Most helpful positive review
284 of 289 people found the following review helpful
So much fun, it's dangerous
on July 26, 2008
First off, any person who has played a bunch of computer games will tell you this: The amount of fun you have in a game, after say the first day of playing it, is totally irrelevant to the game's graphics. The BG collection is a good example.
I too think it is better than the Neverwinter series, for one main reason:
BG and especially BGII are extremely open and non-linear. Yes, of course the game has limits, but there are so many optional areas, quests, characters, and items, and more importantly, so many decisions you have to make in each play-through that open some doors and close others, that you can play this game probably ten times in a row and still discover fun new things.
Even concepts which seem like game-universe "laws" can be surpassed once you gain enough skill as a player. I'm not talking about cheating. For example, you might think the Cowled Wizards are impossible to resist when they arrest you, right? Nope, not for a creative tactician. Or, you might think that it's impossible to beat the game using just three, two, or even one single character. But it's actually very possible--just more intellectually challenging and rewarding. Most do that with a fighter/mage or fighter/thief, though, to get the maximum number of abilities. But you couldn't do it with a single, lonely armor-less kensai fighter, right? Think again...
The great thing about these "implied" challenges, in addition to every other normal challenge in the game, is that even though they are ridiculously difficult, you still don't need a cheat sheet to do them, because since the game contains hundreds of items, spells, and abilities, (access to all of which have a sort of "open this door and shut that one" style) there are still a million different ways to complete even the most difficult challenges.
This is why the Baldur's Gate games are huge fun the first time, for the above-average (not great) story, and even more the second and third, to explore all the variations and possibilities within that story.
Finally, a note for new players:
The only complaint I would have is that in order to play a Fighter character, you can't just choose one weapon specialization and go with it--you have to have advance knowledge of what weapons exist in order not to be stuck with crappy weapons during critical endgame duels.
If you are about to buy this game, let me tell you a few things that will save the need for the cheapening feeling of using a game guide or deciding to reboot your character halfway through:
-The one and only great 2-handed sword can only be used by Thieves and Paladins, though it comes early in the game. It is by far the best weapon in the game
-There is a good mix of low-to-mid level longswords, but few great ones
-There is only one good bastard sword and it comes late in the game
-There is only one good battle axe, and it is great, but it comes late in the game
-There are a good mix of low-to-high level Halberd weapons
-More attacks per round *usually* nets you more total damage than a higher damage per hit weapon, because all the different weapon types do not have a wide spread of damage ranges. I.E, most of the damage you do at a high level does not come from your weapon.
-Some liches can only be hit by +4 or higher weapons.
-NEVER be a sorcerer for your first playthrough...you will inevitably choose spells that sound good on paper but fall flat in practice...be a wizard instead, you will get more (real-life) experience that way.
That's it--all the rest you can figure out yourself, with a little patience and experimentation. Happy adventuring!