the same for Pathfinder; Kingmaker as well?
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October 24th, 2020, 14:43
About TB vs RTwP, I just saw there was a 77-page thread debating the issue in their forums, insane. It beats the 4 vs 6 parties debate.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I have a feeling Larian will probably add an easy/story mode in the definite edition. I only say this based on Original Sin 2. Pillar's of Eternity 1&2 did the same also.

I believe Owlcat did the same for Pathfinder; Kingmaker as well?
Yes, you're right, there is a story mode in Kingmaker, I hadn't noticed that before. It seems to be a super-easy mode, not sure there is more to it, Kingdom management is still present.
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October 24th, 2020, 15:14
I find I love the die rolls myself. I thought it would break me out of immersion but I suppose I treat it like I do seeing a mouse cursor on the screen or a UI or that I am sitting in a chair looking at a monitor. All noise my brain filters out while I get into the game.

The die rolls not only harken back to the days of being a DM and rolling but it helps show some of the randomness, which I like, behind things.

My hearbeat gets a little faster (how much depends on how important the roll is) and I eagerly await, sometimes dread, the result. It's one of my favorite features.

I expected to not like BG3 at all. I had removed it from my list after learning it was TB combat and wasn't sure about Larian's ability to pull it off.

Now I can easily say that even though is is just the EA version it looks to be my GOTY at this point as its better than any other game I have played this year.

It really fills my need for good old classic fantasy in the style of AD&D with comfortable well known races, magic, lore, creatures, gods, fantasy settings, and more. There is simply so much to this game.

I am on my 3rd full play through and like my 7th time through the first few areas. 6 times I have been through the Druid Grove and last night was my 7th and I found two new places I had missed before - the harpy's and the secret hideout. Before that I found the singing bard I had missed. Before that a secret passage into the grove.

I could easily go on about how fun the dialogue is, the quests, the size of the one map you have, the factions, the character building, the wonderful graphics, the engaging companions Ö all hit the right note for me.

The only negative is the TB combat. I enjoy it now and then but its still a slog and I often find what decides how long I play is when I go "Oh this place Ö well I will need at least an hour just to get through that single battle Ö and don't have the energy" so I stop my play session till I am refreshed.

I can only take so much slogging through TB combat before my brain can't handle it anymore.

But since I enjoy so much more about the game I am willing to put up with it.
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October 24th, 2020, 15:20
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
About TB vs RTwP, I just saw there was a 77-page thread debating the issue in their forums, insane. It beats the 4 vs 6 parties debate.



Yes, you're right, there is a story mode in Kingmaker, I hadn't noticed that before. It seems to be a super-easy mode, not sure there is more to it, Kingdom management is still present.
They have many modes in Kingmaker - would have to start the game to check memory but like 6 basic modes from "story mode" to iron-man style. Then you have the ability to manually adjust individual settings to make the game harder or easier. I have never seen a game before that had so many customizable options on difficulty.

Likewise the Kingdom Management had many modes as well - from auto-pilot to super easy to easy up to the hard core mode.

BG3 only has normal difficulty in EA. I would be very surprised if they didn't add other ranges and I expect there is only this one because they want to tune and balance the combat and testing around the core setting before adding easy and hard.
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October 24th, 2020, 18:37
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Not the best article I've read, even if some points are fine. This guy is just to biased towards his own preferences, and against D&D or any ruleset in general, to give any interesting insight on the subject.
I disagree with a lot of what they said and any "best game" declaration will inevitably come across as hyperbolic, but isn't everyone biased towards their own preferences?
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October 24th, 2020, 18:43
Larian used to be my favorite developer. Divine Divinity is still IMO the best action RPG ever warts and unfinished nothwistanding. Dragon Knight Sage was excellent and truly fun. D:OS 1 was a decent game but for me got tedious after a while. D: OS2 seemed to emphasize the tedious aspects even more. The other issue is that they release their games in decent but not great form and then they redo the game a year later and it is significantly better. Same will happen with BG3. So it is really 2 years away, BG games should be RTwP.
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October 24th, 2020, 18:51
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
This is right. The Divinity: Original Sin games brought many new gamers to (turn-based!) RPGs. They are not the greatest RPGs ever made, but they are fun, have a great engine and are very popular. And voila many new (turn based) RPGs are made and sell well.
Your observation isn't in the same league of hyperbole as this review, but c'mon. Divinity didn't singlehandedly revive turn-based games. I liked the original games too but you don't need to give Larian a diamond tiara for it.
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October 24th, 2020, 19:46
It wasn't Divinity: Original Sin alone, but together with Wasteland 2, Shadowrun: Dragonfall and, Lords of Xulima it was on top of the crowdfunded turn-based RPG revival - RPGWatch-GotY 2014:

1 Divinity: Original Sin
2 Wasteland 2
3 Dragon Age: Inquisition
4 Shadowrun: Dragonfall
5 Might & Magic X: Legacy
6 Lords of Xulima
7 Risen 3: Titan Lords
8 Legend of Grimrock 2
9 Dark Souls II
10 South Park: The Stick of Truth
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