We finally picked up Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition for PC. The reason we waited so long was that we originally thought the Beamdog client (sorta like STEAM) was required, and we didn’t want yet another client. Thankfully we realized the game can be downloaded with its own patcher (like an MMO would use) and can be standalone.
We’re only a few hours into the game because it took us so long to make our characters. This happens to us in every D&D game we play, whether it be a Pen and Paper adventure or a game like Neverwinter Nights; We spend hours making our characters and getting everything just right. We’ve still made great progress, completed many a quest, met more group members than we can bring along, and slain a few beasts.
First of all, the game runs really well. If you’ve ever tried to get Baldur’s Gate working on your modern PC you know it can be a pain. This installed perfectly and hasn’t given us trouble yet. Multiplayer was pulled off without a hitch, but make sure you open the port required or else it won’t let you join games. We hear there are issues if you try playing with more than one other person. Given that multiplayer is still in beta, issues are to be expected. It’s worth noting that in the menu it says that in a future patch there will be a browser to see active and available games which is neat. Note: The use of Hamachi allows for easier multiplayer if you have a larger group of friends.
As for the gameplay itself, we love Baldur’s Gate. Something about these old games just resonates with us. We love how the dialog adapts to your situation. The NPC’s know you’re short if you’re a gnome, and characters recognize actions you’ve taken. These days games just have the same text for everyone, and there’s a ‘nice’ or ‘rude choice’. In Baldur’s Gate, you really consider the role-play before picking an option. When encountering a stranger who asks where you’re going, do you tell them you’re on your way to meet your friends or do you try to stay neutral and get away — why should you share your identity? So cool to really immerse oneself in the story!
If you plan to play multiplayer like us, you’ll want to know that the game assumes you’re playing single-player. The host can set permissions for who can talk and control characters, etc., but more than that you share a gold pool. When one person spends, it spends for both. Everything is attributed to “the party” as though it were a single-player game and the other person just has control. This works perfectly fine, though, if you simply communicate with the people playing.
What’s enhanced about the game? Cutscenes aren’t poor CGI — they’re more like a static moving art; They look good. Resolution is higher, you can zoom, sounds are improved, and everything seems to run slightly better than the original. Class kits, subraces (which we can’t find), and classes from BG2 are available. There’s a reason it’s called the “enhanced edition” and not a remake, but the changes are indeed noticeable and worth every penny.
We have quite the journey ahead of us, and we’ll update you with any additional impressions we have along the way.