It’s week two of my gaming A-Z challenge, so let’s take a look at my pick for this week!
There was some really good choices for games beginning with the letter ‘B’ but, for me, there was only really one choice- Baldur’s Gate.
I’ll be honest, my first foray into the world of Baldur’s Gate and the Forgotten Realms was actually with the Playstation 2 version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. I loved my time playing Dark Alliance, especially when playing it co-op, that it encouraged me to delve further into the video game world of Dungeons and Dragons. That led me to Bioware’s classic, Baldur’s Gate. Just like with Dungeons & Dragonssetting the standard for tabletop RPG, Baldur’s Gate definitely set the standard for RPGs and contributed in making boosting Bioware’s reputation in the gaming community.
Like with Dungeons & Dragons, in Baldur’s Gate, you create your own protangonist who is an orphan living at Candlekeep. One day, your guardian, Gorion decides you must leave the keep which sets off a chain of events that will see you explore the Sword Coast and uncover your connection to an ancient prophecy. Its a classic fantasy story and a great introduction to the world of Dungeons & Dragons. As journey, you will encounter NPCs that may decide to join you on your adventure. Each of these NPCs have their own quirky personalities, skills and motivations.
Whilst Baldur’s Gate is not an open world RPG, it certainly has large areas for you to explore and you are certainly encouraged to explored the maps fully. There are plenty of side quests to complete and treasure to find. I remember in one playthrough, I found a cursed belt that I unwittingly put on, turning my female fighter into a male fighter. Yes, I committed the D&D crime of not checking a magic item thoroughly, before equipping it. This led me on a merry quest to earn a enough money in order to dispel the curse. This is just one example of how Baldur’s Gate gives players the opportunity to not just follow the main story but to make the story their own.
Despite being over twenty years old, Baldur’s Gate is still going strong. In 2012, an enhanced edition of the game was released on PC and in 2019, Baldur’s Gateand its sequel were also released on PS4, Xbox One and Switch. Last year saw the continuation of the series, with the Early Acces release of Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate III. Baldur’s Gate‘s success also saw the development and release of other D&D video games, such as Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment. Even to this day, Baldur’s Gate continues to inspire new fantasy RPGs such as Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. The impact that Baldur’s Gate had on the RPG genre cannot be understated, which is why it had to be my pick for this week’s gaming A-Z post.
So, that was my game for the letter ‘B’, but what would your pick be? Let me know in the comments below and join me next week for the next gaming A-Z post. See you then!